Posted by: Leek | October 13, 2013

Memetaa TV Episode 2: Jojo: ASB – What is the Style System?

I was on a really good work boom yesterday and sat down to record another tutorial. This is the start of my beginner or new to Jojo:ASB tutorial series. I thought I would begin in breaking down the system but I figured the “Style System” would be a good place to start for some. This way you can start looking at what characters might fit your playstyle more and seeing what other characters have that you don’t. If you don’t want to watch I gave a brief summary of what I talk about below.

Also from here on out I plan to find ways to break tutorials into parts so they won’t be over 20 minutes if I can help it. It’s merely because that way I can keep the quality a bit higher and the encode time won’t take 3 hours. It also makes editing a lot easier. So hopefully from here on out I can offer you a higher quality product than these last two have been.

What are “Styles” in ASB?
Styles are the game’s way of separating the various combatants into classes. The style your character uses not only influences how you’ll use the Style button on your controller but also how you’ll have to think while fighting your opponents. So you should look into what your favorite character’s style is if you’re already set on someone or possibly sample them all to see if maybe one isn’t for you. Regardless, knowing all the ins and outs of the various styles will be vital in understanding what your opponents are capable of. So try and see what each one is about and potentially find one that appeals to your fighting style.

Hamon Users
The first and most basic style on the list is Hamon users. Now Hamon users are easily to be considered the beginner characters of the game because they’re not complicated in any sense. For a starting advantage you have over your opponents, you do have a minor speed advantage as well as power advantage over other characters. Even if long combos will equal out in the end, you can get decent damage without spending as much Heat Gauge. Your Style Button is essential as just pressing and holding it allows your characters to charge up your Heat Gauge. While it isn’t exactly a quick charge, every little bit will help.

Outside of gauge charging Hamon users have a mechanic similar to EX moves in other games. By executing one of your command moves (Jonathon’s quarter circle forward + ATK for example) with the Style button instead, you may notice Jonathon will glow a certain blue and you will lose a bit of Heat Gauge (30% of a bar or so). However, the projectile that comes out will now cause your opponent to get launched into the air when it hits them. These EX moves are vital to Hamon users as it not only powers up certain attacks and leads to bigger combos but some can give you invincibility frames and other great properties. And since they cost so little, you can see why charging gauge every so often can make you a big threat to opponents.

Outside of this. These Hamon charged attacks will cause extra damage to Dio, DIO, Cars, Wham, AC/DC (probably Vanilla Ice once he’s out). It is not a huge difference however and don’t think that picking a Hamon character is automatically a counter pick to these characters. Or don’t worry if you play any of those characters that Hamon characters will do tremendous extra damage to you. While it may hurt in long combos, it’s generally such a small amount that you can get past it with ease. Overall, Hamon characters are very easy to pick up and play. So if you don’t care about long, stylish combos and would rather just focus on spacing and fundamentals, Hamon Users are probably for you.

Vampire
The Vampire class is the exclusive class to the one and only Dio Brando (aka Phantom Blood Dio). Considered one of the strongest styles among various players, Vampire is a great pick for players that like to rely on momentum and find ways to turn match momentum in their favor.

By just pressing it, you’ll notice the Style button for Vampires doesn’t do anything. However, after various moves and combos hit, Dio has the option to end certain moves by hitting his Style button. After doing this he will grab his opponent and proceed to steal life from them. You can steal large amounts by mashing on your attack buttons to total up to a fairly decent amount. And that’s not all. If you perform quarter circle forward + Style button instead, you have the option to steal the gauge of your opponent in place of health. While you won’t cause any damage to their lifebar, you steal a healthy amount of gauge and can quickly amass bars from two gauge steal combos alone. This is a huge threat to gauge hungry characters and means you can happily go about your way by using cancels and hard hitting combos to keep the match momentum on your side.

All in all the only real downside to Vampire is the extra damage from Hamon boosted attacks and the fact you suffer from a lack of a incredibly diverse moveset. Your game plan is fairly simple and anybody who has fought Dio before will probably know what combos you’re aiming for. But if you can get around your simplicity, then there’s no doubt you’ll become an unstoppable force once you can gain advantage over your opponents. Again, if you like momentum shifts and raw rushdown characters then the Vampire Style is calling.

Mode
Mode characters are the one of the trickier characters in the game but people who know how are great with meter management will get a lot out of their special abilities. Mode characters seem simple from the get go but have access to special abilities at the cost of gauge that can quickly force opponents to bend to their will. It takes a bit of planning to use their skills correctly, but Mode characters can be a huge threat to unsuspecting opponents.

The idea of Mode characters is to utilize their Style button to activate their mode. Upon activation you’ll see that their gauge slowly drains until you run out. This can be deactivated at any time by pressing the style button again at which point you will return to normal. While you can’t gain gauge during your mode, you get access to certain move properties and buffs that you wouldn’t have otherwise. So careful use of your Mode at the correct times can quickly swing a match in your favor or edge you out a victory in a pinch. However, if you don’t pay attention and your gauge runs out while you’re in Mode activation you do get a longer cooldown animation (rather than if you had deactivated yourself) that will leave you wide open to the attacks of your opponent.

But activating Mode isn’t the only thing. By doing a command (I believe it varies by character) you can activate a further powered up mode while you have it activated. At this point you get even more buffs (for example AC/DC can cause white life damage by just being near his opponents) and the activation of your super mode can also be used as a cancel in combos. This is a big gamble tactic however because even if you receive a large amount of power-ups from activating this super mode, you will be forced to wait until it deactivates. So once your bar runs out after activating it you will get the same cooldown animation that happens when you allow your gauge to run out when activating your standard mode. This means if you aren’t careful with when it happens to time out then activating it may lead to more damage to you than you managed to deal to opponent by activating it.

