Jump Ultimate Stars
The Successor to ‘Jump Super Stars’ and it doesn’t disappoint
Primarily the game is a ‘beat em’ up’ similar to that of nintendo’s ‘Super Smash Bros’ and plays similarly too, except on a handheld format. The main difference is that the game’s characters are that of Shonen Jumps manga variety bringing them all in to the festival.
The game opens with a very nice action packed cinematic featuring many of Shonen Jumps characters flying in and providing a small snippet of their manga strip to the viewers similar to that of the previous game.
Let’s have a look at the game play, primarily the story mode. In the Ultimate Stars predecessor, the story mode consisted of the Jump world which consisted of four areas that needed saving according to your guide, the jump pirate. This in turn was relatively short ( around 10 hours game play)but there were many missions to complete for each stage and also contained some hidden ones that must be completed to get a ‘crown’ for the level. In the Ultimate stars however, the story mode is much larger, featuring the ‘Jump Galaxy’ this consisted of many areas (around 6 or 7) in each galaxy of which there were five galaxies’s to complete. Within the areas inside the galaxies, there are multiple levels which again follow on from the Jump super stars formula to earn ‘crowns’ showing that you have completed that specific area. The game play from this lasts around 15 or so hours and longer if the player tries to complete every single task, including the hidden ones.
After you complete a set of missions you will be rewarded with a new set of characters and gems (we will talk about the gems later). In the game there are over 300 characters from 41 different Shonen Jump mangas. The characters consist of playable characters and support characters which aid you on the battle field. The characters involved go from the much loved series of Bleach, One Piece, Dragon Ball and Naruto. To the madness of the likes of Bobobo-bobo-bobo, D-grey man and Yu-GI-OH (yes you can fight with cards). They all have their different attributes and their unique set of moves from the Anime and Manga series to boot. E.g. Naruto has his Rasengan, Luffy has gear 3 and Bobobobo can control his nasal and armpit hair for effective attacks (seriously!)
On the subject of characters, Jump has completely revamped the system. In the previous game the bottom screen consisted of a four by five grid. Upon this grid you can place your ‘komas’ which are your characters and supports. Now the Koma system is easy to understand. Support characters (they leap onto the screen do their stuff and vanish) consist of 2 -3 pannels and come in a variety of shapes and sises. Character playable panels cost you 4-8 pannels on the grid. With the weakest characters having a Koma of 4 and the strongest having a koma of 8. There are also buffer characters which consist of an item or a person and lend attubutes to playable characters. In making your ‘deck’ takes a lot of consideration considering characters can buff other characters. For example, If you Put Naruto next to Sasuke and Sakura, they will sparkle and the playable characters life will increase and so on and so forth.
Ganbarion have completely revamped the deck making menus and screens and even the processes of how you make them. On Super stars, the player had to match blank manga panels with the appropriate person to make a character or support. However, in Ultimate stars, you evolve the characters using gems as the currency (see I told you we would get back to that). The more panels the character consumes the more gems it costs. The game also forces you to play online and with friends as the game itself doesn’t have enough gems to unlock all the komas and you earn them by winning games, so you have to be strategical in what and when you unlock characters. And even allow you to hotkey characters and supports. A just simple touch makes the game so much more accessible than ever before.
The games forte lies in its multiplayer action. With a whole host of characters and tones of levels that have different attributes (e.g. slippery ice, lava flows ect), there are endless possibilities to the attacks and combo’s that can be made. They have also added in WiFi functionality so you can play online with friends or random people and have the possibility of trading ‘decks’ with them. The game is addictive and it is a shame that the games counter only goes up to 99 hours, 59 mins and 59 seconds.
The only bad points that this game has is the language barrier. It is all in Kanji or Japanese so to speak. Even with that barrier, it is still easy to navigate menus and settings. However, because the missions are all varied and different, you have to play to find out what each one is, or you can download many guides which tell you what each mission is and explains what the menus do. Because of the language barrier, it renders some game inputs useless. There is a question and answer segment that can’t be used unless you can read Japanese.
Overall, this game is brilliant. It has tonnes of characters, loads of levels. Nice smooth interfaces and graphics and it will always, always keep you coming back for more. This game has been in my possession for several years and I am still not bored of it after completing everything.