A remaster complete with additional features, characters, and combat adjustments, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R remains an excellent adaptation of the popular anime and manga property at its core. The attention to detail is often outstanding, with the game referencing all kinds of interactions and events from Hirohiko Araki's original work. It's a cliche when discussing anime-based titles, but this really is a love letter to everything JoJo.
The playable roster consists of a whopping 51 characters, and the variety is very, very impressive. For every combatant to feel fairly unique across such a huge cast is a dream for JoJo fans, and casually exploring each character's options is a joy.
Get stuck in, though, and All Star Battle R is probably one of the most technical anime-based fighting games of modern times. It's got combos, cancels, assists, sidesteps, specials, supers — everything that you'd expect from a fighter teetering on the edge of appeasing the competitive scene. There's a depth here that most anime adaptations simply swerve away from, and learning the ins and outs of the system can be really rewarding.
On a mechanical level this is a rock solid fighting game, and a decent amount of single-player content means that you can ease yourself into the experience before you hop online. But unfortunately, the online offering is where All Star Battle R falls flat. The game's delay-based netcode is incredibly inconsistent, various network errors are far too common, and — perhaps most unforgivable of all — there's no rematch option once a fight has finished. It feels like an online mode straight out of 2014, back when the original All Star Battle launched on the PS3 — and that's just not good enough here in 2022.
It's such a shame that the game's online suite is so behind the times, because All Star Battle R is an otherwise brilliant ode to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. A technical fighter that's always deserved a second chance.