BlazBlue: Continuum Shift

After some delay, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is finally heading to UK stores. For fans of the previous Arc System Works games the wait has been long and hard, but I’m not really sure this release is aimed at them. Granted, Continuum Shift features more new fighters and modes than the already beloved Calamity Trigger, but the real meat of the change is in the games’ newly found accessibility.

Calamity Trigger is a great game, loved and evangelised by fighting game aficionados around the world but it suffered from one major flaw: unless you were willing to spend a good deal of time reading guides and watching fan-made videos you would never even come close to understanding the complex system of game mechanics on offer. There was a DVD with a collectors edition that attempted to instruct you in the mystic ways of BlazBlue but it was far from ideal. This was a huge shame as Calamity Trigger was a beautiful and deep game that had a great deal to offer a dedicated player, the cost of entry, however, was just too high for most, including me.

So the big question; does Continuum Shift make up for the sins of its predecessor? Yes it does, in spades. In fact I’ve never seen such obvious commitment from a developer to make their game more accessible to a more mainstream audience as there is something for everyone included in the package.

For beginners there is the fully voice-acted tutorial mode that starts with the basics of standard attacks, leads you through special move inputs and through to the complexities of combos, attack cancels and mighty Astral Heat Finishes. If you just have some mates round for an after pub brawl you can have your lesser practised pals use the new Beginner Mode. This will have them throwing down combos and heat attacks with ease, but beware, this might give you more of a challenge than you expect when going up against them.

BlazBlue has a solid following of Anime fans and Arc have certainly taken this into account with the fully voice-acted story mode. In this mode, fights are interspersed with minimally animated cutscenes, the voice acting is top notch and very enjoyable but don’t expect to have any clue what is going on. A nice addition that had me frowning in confusion and laughing in equal measure.

For the hardcore, Continuum Shift offers more of what they loved from Calamity Trigger, tuned and augmented with new fighters and gameplay. If you loved Calamity Trigger then you will love this, it’s as simple as that.

On top of all these additions, Arc have continued in their tradition of make beautiful 2D sprite based fighting games, wonderfully animated sprites, fantastically detailed multi-layer background and tons of flashy and stylish special effects. Astral Heat finishes are a wonder to behold, but be sure you play the tutorial or you’ll never pull one off!







One response to “BlazBlue: Continuum Shift”

  1. Simon avatar

    What of Bang Shishigami?

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