BADGP Reviews: Blazblue: Chronophantasma

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Released: March 25, 2014

Derek Buzan

For an anime watcher and a Guilty Gear lover, this game was just screaming my name. I heard that cry and responded accordingly. The next installment of Blazblue is the amazingly titled: Blazblue: Chronophantasma.

Story

You better strap your brain in tight, because this story is everywhere; so much so that there is a full virtual novel being released later this year exploring the Blazblue lore. To be fair, the game actually tries to make a good story for a fighter and that they put some good thought into it, however, it is way too out there for my taste. It is so complicated and long that I found myself skipping sections because I stopped caring for something I didn’t know about. They use a lot of proper nouns and jargon that you have to know or have to brush up on from previous games. They even have a completely separate thing within the game to help players like me to catch up!  I know they are trying really hard to make a good developed story, but writers should now when complicated is too complicated, you’ll lose audience members when it gets too crazy, and it is almost painful enough to sit and watch still pictures  with text boxes  tell me a story for 30+ hours.  At the end of the game I am not even sure if I even understand what has happened, that’s how confused I was!

The story is broken off into three different story arches. These story lines follow the Chronophantasma story, Sector Seven, and Six heroes.  Each story entwines with the other at a few points in the story, but they all come together at the end to finish off the game. It felt like Six Heroes and Sector Seven was created for more fan service, but they do end up creating something memorable for the player. If I had a gun to my head and was told to explain the story of this Blazblue game, it would have to be something like this,

**” there are bad guys wanting to destroy stuff and there are some good guys trying to stop them. One of the ‘supposedly’ bad looking guys actually has a heart and tries to help, but during the process gets the crap kicked out of him.  While on the other half of the story, a jail bait vampire girl is trying to reform the ‘supah squad’ that was created long ago to defeat a crazy villain in the past.  Bad guys are triumphing and they summon a huge dark demon; they take another bad guy and fuse them together creating super super bad dude.  Things get real and the good guy, that is perceived bad, goes into the belly of the beast kills the small bad dude to kill the super bad dude.  The good/bad guy then gets hit from an enemy and blows up on everyone. He then runs away and the vampire girl tells another character to kill the bad/good guy before he dies himself. For if he dies, then the darkness will still live on, Dun Dun DUUUNNN!”

**Sarcastic representation of the story, c’mon who doesn’t know Dante oops, I mean Ragna.

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Then the guy with the gun to my head would pull back the gun and just weep for me, because he too was trying to find clarity within this game and could completely relate to my utter confusion.

After playing around in story mode, what seemed like ages, I finally made my way through some of the game modes. There is a ton of those! There is enough gameplay here to sink your teeth into and still have room for 20 or 30 more bites. There is a wave mode, a time attack mode, a mode where you play against computer players that are in Overdrive mode, online versus, and more. For any hardcore fighter, this game is like a gym. They can work out their different play styles any way they want. I am quite impressed what this game has to offer in this section.

Gameplay

So who really cares about a story in a fighting game? A fighting game isn’t a fighting game if it doesn’t have good fighting mechanics. This game had a lot of things added to it from the last Blazblue game, such as Overdrives and Crush Triggers.  I still don’t understand what they do and I am probably correct in assuming that a lot of other gamers will never know. The Overdrive is cool because you stop the timer for the match and get some new move sets to perform. Being in Overdrive mode makes you hit a little bit harder also. The games also ditched some previous mechanics such as the Gold-break Bursts and Guard Primers.  Nearly everything stayed the same and some characters got there moves changed up a bit to make it more balanced. This game is way more fluid than I remember it. I can make some cool follow up combos that other people don’t do and it is pretty satisfying to be good with a character in this game. To be good with a character a player has a very steep learning curve to master. Each character plays completely different to other characters and they all have different moves when going into their Overdrive states.  There are 24 playable characters in this game and two more can be added via DLC. That is a lot of practicing and a heck of a lot of characters to master!

Graphics

This game looks amazing! With the newly drawn sprites and gorgeous colors, this game is sure to turn uptight graphic Nazis’ heads. Each character looks great and super fluid when you are battling.  There is also art in the story that looks super impressive and really colorful. It is almost worth just going through the story to unlock some of the art pieces; I just wish I could save them as my PlayStation Wallpaper. In this game they also added small animated clips of some fights and scenes. I don’t know about you, but when I see that kind of stuff in a fighting game I get a little depressed. Don’t just show me a small 10 second scene and then go back to the cut out pictures of the characters just standing there. It’s like getting a game but never able to play it. You want to see more of the awesome stuff, but all you get is some pictures on the back of the box to look at.

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Music

The music sounds the same and you can still hear the influence it takes from Japanese Metal. The game has a couple new songs in it, but there are some old songs that got changed up. I love Arc System Works music they put into their fighter games and this is no different! This was one of the biggest reasons I bought the collector’s edition of Blazblue: Chronophantasm.

Positive

This game is a blast to play. I love the visuals and the music in this game. There is so much gameplay here that you could spend months mastering characters and there would still be a handful of things that you still need to work on. I am also impressed how much this game brings to the table and how unique some of the modes are. The online versus matches show little to no lag at all, and there is a huge roster of characters to choose from.

Negative

The story is super long and way too complicated for its own good. If they simplified it and maybe made it more understandable for new audiences I think this game could do a lot better. The steep learning curve will shun away some new gamers, but they do try to balance that out with different modes. I hoped for some more animated scenes after seeing a few but they didn’t come that often.

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Conclusion

Blazblue: Chronophantasma is a must buy for any fan of the series. Even if you like 2-D fighters and never played a Blazblue game go try this game out. You won’t be disappointed. This game isn’t for everyone and the story can easily be looked past if you are going for just a fighting game. This is one of the best fighting games around and it pushes bar for the game’s genre. This is a game that I fight for and I hope you get a chance to see this game or one of the other many installments from this series played at least once in your life.

Score:

8.2 out of 10

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