Blazblue: Calamity Trigger Review

Gaming

Overview:

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger is one of the newest games developed by Arc Games and produced by Aksys Games. You may remember Arc Games for their well known series of games Guilty Gear.  If you don’t know anything about Guilty Gear games, I would highly recommend them if you like fighting games in any format. Also if you have played Guilty Gear, then you should know roughly what to expect from Arc Games; but Blazblue: Calamity Trigger definitely excels in areas that Guilty Gear lacked.

With fast paced action unlike any you will see in most modern fighting games to date, you will be blown away by the amount of action happening on the screen including the assortment of characters you will have to deliver the pain.

Story:

When most fighting games have a story, it is usually an individual character’s story with barely any crossing over of story lines.  Or if there is an actual storyline matter which crosses with another character, it is not formed into the other character’s story.  That is far from actuality in Blazblue however. In story mode you will have the option to choose from any of the ten starter characters, with two that will be unlocked as you go along. Each characters storyline consists of a fully fleshed out dialogue sequence and choices which will lead you along different paths in the story.  Each character will have at least three different endings and the fact that sometimes you may have to purposely lose a battle just to advance a certain path? It’s priceless.

Bear in mind that all the characters have full voice acting to back any written text in the game.  Although some of the storyline will include Japanese hints and sometimes may be hard to understand for people who don’t know much about Japanese culture, nearly everything has been translated over to English audiences well.

Then there is the arcade mode, but there is very little storyline there as the characters will fight through with little bits of dialogue if they know each other from story mode.  This is a special bit that never was necessary and could simply have been a default phrase programmed in. But the extra bit of effort really shines in setting each character in their own world. There is a special ending though for each character which will provide another bit of an ending that will help flesh out each character’s storyline.

Graphics:

If there is anything that could be said about Blazblue: Calamity Trigger, it is that the graphics are top of the line.  Everything is of course done in Anime style, from the characters to the stages you will be playing on they are all unique.  With the bright colors and the amount of actions going on, the drawn character animations are fluid and clean, never suffering from a graphical glitch.

As I said before each character is unique in their own way. Whether it be through fighting or through appearance alone no one character is alike.  There are your standard stereotypical Japanese fighters. Ragna the Bloodedge has large spiky hair which would do Goku proud, and Iron Tager is the standard wall of muscle. Though they may seem a bit stereotypical the rest of the fighters do not and the colorful array of fighters will never leave you bored.

The stages are amazing to look at, but they are just that. There is no interaction between the characters and the environment but this isn’t necessary and if anything would only serve to take away from the designs. Some character’s even have specific fields of battle. Such as Rachel Alucard’s field of roses outside her mansion to the Librarium Cathedral the backgrounds are filled with details that you will notice as you battle through them.

There is a negative though when it come to all the amazing graphics.  That is when the during the midst of battle and both characters are unleashing powerful moves it tends to cause the screen to become extremely hectic with motion.  One thing I can say is that the game is possibly too stylized. During the heaviest of fighting you can occasionally lose track of your character. This is especially true online where you may fight someone using the same character as you with only a palette change.

Gameplay:

As you start to battle you will notice one thing, that the game has your standard fighting modes. There are strong, weak, and medium attacks which vary from character to character. However one unique addition raises the bar on hectic fighting. There is also the Drive Attack which initiates each characters special attacks that are unique to them alone.  Each drive attack can be performed with one press of the button, though they can be combined for more powerful combinations.

Then again though, with the customizable controls you can set stronger combinations towards the right joystick.  There are only a few combinations which can be assigned and though no one is overpowered it does make it so you will be able to pull off impressive attacks even if you are new to the game.

The best comparison between unique fighters is Carl Clover and Taokaka. Clover has low attack, low defense and mediocre attacks. However, his drive button activates his automaton Nirvana. As long as you use the Drive button you have complete control of Nirvana and can use her to both attack enemies and defend from them.  Taokaka on the other hand uses a fairly typical fast attack scheme, but her drive attack will send her very quickly across the screen in a chosen direction. This dive can be used in a combo or canceled early to confuse your opponent. This is the largest contrast between two fighters; this means that if you have a specific fighting style then chances are, you will find a fighter to match your exact needs.

Another part of the fighting that deserves mentioning is the Heat Gauge.  As you fight, the Heat Gauge fills up by doing damage and receiving damage. Special Attacks known as Distortion Drives can be used as the Heat Gauge fills up and these graphically impressive moves devastate the opponents health gauge. This is all well and good until the heat gauge reaches its maximum. For when the enemy’s health drops below 20% you may use what is known as an Astral Heat. This move will end the fight instantly if it connects in a very elaborate fashion that is something akin to a Fatality.

Overall:

If you love fighting games, especially fast paced ones then Blazblue: Calamity Trigger is the one for you.  It is extremely well designed and each character fights in a way that never gets old.  Though if you are not one for Anime styled graphics then this could be a problem for you as the majority of the game appears in an Anime style.

I give Blazblue: Calamity Trigger:

8-0-capsules-out-of-10


As a big fan of anime and games I'll be quick to cover anything that happens to be of interest.

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