Anime style fighting.
Before starting this review I have to make it clear that I am not a huge fan of fighting games. The ones that I have played and enjoyed over the years have been the more realistic looking and playing titles, the last of which was Virtua Fighter 5. So, going into this review, BlazBlue Calamity Trigger, from Zen United,Â had to be something special to impress and the game does not disappoint.
Although this is your basic one on one fighting game, it does feature quite a fun background story which revolves around a main protagonist, Ragna The Bloodedge, whom all the other character are related to one way or the other. This leads them all to a series of battles unfolding the story from their own point of view. The story is told using the same anime style that resembles the actual gameplay, which helps blend the whole game seamlessly together using a series of cut scenes with both voice acting and text dialogue.
The voice acting in general is perfect for each of the characters. The dialogue however, can get a little silly at times. It does itâ€™s job in progressing the tale, but also leads off on silly little issues which, although seemingly random, actually help build the back story for the characters, which is always nice rather than choose your fighter and then go.
The game is very much in the old school 2D style. But this shouldnâ€™t put you off as, running on the PS3, it looks absolutely stunning. The characters look amazing, as do the backgrounds, when you actually take time from the fighting to look at and appreciate them. Fans of anime will love the visuals of the game from start to finish, with itâ€™s good looks and rounded characters.
The animation of the fights themselves are hard to explain without referring to the classic Street Fighter series. The animations are not exactly what you would call fluid realistic movements, but rather than being a bad thing, it fitâ€™s the style of BlazBlue perfectly. As does the music throughout, which is just as fast paced as the fighting in the game itself. The controls are both simple and yet deep, meaning that anyone can pick up the controller, figure out a few simple moves and do relatively well in the game. But dedicated players looking for a little more depth neednâ€™t worry because, although you can get away with it and even progress a fair bit into the game, this is far from a button bashing affair. Controls are limited to the four face buttons and the D-Pad or analogue stick. The face buttons represent three increasing strengths of attack, A,B and C and, as mentioned above, the game can be played just by using these three basic attacks. But when combined with D for drive attacks, ideal for inflicting huge damage, and the D-pad or stick,Â the player can learn some pretty impressive moves. Although I did find myself doing what I do with most fighting games. I learn two or three good moves and use them to the best of my ability. But, given more time, you can learn much more complex moves and combos. This makes the game pretty accessible to gamers of all skill levels.
Not only does BlazBlue have the expected single player mode, but also a rather fun online mode. This mode does not only match you up with another player and have you fighting, players have the ability to create rooms and invite friends or leave them open for others to join. With up to six players in a room, the fights are still one on one bouts, with the other players becoming spectators until it is their turn to fight. Although I did not get too deeply involved in this side of the game, mostly because the few matches I did play I had my ass handed to me, the players I met were all nice people. One guy even gave me some hints and tips while waiting for fights.
And so the question remains, is BlazBlue a good game and has it changed my view of fighting games? There is no doubting that this is a very enjoyable game, definitely one of the most fun fighting games I have played. The fact that you are not forced to memorize complicated button presses for all the moves is a big plus. This means the more you put into the game, the more you will get out of it and, If I can say that as a non fighting game fan, then any fan of this genre will more than likely find in BlazBlue an excellently put together game with plenty to offer. Although it has not converted me to a huge fan of the genre, it is definitely a game that I will play again and, for that reason alone, any fighting game fan will certainly find a title well worth playing here.