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BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Review
Review Score:
Who needs 3D? Seriously! I’ve always been the person whom thought that transition from 2D to 3D came all too fast and that 2D on modern hardware was never really fully utilised. This rule of thumb applies to 2D fighters a genre that never really needed to go 3D in the first place. Sticking with their guns are Arc System Works whom have unleashed a belter of a fighter that has pulverised the sales charts in both the USA and Japan. Using the high resolution power of the 360 and PS3, BlazBlue is today’s benchmark 2D fighting game, a game that should be put up on a pedal stall of greatness. Now before I go off and give this game all the praise it deserves, I suppose justification is needed with a smattering of what you can expect in this game. Whilst we have got on the tail end of this games release (released back in April 2010 in Europe) it is a game that has been on our radar much like an American jet fighter looking to bomb its nearest Iraqi market.

Character selection screen

BlazBlue is perhaps one of the most interesting sounding fighting games of modern times with its cool typography and sounding resonance that could be passed off as the noughties Trojan condom. In terms of choice you’ll get to battle with 12 characters and whilst that maybe on the small side compared to other fighters on the market, their move sets are simply astounding in both varied attacks and ‘Distortion Drive’ moves. Distortion Drive is simply a characters finisher and you’ll find every character has a unique one to offer. Combat in BlazBlue is incredibly intense with combos rolling off the proverbial tongue and dash attacks melding into the peripheral vision with eye catching flashes and visual glare. All 12 characters are meticulously hand drawn and the majority of them are particularly interesting. Our favourite characters are Arakune (A ghost like skeleton), Taokaka (a female, cat hybrid), Litchi Faye Ling (whom looks like a dead ringer for the lead character in Bayonetta) to name just a few. Each character will either have a weapon of a skill based manoeuvre to make them unique in their own individual way, so no character feels remotely the same.

One of the biggest drawing points to BlazBlue is the fact that it’s easily accessible but difficult to master. So many fighters either spike the difficulty curve too early or are generally too easy throughout the offline game modes, but we feel that BlazBlue really is a perfect balance. That will be music to the ears of fighting newbies and audible to ardent fighting pros. Where the game isn’t meticulously difficult from the off means that you’ll be able to start enjoying some of the fantastic combo opportunities early on and by spending time the practice arena you’ll only reward yourself more the further you play the game. If you like your challenge online you will be able to save your replays, but I must stress get some practice in first, otherwise you will get owned. Also, look out for those that spam V-13’s long range attacks, it can get particularly annoying trying to get close enough to cause damage. Strategise correctly and you will be able to beat them fools that spam particular buttons.

Round 2, Fight!

To beef up the content BlazBlue features a story mode for each of the characters, the stories are your usual “what the hell is going on?” affair and for many it will be a game mode passed up as it offers no real benefit to the player, unless of course you are a sucker for fighting games trying to build a plotline to all of it. It’s not the worst story mode, the static cut scenes and story layering is bearable but without any full range anime sequences it leaves the mode lacking in endearment. We tried to stick out the story mode but we just couldn’t handle it, wanting to skip the text to get to the next battle. Online as previously mentioned before, is your standard head to head mode with a leader board system, basic but runs with no lag or connection issues. Nice.

Also in BlazBlue is a score attack mode where you can attempt to beat your CPU opponents by putting together the best combos and racking up the highest score. It’s quite addictive once you’ve learnt the move set and the counter-attacks. Obviously the best way to enjoy BlazBlue is by playing local multiplayer, there is nothing better than laying the smack down on your opponents when they are next to you. If there is a criticism with the game, we’d have to say that the glossary of moves automatically assigned to a fighting stick colour makes it a needless exercise mapping out which button corresponds to your Xbox 360 or PS3 controller, needless to say an annoying oversight. What BlazBlue does best is in its presentation and its imagination, characters have dazzling moves, the screen will light up with flashes of colour and the arenas try not to take too much of the limelight, leaving the 2D sprites to speak for themselves on your TV set.

BlazBlue really is a fantastic game and its accessibility plays a major part of that. It’s a testament to any game developer that 3D isn’t always best and that 2D can be further explored. The polished HD visuals are to the delight of eye-candy lovers and the game has enough depth to satisfy the hardcore, in essence then, this is a top quality game. Essential purchase!

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BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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