Blazin’ into Blazblue


Getting my 2D hat back on with the spiritual successor to Guilty Gear.

I love 2D fighters- even though I’m obsessing with Tekken 6 and Virtua Fighter 5R, my all-time favorites include Streetfighter III Third Strike. 2D sprites, done excellently, have an appeal that just rocks. I recognize that Guilty Gear was a pretty slick fighter, but I just didn’t like it. I didn’t particularly like the over-designed anime look, the flashy super attacks and Darkstalker-ish roster of odd cosplay fodder. However, what can you do? I really need a new fighter to keep my attention right now (I can’t be doing the Tekken 6 manga all the time, after all), and Blazblue seems to be it. I don’t think I’ll be getting that new KOF title (No Mai, No Buy) so I guess Arc Systems’ latest baby is going to occupy my PS3 drive for a while in the next few months.

Anyway, last night I got to playing. I got the Limited Edition version, which is nicely priced as the regular game- you get quite a bit more in the nice boxed set- a 2 disc OST and a Blu-ray extras disc. Haven’t gotten into those yet. I’ll probably post about them over the weekend. Even though one of the main reasons I got interested in BB was the in-depth Story Mode, for now I just went into Arcade Mode and started it up with the game’s poster bad boy, Ragna the Bloodedge.

Ragna’s apparently some sort of super bad guy in this fantasy world, where the law is a body known as the Librarium, which keeps the ‘peace’ through their use of magic. But Ragna doesn’t seem to be a villain at all- he just wants to be left alone, but is bad-ass enough to never back down from a fight when the odd bounty hunter or homicidal weirdo lays down a challenge. Gameplay is, as usual, enacted with special moves as well as ‘normal’ strikes, with a simple four-button layout. Specials are little more complicated than your standard ‘hadoken’ fireball or dragon punch motions with the pad. However, the special aspect in BB is the Drive Attack, which is unique to every fighter. This is apparently some sort of special power you can invoke pretty much at will, to turn the battle to your advantage.

Anyway, fighting through the rabble in the Arcade mode was like your standard Fighting Game story, which should even be more detailed in the actual Main Story Mode. In the Arcade mode there were a couple of talking head scenes between Ragna and some opponents. The english voice acting was… well… hilariously atrocious, although entertaining at least… let’s just say I’ll make it a point though to listen to all the english dialogue before eventually switching to the Japanese language track. To be fair though, a lot of the engrish was also pretty bad. Moving on…

The opponents, on Normal, were pretty much cake walks all, until I reached the sub-boss, a masked warrior named Hakumen. The bastard routinely used his Drive attacks to reduce my life bar to almost nothing in one or two swipes, which got me stumped for a bit. Eventually though I managed to beat him via quick strikes, but surely there will be a better way to trounce the penultimate enemy once I really get to knowing how to use the Drive techniques and specials more efficiently. The final boss, V-13, was actually easy, and I beat her in one try. The ending though sucked- not that it was just a text ending (though it mostly was just a few screens and voice)… it ended BADLY. I wonder if Ragna’s fate ends up differently in the big Story Mode?

Anyway even if I didn’t like Blazblue before, I’m warming up to it. I’ll certainly be getting into the Story Mode with its reputed branching paths and alternate endings with gusto as soon as I have the time to play more. More on this soon, as I get to grips with this anime beat ’em up.

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2 Responses to “Blazin’ into Blazblue”

  1. Sounds good! Too bad there isn’t a PAL release for this. Region freeness…says hi.

  2. Yeah, it’s region free so you can import if you want. The game supports english anyway.

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