Again, Mode characters include the Pillar Men (Cars, Wham, AC/DC) so all do take extra damage from Hamon. But just remember that it’s not a huge difference and AC/DC and Wham are considered among the stronger members of the cast. So if you do like pure power and have the wit to use gauge carefully then the Mode characters are a great choice.

Stand Users
Stand Users make up the bulk of the cast and are easily the most complicated mechanic wise. But if there’s one thing everybody knows about the Jojo franchise it is easily Stands. If you like the idea of long and stylish combos or just the ability to space out your opponent with superior range then you might want to look into a Stand user. But from the get go let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages.

Now the Style button for Stand user allows you to activate your Stand. At this point for the majority of Stand users you will now call your Stand to your side and it will hover next to you. Your moveset will change slightly when your stand is present. Since your Stand attacks for you, this means that your range increases at the cost of your hitbox coming to include your stand. If you happen to have moves that send your Stand out, remember that your Stand does have a hurtbox and anything that hits them will cause your character to go into hitstun. The same idea goes for throws. While your throw range might increase, your opponent (just the same) is allowed to throw you via your Stand. For certain characters calling Stand may mean a change in jump arcs and many do lose certain movement speed. Because of your Stand attacking, it means crossups are generally impossible as well via jump attacks. So just remember that having your Stand on doesn’t put you at a total advantage over your opponent.

Remember also that activating your Stand isn’t completely safe and you can get hit in the process. So don’t just activate it right in front of your opponent. It will also leave your side if you suffer from a hard knockdown. So if you get thrown, swept, or even just forget to tech roll a soft knockdown you will have to call your Stand once more.

QSO (Quick Stand On) – QSO is one of the newest mechanics that Stand users have access to. Say your are performing any normal moves (Weak, Medium, Strong) you can hit your Style Button and you’ll see your character flash white. This is QSO. By cancelling normals you are allowed to immediately call your stand to your side for the cost of one bar. While it seems costly it can function similar to a cancel to make some of your strings safe and potentially put you at the advantage to continue your pressure. For other characters it can be used in combos and allows you to get even longer combos without necessarily using a standard cancel. Since it is a new mechanic it’s been fairly under explored but may become something vital to Stand users in the future.

SR (Stand Rush) – SRs are the big combo and interesting mechanic Stand users have to get the upper advantage on opponents. During various special moves with Stand On, you can hit your Style button and you’ll see your character flash white. At this point you’ll realize your Stand will continue to perform a move while your character is allowed to move freely. SRs not only allow you to do your more stylish combos but also allow you to setup various attack patterns that your opponent has to figure out how to block. What’s the downside? Your stand has to commit the move to it’s finish and return to you before you can use any attacks with it. For many characters this means you can’t use your Heavy attacks as many utilize your stand. It also means that you cannot throw your opponent until the Stand Rush has ended. However if you perform a standard cancel at any time while a SR is going on your Stand will return to you. It does take a bit of practice to learn how to use SRs effectively but it’s no doubt the essential mechanic to learn if you want to use your Stand effectively.

As you can see, Stand users do have a bit more mechanics to sink into than the other cast members. But with that comes it’s advantages and disadvantages that you must be aware of. But they are fun, if not consuming to learn but have a high payout via long, damaging combos and various unblockable setups that an opponent must learn how to avoid. If you’re in learning a character for the long run then a Stand User is a good choice.

Horseback
Horseback characters are almost equivalent of giant characters in other games and rely on power and range to get the better of opponents. While you put yourself at risk with a bigger hurtbox, you get a list of benefits that allow you to force opponents to either deal with it or knock you off your horse. If you want to play a horseback character you not only have to learn what to do while you’re on your horse but what to do when you’re knocked off. It may feel like much since you effectively have to learn two characters, the payoff is huge and your can easily frustrate opponents if you can find a perfect balance between the two sides.

Horseback characters use their Style button to either mount or dismount their horse. Simple enough, right? The important thing to remember is that you’ll always start the round on horseback and you have enough time before the round call that you can dismount and remount if you want. If you choose to remount during a match, however, here is the key things to remember. Until you actually step on your horse, you are completely vulnerable attacks. Any attacks that hit will automatically knock you airborne and you’ll fail to mount properly. So choose your mount time properly or you’ll continue to eat damage from your opponent and suffer continual downs. But if you happen to set foot on your horse before an opponent can attack you do get super armor until you’re able to control your character again. So once you hit that point of your animation, you don’t have to worry as much about your opponent’s attacks.

While you’re on your horse, it has properties much like a Stand. You suffer from a much larger hitbox for one but you get an enormous boost to your range as well as a general boost in movement speed. The biggest perk of being on your horse is that you are no longer vulnerable to regular throws. It is important to remember that even if this is true that you cannot throw in this state as well and any command throws will still grab you. As for how you might get knocked off your horse, any moves that generally have fixed animations and effectively lock your character will force you off your horse. There does appear to be a general damage point that you must take via normal attacks and after that you will generally be thrown off your horse will retreat (the exact amount I’m unaware of).

The important thing for horseback users to remember is how to make sure you can safely mount when you wish to. If you can manage that then you’ll become a powerhouse on your horse and your opponent generally has to find a good way to force you off. But if you are savvy enough to control your dismounted character properly then your opponent must adapt to the situation and you can avoid having to deal with throw happy opponents.

Conclusion
That about wraps up all there is to say about Styles. It’s an important key to remember when choosing characters and I believe there are certain Styles that will always fit certain players better. But when you pick up the game feel free to experiment and find what really calls to you. But I figured it would be nice to give the basic idea of how each type plays like before I do any in-depth character explanations.

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