JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 ファントムブラッド JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken Fantomu Buraddo?) is an action-adventure video game adaptation of Phantom Blood released for the PlayStation 2 by developer Anchor Inc. and publisher Namco Bandai Games on October 26, 2006.
This is the second game for the PS2, based on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. It was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the series.
Phantom Blood is an action game with 3D beat'em up model. Like Le Bizzarre Avventure di GioGio: Vento Aureo, the gameplay takes place in the form of hand-to-hand battle in a free-roaming arena where the character can't leave. The game is divided into chapters, in each one the player plays with one character who changes as the history progress.
Next to the character's health there's a bar called Heat Gauge, which fills up while damage is inflicted on enemies and lowers when the player takes damage. When the Heat Gauge is full, the words Heat MAX will flash inside of it, indicating the player is able to use an Overdrive move. When applying the move, the screen will change to a cinematic of the character performing his distinct attack in a multi-colored background while an empty bar will appear. Filling this bar by quickly circling the left analogic stick clockwise will prompt the character to do a barrage of attacks to the opponent while the player needs to tap the square button. If the player doesn't succed, a less powerful attack will still be delivered and inflict damage. Not all characters can use this technique, only Ripple users and Speedwagon (Hammer).
The famous "JoJo's poses" are used in the gameplay to increase the Stamina Meter. The Stamina Meter, divided into 3 levels, shows how much a Ripple-charged attack can be used. It's depleted each time Ripple is used by pressing the R1 button: the longer R1 is held, the stronger the Ripple move will be and more Stamina Meter will be depleted. To refill the Stamina Meter the player needs to perform a pose by holding the X button.
If the player uses the X button after a combo he can increase his Stats (Defense, Attack or Speed) or recover his health by performing a different pose. Each combo prompts a different increase and pose.
Play following the manga history, step-by-step. The game is heavily composed of cutscenes, with the same voice actors from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood (Movie) faithfully re-creating the manga storyline through dialogue in static comic book cinematics and fully 3D rendered cutscenes for key events. The cutscenes takes up to 70% of the expected time to finish the game.
It's possible to win fights that, in the original storyline, the main character lost. If the player wins against the bullies or Dio in the boxing match, the dialogue will be different. Losing these battles doesn't affect the gameplay in any way, prompting the player to normally continue Story Mode.
After a fight the game provides the player with a letter grade (S, A, B, C, D & E) based on the score of six categories: Time, Accuracy, Beat, Number of Blocks, Hits Taken and Enemies Killed. If the player wants to try again a chapter, he can play it without needing to go through Story Mode again, he just needs to enter the option Chapter to freely play any previously beaten chapter with any available character.
Museum gives you acess to the area Profiles, with descriptions of each one of the 32 character you have met or defeated in the game, and Theatre, which allows the player to see all the 80 cinemas found in the Story Mode. Sections that need to be unlocked include:
Extra Battle Mode: Play "Dream Matches" that are out of the JoJo original chapters.
77 Rings Knight Mode: Based on the 77 Rings challenge, the Player must battle 77 enemies in a row in this survivor-alike mode
- Dio Mode: Play through the game on Dio's perspective, such as Dio facing the thugs that beat Jonathan in the beginning of Phantom Blood Story, showing how they decided to follow Dio's orders in later events. Cutscenes are not present in this scenario and there are some differences to provide extra battles, like Doobie and Adams teaming up to defeat Dio.
The characters are the same characters that appears on the manga. Inside some modes you can play with special characters and alternate versions of the main characters. Each character you play has his own variation of moves, while some of them use weapons. It's not possible, however, to use all of them in all modes.
List of Playable Characters
- If the player manages to win battles that Jonathan originally lost in the manga, alternate cutscenes will take place:
- After the first battle in the game (Young Jonathan against the two boys bothering Erina), the boys will give up, but beat up Jonathan nonetheless after finding out he's from the Joestar Family. He will, then, help Erina get up.
- After the boxing battle against Dio, he will claim that Jonathan hit him with a rock during their fight, making everyone think Jonathan is a coward who can't fight fair.
- If the player uses an Overdrive attack in the battle against Bruford (Underwater) during Chapter 13, a cutscene featuring the end of the battle will immediatelly take place, ending the chapter earlier. This is the only cutscene in the game that can't be unlocked in the Theatre. The player can still win the battle without doing it, but will not get to see the cutscene.
- If the player manages to get RANK S in CHAPTER 22 while playing STORY MODE, a secret scenario will be unlocked. It's a alternate take on the final battle, where Dio decides to revive the three knights Winzaleo, Eijkman and Caineghis to get his revenge on Jonathan instead of relying on Wang Chan. This secret scenario can't be unlocked getting Rank S in Chapter 22 while playing Chapter Mode.
- Even though the game faithfully follows the manga's storyline, some events were still cut from the game. Between them are Danny's death; Dio hiding a knife from George Joestar I; The Police Inspector's flashback and eventual death and Styx's whole canon appearance.
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