I first saw some screenshots of this game in a Dreamcast mag a long while ago and eagerly snapped up a copy as soon as it was released. I knew that it was a 2d beat-em-up from Capcom with some very mad ideas, but even then I was surprised by just how mad it is! It uses the classic Capcom fighting formula : Take a wide variety of over-the-top cartoon characters, place them against a flat background and have them beat the heck out of each other with wild and wilder moves! Of course, this means that it suffers from the same flaws as other Capcom beat 'em ups, the decent moves take a lot of learning, and even when you have taken the time someone can still beat you by mashing their joypad for 30 seconds! However, this game differs from most 2D fighting games by the use of 'Stands'. A Stand is a kind of shadow character that stands next to your main character but that you can also use to fight your opponent. The Stand characters are where the Capcom artists have really shown some flair. As well as having swordfighters, shadow monsters, a ventriloquists dummy wielding a giant cut-throat razor (Genuinely sinister), one character (Who is believe it or not, a Jack Russell terrier) is accompanied by a ghostly half car/half giant robotic dog made entirely out of sand. Now thats not right. Another character (A belly dancer) can summon cars out of the ground to get in your way or flatten you! One character doesn't have a stand, preferring to use a giant robotic arm! This game makes no sense at all! The characters are generally quite strange as well. You get a sword fighter, and his evil twin, with matching stands. You get an eagle. Thats right, an eagle. You get an Igor style lumbering sidekick. You get a cowboy. You get the aforementioned Jack Russell and Belly Dancer. And thats just for starters! The only thing thats missing is a 30ft tall nuclear powered robotic ape with laser beam eyes - and thats probably the end of ga
me boss, given the sheer madness of this game. It also incredibly difficult. I seemed to get moves by accident and be unable to recreate them. With most fighting games (Particularly from the Namco stable) its a lot easier to pick up at least some moves straight away, but with this game its so much more difficult to achieve. Also in one-player mode, the computer characters have no idea of the concept of 'mercy' and happily stomp you into and then out of the ground! The two player mode is good fun though, because then you both have the same problem! And theres nothing quite like pitching the Jack Russell (With Ghost Robot Car Dog made of sand) against the Eagle (With Ice dropping abilities - at least I hope its ice) and watching them flail around randomly failing to hit each other! I get the impression that theres a good game here waiting to get out, but it requires a big time investment! And the worst thing of all is that you actually get two games on the disc! Jojos bizzare adventure is actually the second game in the series, and those kind folk at Capcom have included the original (Presumably a slightly less bizzare adventure). I must admit that I haven't played the original very much as its not as good (!). Special mention must go to the graphics. As usual the Capcom artists have excelled themselves. The characters, moves, backgrounds, stands are all brilliantly done. One classic move involves getting a particular stand to attack the enemy, when the move works the background is replaced with a mostly blank screen upon which a giant version of the stands face appears just before the actual stand character delivers the whuppin'! The animation is fantastic as well. The sound effects and music are quite low-key, but certainly add to the atmosphere as your character gets pummelled for the 42nd time.... The first player mode also allegedly features some kind of a story but I never got far enough to find out what was
going on. So to sum up, the game is very difficult in single player mode and the moves for each character are very hard to learn and reproduce. However, the two player mode is a lot of fun, mainly because neither of you really know whats going on.... The graphics and animation are superb and bring to life the mad, mad characters that are in this game. You even get the original game bundled in for free. So whats my recommendation? Definitely a case of 'try before you buy'. A lot of people will hate this game, but on the other hand, a lot of people will love it. Its also a game that lurks around a lot of bargain bins as its not very well known.