I say it a lot, but one of the great things about the Vita to me is the wide selection of games that are now available, many of which originated from Japan. Things like One Piece Unlimited World Red and Persona 4 Golden are not usually my cup of tea, but the convenience of the system and my willingness to embrace new titles means that I’ve enjoyed quite a few things that I would never normally have touched before.

That said, I’m not a lover of fighters and when Bandai Namco invited me up to their Hammersmith office in London towards the end of May to get some hands on with J-Stars Victory Vs +, I was a little wary of what to expect. I knew of the game, of course, and also that many members of TVL’s crew had high expectations for it, I just wasn’t sure how I would feel about it.

For those of you that haven’t been following the title’s progress, J-Stars Victory Vs + is a two on two brawler at heart, which sees over forty characters from many popular Japanese and Manga franchises face off against each other. Eager to learn more, I got stuck straight in with the adventure mode of the game.

J-Stars Victory Vs +

Taking control of a ship in the world map you begin with Luffy from One Piece, and are soon thrown into your first battle. When a fight is activated, you will find yourself in a small arena with you and your opponent. The game explained the basics to me, with strong and light attacks, blocking, running and locking on to my adversary explained before I was let loose, throwing all sorts of combos against my poor foe and, after successfully besting him, he then joined my team. Subsequent fights and encounters then became two-on-two affairs with more enemies to defeat. With the additional characters in your corner, successfully building up a power meter will allow you to unleash a devastating “Victory Burst” which usually activates multiple special moves simultaneously. If you have played Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 or even Unlimited World Red you will have had the experience of having this kind of power at your disposal.

As you progress through the adventure – which has four different worlds to explore – you learn that you are seeking out emblem fragments. Upgrading your ship and filling out your team as you go, this is your ultimate mission and along the way you will encounter, fight and recruit many characters from a variety of different shows. Those I encountered in my short experience were others from One Piece as well as Naruto, Joe Jackson, Lucky Man, Kenshiro, Sasuke, Goku and Vegeta and many more that I’m too unfamiliar with. Outside of the adventure I also got some hands on with another mode called Victory Road, in which you have to complete six areas with increasing missions and all of this will level up your characters and complete various objectives.

J-Stars Victory Vs +

I must stress at this point that it was the PS4 version I was playing with as they did not have a playable Vita version for me, but it was stressed that aside from graphical compromises the experience will be the same. The visuals on the PS4 were incredibly impressive on what I was told was near final build. The characters were fantastic, the arenas featured destructible portions of the environment and it felt like I was in a living anime, pounding various different characters as I went, all topped off with the original Japanese Voiceover whilst utilising what I understood to be familiar signature moves.

It all added up to me wanting more, and with the game out at the end of this month, I can’t wait. Its gone from something I wasn’t going to buy to something I need. Check out the latest trailer and see if you will need it too.

  • ThePalacePlayer

    Not a long preview – would love to hear a little more about the gameplay – but nice to hear you liked it. I don’t think I’ll buy it, but a good review may convince me otherwise

    • I played it for a couple of hours and just wanted to convey my thoughts. I’m sure our review will be much longer. 🙂

      • ThePalacePlayer

        Looking forward to reading it 🙂

        Of what little you played, would you say the combat is better, worse or equal to One Piece Unlimited World Red? I thought the fighting in that game was alright, but never saw it through to the end.

  • Zero Eternity

    Does this have Vita physical release?

    • Bandai Namco UK just confirmed that it will, at least in the UK. Can’t speak for other regions presently but I can ask.

  • Buckybuckster

    Thanx for the preview Paul! It’s truly a great year to be an Vita owner (and to pick one up if your not wink wink)!

  • Cousin Jeffrey

    Ive preordered this, feel free to add me so we can get the online trophies
    PSN: Louis-Lewis

  • leingod

    Need to know how lesser the Vita version looks compared to the others. A constant framerate and I’m sold 🙂

  • This 3D fighting game is very fun and very accessible to anyone.

    I own the japan version of 2014 and just got the western version from bandai namco to make a preview IRL in Paris : http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/Ev%C3%A8nements/PS-Vita-IRL-avant-premi%C3%A8re-J-Stars-le-jeudi-18-juin-19h-%C3%A0-Paris/m-p/23327933

    If you want to see some gameplay, you have plenty of videos in japanese on the web, and these one I made with french text :
    Goku vs Naruto : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTmYUMSPnCI
    Seiya vs Joseph Joestar : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMGYlBj7a8c

    I wish this game will sell plenty of Vita to enlarge our community all over the world !

    Good game