The Nintendo DS became a beacon for avid Japanese comic fans everywhere when it announced its team up with Shonen Jump. The fruits of this partnership is a game called Jump Super Stars, a manic fighting game that features an orgy of manga stars, from different books in the Shonen Jump series.
Widely touted as the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo DS, fans of Naruto, Dragonball Z and One Piece among others will love playing as their favourite characters, but will love beating those they hate into submission a hundred times over! Much like Nintendo's own all-star mash-up, players can leap around large multi-tiered stages exploring a variety of moves using the jump, light and heavy attack buttons.
Signature moves can be executed by filling up a meter below your health bar, to perform some crazy stunts that can turn the tide in battle. Son Goku, for instance, has his massive Kamehameha blast, while Luffy performs gross GBH with a flurry of fists. The stages are from various locations in the different Shonen Jump universes, and are large enough to run around in whilst jumping under platforms and avoiding large attacks. This comes in handy in a heated four player battle, either against the computer or with three of your mates using wireless multiplayer.
The unique twist in Jump Super Stars is within the touchscreen panel. The bottom screen hosts a grid in which players can slot various 'Koma' cards according to their battle strategy. Each card has a character on them, and can either be a 'support', 'battle' or 'help' type, with different types performing various actions – from simply giving you a speed boost to having a second character beating your foes alongside you for a few seconds.
Like most quirky Japanese games, Jump Super Stars is unlikely to see a Western release. However, while most of these DS games are being released – albeit with huge delays – in Blighty (such as Electroplankton) the fact that so many different Western companies own the international copyrights to the different mangas and animes featured means that Jump Super Stars is almost certain to be a Japan-only release. If manga fused with Smash Bros. style fighting is your bag, you would do no harm importing this title post haste.