Sunday, April 24, 2016

First Impressions: BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend

Hello and Welcome to The Basement... 

Taokaka is stealing the spotlight!
This is First Impressions, my 'review' series of video games that I do every so often... this time out, it's regarding  BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend, the third PC port (via Steam) of the hit 2D Fighter series. The first game in the series, (Calamity Trigger) was released in arcades way back in 2008... though I think that was only in Japan, cause good luck finding an arcade in the United States these days! If you want to see game-play footage from a live stream I did is at the bottom of this post!

Taokaka... is quite odd in victory...
Considering this is a fighting game, obviously the first thing to talk about is the controls and responsiveness... and while I've dabbled with fighting games from time to time, there are some universal concepts and commands that comes with these games: up to jump, down to duck, double forward to dash, and various buttons for punches and kicks.. Still I was going into this game blind, having last played the previous BlazBlue title (Continuum Shift Extend) in February of last year, so my skills were rather rusty. Thankfully, my best character was still on the roaster (That being Taokaka) and I managed to blunder my way through several battles in Arcade mode on the games default settings, which is more of a testament to the games controls being very responsive, and with 'practice' one could easily manhandle the game on it's default settings.
Got 'em in the corner!

So onto how does the game looks... well it looks gorgeous. As a 2D fighter, the amount of detail a game has in the background is plus without it being a distraction. The characters themselves are all rather colorful, if some of the human female characters look rather impractical with attire and proportions. But that's pretty standard with fighting games, and also one of the best things about them. Anyway as you can see, everything is laid out in a traditional format, with the Health Bars at the top and the 'power meters' down at the bottom of the screen.
Game has a rather large roster!

Onto the sound, and one of the great things about the BlazBlue series is the voice acting is very decent (if at times a bit repetitive, but I'm one to talk), the sound effects are solid with the impact they deliver. Then there is the music, which like a lot of songs for Anime adventure series, have a way of sounding epic and grand while not distracting the player. It blends in perfectly to the background, you know its there, you hear it, but it isn't drawing your attention away from the task at hand, which is playing the game and hoping for a win.
Carl's back... and as Harry Potter'y as ever

The game has a roster of 28 characters, so there is a lot of replay value for wanting to go through the story and arcade modes to see and unlock everything. Old favorites like Carl Clover, Noel Vermillion,and Bang Shishigami are back, plus new comers like Bullet, Azarel and Amane Nishiki help bring new challenges.

There is a score attack, online play and other secondary features that help keep this game at the forefront of 2D fighters on the PC until the next BlazBlue port comes around in a couple of years for Central Fiction

My recommendation: For $29.99 the price is pretty reasonable, because you are getting the complete game with all the DLC at once shot. So the value is there if you're looking for a 2D-Fighter from a 'franchise' for your PC collection.

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