Graphics:
9.3
Gameplay:
9.0
Sound:
9.0
Control:
9.0
Replay Value:
9.0
Online Gameplay:
9.0
Overall Rating:
9.0
Publisher:
Arc System Works
Developer:
Arc System Works
Number Of Players:
1-2
Genre:
Fighting
Release Date:
TBA


Every generation there come a number of games that surprise us. No wait, let me rephrase that: they surprise the hell out of us. Last generation it was Ico, and this generation it may be BlazBlue. The fighter genre has gone a bit stale over the past decade now, with the 2D games dwindling down considerably. Most recently Street Fighter IV made a spark earlier in the year, and by the looks of things, that spark has formed into a flame. With Both 3D and 2D fighters on their way this year, such as Tekken, King of Fighters 12, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and of course, BlazBlue, we're seeing a resurgence. BlazBlue is the first all new 2D fighter to enter this generation of HD gaming, and it brings to the table something that's both accessible and deep.

Some of you be thinking: "isn't this the same group of people that made Guilty Gear?" Yes, it is. And some have criticized that franchise for feeling a bit stiff. But stop right there, because BlazBlue is not Guilty Gear and BlazBlue feels nothing like Guilty Gear. On the other hand, BlazBlue reminds me almost of Street Fighter III, as it boasts that same level of fluidity that made Capcom's 10 year old game so approachable and infinitely replayable. BlazBlue is simply the best playing 2D fighter to come out since Capcom's last 2D Street Fighter.

One of my biggest complaints with fighting games as of late has been the lack of decent endings. Some games have nothing, while others have ten second clips, which might as well be nothing. There's never any substance, so you're often left feeling cheated. BlazBlue doesn't do this, because the entire game is one massive story. In the Story Mode, each and every character has his/her own script and voice acting, and this dialogue can, at times, be fairly detailed and expansive, and I love that. Furthermore, upon completing a fighter's story, you will be encouraged to go back in order to complete it 100%. With all of the fighters you will encounter a decision selection at least once during their story, that decision is usually something along the lines of finishing off an opponent for good or leaving him broken and battered. But there's more to it than just that, such as losing intentionally to unfold a slightly different path, and it makes BlazBlue's Story Mode very enjoyable.

But again, it is the very game mechanics of BlazBlue that make this game so great. No longer are combos jarring and stiff, but rather now they are free-flowing and intuitive. BlazBlue encourages creativity as its engine allows for juggles, air-combos, and so forth. The action isn't chaotic to the point of being extremely frustrating, because at the core still lies a foundation that allows for proper defensive maneuvers, including counter attacks, which any skilled player should be able to utilize to his advantage against button mashers. Each one of the 12 players is unique from their storyline to their fighting, so while you're not getting an enormous cast of characters here, you are getting nothing but immense polish out of them.

Of course, for the competitive folks who just want to get down to business, there is a standard Arcade Mode, Versus Mode, and two-player online gameplay, where four others can also watch as spectators and take turns to play. The online network code is very strong, as lag seemed almost non-existent from what we've experienced, which is extremely important in fighting games.

For this generation, we want and expect nothing but the highest quality sprite work for 2D characters. In fact, what makes this generation so exciting for many of us fighting fans is finally being able to see all new high-def fighters. Now, while Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD had beautiful sprites, its animation was that of an 18 year old game, ultimately. BlazBlue is nothing like this, as it boasts character detail so gorgeous, so sharp, and so fluid that it practically sets the visual standards by which all fighters will be judged by. King of Fighters XII also makes use of some great art-work, but it's not nearly as superb as BlazBlue, but that's something I'm saving for the KOF12 review. Furthermore, the backgrounds and stages are a sight to see, with fantastic landscapes and details all over. The animation is also glorious, as are the bright and vivid special effects. Lastly, the framerate never skips a beat no matter how hectic the fighting gets, and we love that.

