You would think that with all the popularity of the likes of Smash Bros that the Jump heroes version of the character mash-up would be a shoe in for the west. And yet it’s not, and that’s a pity.
For those that aren’t aware, Jump is a series of Japanese Manga that is wildly popular. Initially designed solely for the teenage boy and young adult market, it’s been around for so long now that people of all ages are fans.
Jump series include Naruto, Fist of the North Star, Bleach, One Piece, Death Note, Hunter x Hunter and, of course, Dragon Ball. Given that most of these series basically involve a range of wacky heroes beating up on one another it’s no surprise that an enterprising developer would think to bring them together in a Smash Bros.-style brawler.
And, by all accounts, these games are both commercially successful and critically praised in their homeland of Japan. The series has been around since the the DS era. And yet, this series has never formally been released outside of Japan. Why? Likely there are licensing issues for other markets, making it difficult to bring it out west.
But it’s a pity because it means that we’re also going to likely miss out on the upcoming J-Stars Victory, which releases on March 19 on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. As you can see from the screenshots, this is a game with slick arenas and plenty of weird and wonderful characters. Attacks even create comic book-style text to pop up on the screen, lending a touch of manga authenticity that is going to appeal greatly to the fans.
Personally I have no idea how anyone could hope to beat Bleach’s Ichigo, but there you go. This is a game for the importers to keep an eye out for. Thankfully as a fighting game text will be limited, and equally thankfully the PS3 and Vita are region-free, so import away!
– Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld