The anime and manga for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a weird story about bloodlines and stylish fighting, which is capture somewhat accurately by CyberConnect2 in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven. There is plenty of finesse in this time-traveling story that brings together all eight parts of the Jojo series, but offers very little substance for everything else. Questionable level design, poor computer A.I, and various technical bugs are only some of the problems that are found in Eyes of Heaven. Fans of the series will be satisfied seeing their favorite characters come together, but everyone else will be left scratching their heads and disappointed.
Unlike previous JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure games, Eyes of Heaven is a third-person action game rather than a traditional one-on-one fighting game. Battles are tag-team fights with four characters in one large level. The combat in Eyes of Heaven is similar to some of CyberConnect2’s previous Naruto titles, where you have a large area to traverse and use objects you find in the level against your opponents. The controls are good and give you easy access to all of your special moves during a fight, but aiming your attacks can sometimes be off even when you’re locked onto an opponent.
I found myself in situations where I would completely miss with an attack, despite being right next to an enemy I locked onto. Other issues I ran into during fights included characters getting stuck in the corners of a level and poor hit detection and interruption on many attacks from enemies and myself.
The story mode is the biggest part of Eyes of Heaven, which uses a big time-travel plot to bring together all of the heroes and villains from the series. Its great seeing many different characters from all of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure arcs interact with each other, but some characters only get a bit of time to shine and are almost forgotten for the rest of the story. Most of the focus is on a few select characters from the Stardust Crusaders arc of the series, which acts like the catalyst for everything that happens in Eyes of Heaven.
By the time I finished the story, I felt like I just played through a typical “what-if” tale that didn’t offer me any sort of pay-off by the end. It didn’t help that nothing special happened by finishing up the main story, which is a huge disappointment. There are a few ending cutscenes that wrap up the plot, but you aren’t given any new characters or anything special for completing it. This made me feel that playing through the story mode was a big waste of time.
There are standard Free Battle and Online modes that allow you to fight without any plot getting in the way. Free Battle is exactly as it sounds, allowing you to fight against A.I opponents. Online mode puts you into matchmaking with up to three other players in single battles over the internet. You have an individual player title card that you can customize with icons to display online, but there isn’t much to it at all. Connections online are hit and miss depending on who you are matched up with, which can cause problems in some of the battles with all kinds of bugs and detection issues.
A big problem with Eyes of Heaven is how most content is unlocked from the when you first boot up the game. You can still purchase extra outfits, victory poses, and other things from the in-game store; but they offer very little and you aren’t rewarded for completing anything substantial. This is confusing because it makes finishing any single player content seem unfulfilling.
You don’t unlock any new characters or stages to use in other modes by finishing the main story or fighting in Free Battle, so why even complete them? I felt like I was missing something, even though I had done everything that was possible in the game. It’s a very confusing and poor design choice without reason.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven is a game for fans of the anime and manga. Anyone unfamiliar with the JoJo series won’t be impacted as much by all of the cross-overs between characters that appear throughout the series. Hardcore fans will enjoy seeing all of the major characters they’ve followed finally brought together for one big event.
Once you get pass all of the flair however, you will only find a shallow game that doesn’t offer much to everyone else. The story mode is a long, unfulfilling time waster, while both the Free Battle and Online modes are basic at their core. Unless you really like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, you may want to consider playing something else.
This review is based on a digital review code of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven for the PlayStation 4, provided by Bandai Namco.