Audio is also nothing but quality. There is quite a bit of voice acting, and ARC has preserved the Japanese dialogue for the U.S. release, in addition to the English voices. There's a good deal of swearing, which I like, but if you're the type who doesn't, then you have been warned. The soundtrack is very good as its largely made up of heavy hitting tunes complete with the flair of guitars and such. In the Story Mode there is even some banter between fighters during a match, which I found to be a nice touch.

The bottom line is a very simple one: BlazBlue is one of the best 2D fighters to come out in the past decade. Not since Street Fighter III have we been given something this quick, accessible, intense, fluid, deep, and so well done overall. Even though the character selection may not be massive, there is still more than enough to play and replay here. On top of that, the striking visuals must be seen no matter what genre you prefer, and the audio is definitely solid. Aksys may have taken a gamble bringing BlazBlue here, but we urge you to reward them by going out there and picking up a copy for yourself. This game is awesome.

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NonProphet
NonProphet
13 years ago

I remember thinking about Guilty Gear that it would have been okay if the controls were better and more fluid. But this game looks nasty!

Hey Ben, are you guys gonna review Fight Night Round 4?

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
13 years ago

Review was done by Arnold Katayev

fundando
fundando
13 years ago

I see this happen all the time.

I am very excited about this game. Thanks for the review.

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
13 years ago

I have already pre-ordered the limited edition on EB games at 59.99 and they will ship with a free 32 page collector's artbook. I cannot wait to play the game after seeing this review.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
13 years ago

I only truly like one character in this game(one of the problem with most fighters). The rest of the cast is not appealing enough. Same problem SFIII faced.

Anyway, MIGHT get it

therabbitkinge
therabbitkinge
13 years ago

I AM THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING GAMER I'VE GOT ANY AND ALL FIGHTING GAMES MADE AVAILABLE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE (please ont challenge me on that fact lol im sure im missing a few but I jest) AND I AM ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH BLAZBLUES QUALITY OVER QUANTITY KEEP IT COMING AKSYS I'LL BE WAITING!!!

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
13 years ago

regarding the 12 characters thing, take an example for Soul Calibur 4. They have too many characters, ie. the 5 hidden ones,they are all wasted. at the end of the day, it is either Nightmare, Darth Vader, Siegfried, oe a few others mattered, all the rest are just wasted. — my point is, i think 12 well developed and in-depth fighters with unique styles are enough, just like the original SFII.

It is the quality that matters, not quantity, we all know that guys.


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 6/29/2009 11:55:15 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
13 years ago

easy on the caps man you're harshing my buzz.

JackKnifeZero
JackKnifeZero
13 years ago

do you have Shaq Fu?

King James
King James
13 years ago

WOW! Okay now I gotta play it.

therabbitkinge
therabbitkinge
13 years ago

Yeah BigBoss that's what im talking about, the BlazBlue cast is so unique and diverse that people can really look at a character and say "that my guy/girl we'd win in any fight" because each character has such different and complex movesets and well as uniqe personalities and appearences. Now im not knocking games that have large casts (I LOVE YOU TEKKEN) but a tight group of individuals like the cast of BlazBlue are a rare sight indeed and it should be treated as such (^-^)

Kevadu
Kevadu
13 years ago

Part of me wants to get this game just for all the goodies in the limited edition…I'm not even really into fighting games!

therabbitkinge
therabbitkinge
13 years ago

Sorry about that "WorldEnds" when they come with a game like this I gotta scream…in type lol.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
13 years ago

s'ok man, I bounced right back 🙂

Oxvial
Oxvial
13 years ago

I'm glad I preordered …but was on Amazon so I'm gonna still waiting for my copy.


Last edited by Oxvial on 6/30/2009 12:47:12 AM

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
13 years ago

I definitely agree. Quality over quantity.

Kangasfwa
Kangasfwa
13 years ago

Can this game re-ignite a lost love of fighters?

