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Jump Superstars Review

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Developer: Ganbarion Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: August 8, 2005 Also On: None

Jump! Magazine, Ganbarion, and Nintendo of Japan collaborated last August to create Jump! Superstars. Essentially a Super Smash Bros.-esque brawler, Jump! Superstars features more than 100 Japanese anime and manga characters. For the Smash Bros., Jump!, or general anime fan, is the DS fighting game worth importing?

Being entirely in Japanese, Jump! Superstars took me a little time to figure out, even with a translation FAQ. I had gone into the game expecting Super Smash Bros.-like gameplay, and that’s what I got after playing around with the controls and figuring out the mission structure. In Jump! Superstars, you’ll play through missions on an world map of sorts, and there are several different mission types. Some maps will have you battling other characters in a free-for-all, and others will have you kicking things around, getting a grasp for the different maneuvers and controls.

It almost goes without saying that the battles are the best part of Jump! Superstars. Every single character in the game seems to control differently and have some sort of perk; instantly-recognizable characters like Dragon Ball Z’s Goku and Naruto are a lot of fun to use. I noticed characters from DBZ, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and a few others, but there were far more that I didn’t recognize. Despite that, I had a blast kicking the crap out of the CPU. Each character has a wide variety of attacks to use, from simple strikes to special attacks that can be combined for powerful combos and such.

With the help of the touch screen you can switch between several different characters at almost any time via manga panels, meaning battles can become a really hectic affair with new faces appearing at any time. This touch screen mechanic can even be used for extremely powerful special attacks, where multiple characters quickly appear on screen for all-at-once pain to be inflicted on your opponent or opponents. I later discovered that I could even create my own manga panels for a customized team.

The other missions can be quite interesting, and I liked how Jump! Superstars awards you for completing different levels and secondary goals in each mission. Sometimes you’re asked simply to KO three enemies, but some of the special conditions might ask you to get those KO’s exclusively by Ring Outs or without using the X Button for Special Attacks. Maybe you have to do it all in 20 seconds; who knows? They vary for each challenge. Doing these special goals earns you Koma cards that can be used in Jump! Superstars’ Koma distraction. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Koma and didn’t even with the translation FAQ, so I couldn’t get around to fairly reviewing it. Even though I couldn’t use the spoils for completing goals, I still tried to do so in every mission.

Jump! Superstars does the DS as well as the art it represents a lot of justice by having fantastic animation, colorful characters, and detailed backgrounds. I’d have liked to see more Marvel Vs. Capcom-esque distractions going on in the background, but what’s there does just fine. I especially liked the flashy cut-scenes and Japanese text flying everywhere between battles, despite not understanding a darn thing they were saying. Overall, Jump! Superstars (or its 2006 sequel, Jump! Ultimate Stars) is worth checking out if you’re a fan of anything Japanese. It’s a great DS game that’s a lot of fun to play, even if the person playing it doesn’t understand a lick of the dialogue.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 8.5
Written by Cliff Review Guide