This is no different then when Climax Heroes comes around every year. My coverage of that series has helped me to understand that when it comes to games such as these that there's a huge gap between those in it for the fan service versus those here for a competent fighter. The telling truth is that those 2 groups don't they meet in the middle quite that often and from the reaction that this game has gotten has proven that much to be true. Looking at what I've seen & heard is that I honestly think the reason for this is because that some were looking for something that the game because of its fan service focus couldn't deliver upon in the way that they wanted. It has to be remembered and understood that this game and others like it are created to be as faithful to their source material as possible first to please the fans with everything else falling into place around that and in cases such as these that the aim and focus does show when put under the microscope for dichotomy. It doesn't however take away from the aim of the product which in this case is to celebrate this milestone and deliver an interactive experience for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure in which it delivers in all the ways that a game like it should for fans of the franchise.
The only question that may need to be answered for non-fans is "With all the fan service this game provide is this a game that I can enjoy as well?" The answer is yes & no in the context of this game is fun and enjoyable for those with no previous knowledge of the series. However, you'll get a lot more out of your experience by having some familiarity with it. I do want to make sure to emphasize that this game isn't a substitute or a shortcut into the series and shouldn't be used as such. I suggest if you like what you see and want to know more then reading the manga or watching the recent anime that covered the 1st 2 parts of the series (Phantom Blood & Battle Tendency) serve that purpose a lot better than this game can alone. This isn't a fault of the game for the fact that this is a game created for the fans who are already familiar with the series first for the purpose of remembering & reenacting those moments and not necessarily for introducing those moments to the unfamiliar. The game however does a great job of telling those stories the best it can but a lot of the impact and plot is lost for someone new to the series because of how the story is told within the confines that the game has to work with.
Like I've said before and I'll do it again to drive the point home is that this game delivers for fans in ways that few games actually get a chance to do. It is deserving of all the praise that it has received (40/40 CLUB!!!) and notes need to be taken as to how games such as these should be done. CyberConnect2 has delivered once again as they continue to create quality titles for everyone to enjoy. There's a huge part of me after playing this game that knows it wants something Sailor Moon from CC2 since the anime is coming back. I know that if given the chance that they could deliver the goods on that front and others as well. NamcoBandai would do well in keeping this in mind.
I did my best here to not share too much of what this game does so well because it needs to be experienced. So many things to do and see for everyone, fan or not. I really hope even with the DLC coming that this isn't the last we see of All-Star Battle. Even with all it delivers is that there is so much promise for this series in the future. I would love nothing more for this game to become Dragon Ball or Naruto to the extent of how much those franchises have evolved over the years in the video game medium in telling those stories and even creating new ones too. As a fan I hope that the possibilities don't go to waste and we see even more. Also I hope non-fans as well get a good look and get hooked in to one of the coolest stories ever. Heritage for the Future is what sparked my love for this story, world and characters and I think All-Star Battle will do the same for others too.
This game is on my short list of Game of the Year and it earned its way on that list being what it is and not deviating from that. I know I'll be playing it for a long time to come and you can definitely expect some content from me once I'm able to explore the game a bit more intimately and really understand it at a high level.
I think now would be a good time to get your hands on this game seeing as there are plenty of ways of doing so. Wouldn't be the worst suggestion I've ever put out there.
-Triple Da G.O.D!