With this classic game seeing a reissue, I felt it an appropriate time to dive into the history surrounding its release and reception.
The JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fighting game has a strange history among both the fighting game community and those interested in the manga. The game was released at an odd time, for a number of reasons. The original game, known as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, or JoJo's Venture in some parts of the world, was released between the two OVA's that adapt the same section of story the game focuses on. In 1998 the original OVA had already finished its release four years prior, and the remaining episodes would not be released until two years later. The game arrived in a dead zone between anime adaptations of a manga arc that had ended six years ago in 1996.
The decision to make a fighting game was also not the best timing, as anyone familiar with the fighting game community knows that in the late 1990's fighting games were dead in America. The arcade scene was gone, and a market saturated with titles and different iterations of the same title, meant that there was little market room to break into. The games themselves had become increasingly complex, with a high barrier of entry for the uninitiated. Capcom's Street Fighter III series remained largely unpopular in America for years after it's initial release, due to the new mechanics of the game, new roster of characters, and deviation from standard Street Fighter gameplay.
The same team that developed the Street Fighter III series also worked on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure; and one year after the release of the game, a new iteration was unveiled known as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure in the United States. Though developed by the same team, it plays very differently from Street Fighter III or any other Street Fighter Game. Its four button control scheme was more akin to SNK fighters, as was the jump/hop movement system, originally popularized in the King of Fighters series. This ugly duckling of a game did okay, but would never attain the same tournament presence or respect that many of its peers achieved.
The game lay largely forgotten for many years, a relic of an older generation of gaming. Fast forward to 2012 when JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is celebrating it's 25th Anniversary and a new game and anime have been announced. In the wake of these revelations, the re-release of this proverbial diamond in the rough is leaked through an unlikely source. While this is old hat to anyone who follows the popular gaming news pages, it does bring us fully into the present.
With its arrival having been dated August 21st for PSN and 22nd for XBLA, there is less than a month until this game releases. The online resources for this game are limited, but there are a few of note.
Stand Crash is the premier English language wiki for the fighting game and has some of the best information you can find. There isn't much high level play of this game, but regular uploads of footage from an arcade can be found on this YouTube channel. Finally, there is some footage of the HD release uploaded by Capcom, though the players don't know what they are doing.