BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma (PS3) Review
Posted by Gavin Napier on 04.08.2014
BlazBlue's latest entry into the 2-D fighting genre is available on PS3, but should you pick it up or pass? 411's Gavin Napier has the review!
Title: BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma Publisher: JP Arc System Works and NA Aksys Games Developer: JP Arc System Works Genre: 2D Fighting Players: 1-2 Rated: T for Teen
BlazBlue is a 2D fighting franchise with a decent history. They don't go as far back as Street Fighter, but nothing really does. The games are a spiritual successor to the Guilty Gear series, but not direct sequels. There's also a series of manga and novels that comprise the BlazBlue universe. The sheer volume of characters and character development may be a little intimidating if you're looking to just jump into the series. Unlike the last game I reviewed, Metal Gear Ground Zeroes, there's no handy primer for you. You're just going to have to do the research on your own.
The game itself offers a variety of modes that are composed of pretty much the same thing - 2D fighting. That's not a knock on the game at all. It's a fighter, after all. As a fighter, the control system can be as complicated or as simple as you like. There's the full blown control scheme, which isn't any more complex than the overwhelming majority of fighting games. There's also a "stylish" control system which reduces the special moves to single button presses. It's a nice way to intro to the game if you're unfamiliar with the genre.
The arcade mode is pretty straightforward, as you select a character and play through a series of fights with a few snippets of story thrown in to keep things from getting monotonous. The story mode is....a little different. I've never played a game that took the "story" part quite so seriously. To get to the first battle, there's about 25 minutes of text to fight through. Then, after that, you've got another ten minutes or so. Now, granted, the story isn't that bad. The fact that it's comprised of scrolling text and mostly static screens is a bit much to deal with.
The game is pretty, not beautiful. That's somewhat to be expected with the 2-D fighting genre. For the style the game is cast in, it looks great. It just doesn't hold up to games like the aforementioned Metal Heroes at this point in gaming history. Again, not a knock. It just is what it is.
The game excels in the sound department, though. The music sort of fades into the background, but the voices are nice and clear and the dialogue is delivered well. Often in these types of games, the delivery falls flat and the story becomes sort of a clunky weight that gets dragged along by the rest of the game. BlazBlue's voice acting makes a huge difference in how enjoyable the game is, though. Without the exceptional job done by the sound editing and voice acting departments, this game would just be so-so.
As is, it's a fun timekiller that's worth revisiting for smooth 2-D fighting gameplay and an engrossing story that can be tedious at times but is overall better than what you'll get in most fighting games.
Great for what they are, good for the current generation of gaming.
Plays nice and smooth, with varying control schemes for players of varying experience levels.
Sounds great in every aspect.
If you're a fan of the genre, there's plenty of reasons to revisit the game.
Would be higher if not for a very tedious story mode.