Jump into this fantastic anime series brawler
If you’re a manga aficionado like me, you’ve heard of Shonen Jump magazine. For 50 years, Japan-based publisher Shueisha Inc. brought to the world to legendary characters such as Son Goku, Monkey D. Luffy and Naruto Uzimaki. With these characters and their respective series, they became overnight hits in Japan with various movies, merchandise (including video games) and separate graphic novels. It was only a matter of time that the SJ phenomenon would branch out to the rest of the world being published in various languages including English. Shonen Jump, undisputedly, has become the standard of introducing new anime and manga series. J‑Stars Victory VS+ is an example of that standard.
Published by Namco Bandai and co-developed with Spike Chunsoft, J‑Stars takes more than 50 characters from 32 series within the Shonen Jump universe and pits them against each other in various locations within each SJ series. The story mode consists of each SJ character preparing for the “Jump Battle Tournament,” devised by the god of Jump World to determine its strongest champions who will defend it from evil forces posing as strong fighters.
Within the story mode there are four arcs: Dynamic with Luffy, Hope with Naruto, Investigation with Toriko and Goku and Pursuit with Ichigo. Regardless of the arc you choose, your character and their respective comrades will face off against others to obtain essential parts for your provided ship and badges required to enter the tournament. I like the story mode, and I also like that the arcade versus mode is an option when you just want to pit characters against each other to see who would win.
Control is simple, which has your characters roam free during battle to pull off their signature moves along with a Dragon Ball-styled map to track the battle’s progress. However, the downside is the game camera: It moves wildly about and constantly requires adjustment. At the end of each successful battle, your characters not only gain experience points, but also gain currency called “jump coins,” which upgrades skills and clothing and unlocks various theme music and additional characters to strengthen your team.
All of the sound in the game is courtesy of Namco Bandai’s excellent sound department and the use of Dolby Digital. There isn’t an English voice track in J‑Stars, but the Japanese voice track for each character is performed perfectly, as if you’re watching a Shonen Jump anime. J‑Stars Victory VS+ is perfect for an anime convention tournament or if you want to spend a day with friends immersing yourselves in Shonen Jump lore.
This anime-infused brawler is another testament to Shonen Jump’s recognition of being a leader in global pop culture and how anime and manga are quickly becoming visual arts that aren’t just for kids.
- J‑Stars Victory+ was billed as the “ultimate Jump game,” combining past and newer jump titles.
- Unlike “Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes,” licensing for all the Jump characters was not a serious issue. According to producer Koji Nakajima, the real problem was determining actions for characters that do not fight. Solving this problem required numerous negotiations with Shueisha and the respected licensee for each series to determine what was and was not acceptable for those characters.
- J‑Stars Victory VS + introduced the “new class” of SJ series such as The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., Gintama, To Love Ru and Reborn!. These titles have been licensed for North America by various anime and manga distributors.