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.W and publisher Bandai Namco GamesW on October 26, 2006.
This is the second game for the PS2 that is 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 a 3D beat'em up model. Like GioGio's Bizarre Adventure, the gameplay takes place in the form of hand-to-hand battle in a free-roaming arena where the characters can't leave. The game is divided into chapters, in which the playable characters change for each chapter as the story progress.
Next to the character's health there is 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 that 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 analog 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 succeed, a less powerful attack will still be delivered and inflict damage. Only Ripple users and Speedwagon (Hammer) are able to use the Overdrive technique.
Various poses from the series 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 the 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, they can either increase their stats (Defense, Attack or Speed) or recover their health by performing a different pose. Each combo prompts a different increase and pose.
The story mode follows the manga history, step-by-step. The game is heavily composed of cutscenes, with the same voice actors from the Phantom Blood anime movie faithfully re-creating the manga storyline through dialogue in static comic book cinematics and fully 3D rendered cutscenes for key events. The cutscenes take 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 don'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 a score of six categories: Time, Accuracy, Beat, Number of Blocks, Hits Taken and Enemies Killed. If the player wants to retry a chapter, they can do so without needing to go through Story Mode again. By selecting Chapter Mode on the main menu, the player can freely play any previously beaten chapter.
Museum provides access to Profiles, with descriptions of each one of the 32 characters that were met or defeated in the game, and Theatre, which allows the player to view all of the 80 cinematic cutscenes found in the story mode. Sections that need to be unlocked include:
- Extra Battle Mode: Play "Dream Matches" that are not from the original manga.
- 77 Rings Knight Mode: Based on the 77 Rings challenge, the player must battle 77 enemies in a row in this survivor-like mode
- Dio Mode: Play through the game from Dio's perspective. There are battles such as Dio facing the brats that bullied Jonathan and Erina in the beginning of Phantom Blood, 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 playable characters are all from the Phantom Blood manga, including several unnamed and minor characters. Depending on the mode, players can choose to play as alternate versions of Jonathan and Dio from different points in the story. Each character has their own varied moveset. However, there is not a single mode that allows you to freely select any character. The characters that can be played as are limited depending on the mode and selected battle.
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 immediately 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 an 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 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 Inspector's flashback and eventual death, and Father Styx's whole canon appearance.
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