Project Justice (known in Japan as Moero! Justice Gakuen, which loosely translates to "Burn! Justice Academy") is a 3D fighting game developed and released by Capcom for arcades (running the Dreamcast-based Sega NAOMI hardware) in 2000.
The sequel to Rival Schools: United by Fate, Project Justice allows players to pick three characters for each team (instead of two), adding the second partner's team attack, the ability to counter a team attack, and a devastating new attack: the Party-Up special. It also adds an enhanced Story Mode with branching paths (sometimes changing the player's available characters).
Set a year after the events of Rival Schools, the story involves a new series of unprovoked attacks on school students (some of which is believed to have been done by series protagonist Batsu).
It was later ported to the Sega Dreamcast in late 2000 (December 17 in Japan) and 2001 (April 13 in Europe as Project Justice: Rival Schools 2, and May 16 in North America). While it doesn't have an abundance of mini-games, the School Life mode makes a reappearance in the Japanese version (this time as a "board game").
The majority of Project Justice's fighting system is taken from Rival Schools with a few additions. This game adds a third character to player teams but the game remains a one-on-one fighter. The player can still execute a Team Up attack as in the first game but this time, the two light attack buttons will perform the attack with the player's A Partner, and the two heavy attack buttons will perform the attack with the player's B Partner. With the addition of a third character, comes two new gameplay enhancements; the ability to cancel a Team Up attack, and the Party Up attack. If a player successfully lands a Team Up attack, their opponent can opt for the chance to cancel it by initiating their own Team Up attack. Once this happens, the opponent is given 4 seconds to hit the player that initiated the attack; if they manage to land a hit on the initiating player, the Team Up attack is canceled. However, if they fail to land a hit or they take damage themselves, the attack continues. The Party Up attack involves all three members of a team attacking their opponent. The move varies depending on what High School the character initiating the attack is from.
Also returning from Rival Schools is the Vigor meter which has been limited to a maximum level of 5 instead of 9 as in Rival Schools. Individual character Burning Vigor Attacks and Team Up cancels require 1 level of Vigor, Team Up techniques use 2 levels of Vigor, and Party Up techniques consume all 5 levels of Vigor. All of which use Vigor whether the attack is successfully landed or not.
Project Justice also includes the defensive techniques from Rival Schools; The Tardy Counter and Attack Cancels. Tardy Counters allow the play to immediately attack from the blocking position. Any hard attack, special move, or Burning Vigor technique can be used as a Tardy Counter. Attack Counters occur when two players attack each other at the same time. This cancels out both attacks but will not nullify the remaining hits of a multi-hit combo or move.
Mode descriptions as seen in the main menu.
- Arcade - Play the Arcade version here. Don't forget that other players can join in for versus battle!
- Versus - Play a head-to-head battle here. This mode requires controllers in ports A and B.
- Training Mode - Practice your combos and special moves here.
- League Battle - Play a round-robin tournament from two up to six teams. Number of wins will determine your rank!
- Tournament Battle - This is a top of the hill style competition among eight teams. The last surviving team wins!
- Option - Adjust various game settings like the Button Config., Difficulty, and Game Systems here.
- Memory Card - Save/Load a game data on a Memory Card here.
- Extra - View the cinema scenes of the Story Mode and/or listen to the game music here.
Project Justice's single player mode is has two separate modes of play; Story Mode and Free Mode.
- Story Mode has the player select characters by High School and has them play through the storyline with a limited amount of characters available. The player can choose anywhere from 2 to 6 characters for each fight but the game decides the available characters. The story is told before and after matches using 2D images and comic book like dialogue balloons. Certain schools have branching storylines that are effected by the players actions during a fight.
- Free Mode allows the player to select any three characters that have been unlocked to fight teams made of random characters until they reach the final boss. Once the final boss is defeated, the player is given stats of their performance and given a rank named after characters from the game.
All of the previous game (including the PS1 updates) make a return (with the exception of Sakura, Raizo, and the pre-made custom characters).
Along with a new School (the all-girl Seijyun High School), the game includes five new playable characters and five unlockable alternate variations (for a total of 29 playable characters, 20-22 of which are playable from the start depending on the version).
While the Japanese version of the Dreamcast version included a custom character mode (called School Life mode), the international versions scrapped it in favor of 16 pre-made unlockable custom characters:
- Alec (Taiyo)
- Barbara (Taiyo)
- George (Taiyo)
- Thelma (Taiyo)
- Mark (Gorin)
- Nancy (Gorin)
- Peter (Gorin)
- Claudia (Pacific)
- Eliza (Pacific)
- Frank (Pacific)
- David (Gedo)
- Tony (Gedo)
- Anna (Seijyun)
- Hilary (Seijyun)
- Grace (Justice)
- John (Justice)
It has been a year since Hyo Imawano had taken over Justice High School in an attempt to take over Japan. Life had returned to normal until a series of attacks on students of different High Schools in the region had occured. Witnesses claimed that the attacks were being perpertrated by Batsu Ichimonji. Students from the attacked schools set out to find Batsu and make him answer for his crimes.
Later it is discovered that Batsu was innocent and that the real culprit was Kurow Kirishima disguised as him (Vatsu). Batsu, Hinata, and Kyosuke confront Kurow and defeat him in battle. After the fight Kurow attempts to escape but is severely injured by Hyo Imawano. The Taiyo students encounter Hyo who becomes possessed by his father Mugen Imawano and is consumed by hatred and evil.
Before his possession fully takes hold of his mind, Hyo begs Kyosuke to end their father's influence on him in one final battle. In the Taiyo High School ending involving Burning Batsu, Hyo dies in Kyosuke's arms. Kurow is admitted to a near by hospital but later escapes and is unable to be found. Tormented by the loss of his brother, Kyosuke disappears into seclusion leaving Batsu and his fellow students behind.
The game features different endings for each of the different High Schools but all follow the same basic storyline.