BlazBlue is a series of one-on-one 2-D fighting games featuring beautiful hand-drawn sprites and backgrounds, a unique cast of characters, and one of the most complicated sci-fi back stories of any fighter I’ve ever played. And now you can enjoy the newest in the series on your PS3 (and soon to be released on Vita in a few months).
Like any other 2-D fighter, you punch and kick and blast your opponent with button combos and special moves. Whether you are playing alone, with friends locally, or online via PSN, there are plenty of game modes to keep you occupied.
In the Practice area, you can go through a lengthy tutorial mode that covers everything from the basics to more advanced moves. It’s perfect for anyone new to the fighting game genre. There is also a Training Mode where you can practice moves on your own. Or you can try Challenge Mode, where you can complete up to 500 tasks that require you to perform certain moves and master each character.
BlazBlue games have some really complicated and heady sci-fi backstories that are very anime-inspired, so naturally this one has a Story Mode, too. However, in the past, the story modes have you read a few lines of text, and then go into a fight. But in this one, I went through three chapters of nothing but talking for more than an hour and never saw a battle, so I don’t know if that’s changed or not. All the story stuff just goes over my head anyway. Luckily, if you get confused, the humorous Teach Me More, Miss Litchi mode is back. These are silly skits featuring the characters in cartoonish form and they fill you in on the backstory of all the BlazBlue games.
Most of the main single player modes are in the Battle Section. You have the standard Arcade Mode. And a Vs. Mode where you and a friend or the computer can do local one-on-one matches. In Abyss Mode, you venture deeper into dungeons, and fight an opponent on each floor. Spend your winnings to level up you character’s stats. In Score Attack, defeat opponents and try for the highest score. And finally, Unlimited Mars is like Arcade Mode, except with super-hard CPU opponents. Finally of course you have your online modes, a replay feature, a gallery where you can unlock artwork, and toggle things in Game Options.
Really the only problem I have with this game (besides the ridiculously complicated story) is that the game is pretty hard. Even when I set it on the easiest setting, and changed the fighting style so that single button presses do special moves (kind of like what they did with Marvel vs. Capcom 3), I still got my butt kicked. But then, I’m not the best at fighting games. Even so, I still know a good fighter when I play one, so if you enjoy these kinds of games, you’ll definitely want to check this one out, too.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Language, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, and Violence. It’s a fighting game, so of course it’s violent. But it’s also very cartoony in an anime sort of way, and I really didn’t see a whole lot of blood at all in the battles. Some of the characters curse, especially in the story mode. And like many other fighters, some of the female cast wear skimpy outfits and make off-color jokes and crude references. However, with adult supervision, I might be OK with some preteen kids playing this. But with the complicated storyline and difficulty, it’s probably best enjoyed by older gamers anyway.