AntDC
AntDC
13 years ago

What comes with the US limited edition? Here we get a 2-disc soundtrack and a bluray with tutorials and uh expert advice. I think it's an imported version anyway. I think I'm gonna get, I really like the sound of this game.

pillz81
pillz81
13 years ago

An artbook is included in the US version. I have noticed that some of my favorite games get extras like cds. I feel ripped off, but jst a bit.


Last edited by pillz81 on 7/3/2009 1:02:02 AM

pillz81
pillz81
13 years ago

I stand corrected. I just got the LE and it DOES have the cds.

souljah92
souljah92
13 years ago

wow…where have i been…i haven;t even once heard of this game up until now….

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
13 years ago

OK, almost everytime I read about a 2D fighter game I see the word "sprites".

So, I guess I must not get out of the cave enough, because other than me being familar with a certain thirst quenching lemon-lime soda in a bumpy 12- ounce green bottle with the same name, I don't know what the heck the sprite is that everyone talks about.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
13 years ago

It basically means the characters are just 2D images instead of being rendered in a 3D space all their animations are just digital pictures.

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
13 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprite_(computer_graphics)

That's pretty much correct. It's not always 2D in the traditional sense, as some sprite-based games can be 3D. For example, Mario Kart for the SNES and even Mario Kart 64 was 3D, but had sprite characters. You can have 3D sprites, but they usually look awful.


Last edited by ArnoldK PSXE on 6/30/2009 7:34:14 AM

BlinkBoy
BlinkBoy
13 years ago

Hmm searched around for it, but can't find anyone selling it in europe.

fundando
fundando
13 years ago

I wish gamestop would open already so I could go pick up my pre-order. I'm so glad I payed in advance because I am broke.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

This looks like a sweet game. I wondered about it when I first heard it was coming. Nice review. Thanks!

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
13 years ago

Thanks World & Arnold.
You've both helped me imbed a new wrinkle of knowledge on this ole noggin of mine.

Arvis
Arvis
13 years ago

Well, I'm sold. I'm adding this to my list on Gamefly right now…

-Arvis

ZubraZap
ZubraZap
13 years ago

Payday is tomorrow and I'm getting it for sure!
Does BlazBlue have trophies?


Last edited by ZubraZap on 6/30/2009 4:46:15 PM

Naga
Naga
13 years ago

Blazblue is a no buy not because I'm Europe, but since I know there's gonna be a Blazblue X !!
I want it soo bad though as Dragonball Tenkaichi 3 🙁

fundando
fundando
13 years ago

Soo much fun.
psn = fundando

A2K78
A2K78
13 years ago

As somebody who consider himself a hardcore arcade gamer, 2D fighting games need to just die, (that include KOF also) and just leave Tekken and VF to compete against each other.

Lenoxseer
Lenoxseer
13 years ago

The problem with that is most 3D fighters are slow and bulky. Oh and Tekken vs VF is a waste of time because Tekken rules and VF is lame.
And there is no need to hate 2D fighters because they are too fast for you and you cannot handle them.

2D fighters for LIFE!


Last edited by Lenoxseer on 7/3/2009 1:14:45 PM

The_Struggler
The_Struggler
13 years ago

Looks awesome. Hopefully, I can become good enough to win a few matches online. Hope to see you guys there.

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
13 years ago

hmm…with tekken 6 almost 4 months away, and KOF XII getting released this month (July, according to PSXE), I dunno if I should buy this game. The good review score says it's a must buy, buuut… is it as good as, or even better than, KOF 12 so that I can skip on the latter?

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
13 years ago

I would buy BlazBlue over KOF12. If you must have just one and you need an answer now (since KOF was delayed to end of July), get BlazBlue.


Last edited by ArnoldK PSXE on 7/1/2009 12:18:48 AM

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
13 years ago

KOF12 to me has no excitement as I look at the characters, seems nothing totally new. blazblue is so cool and awesome and so elegantly designed.

so yea, I will definitely choose it over KOF12.


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 7/1/2009 4:52:08 AM

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
13 years ago

Alright! BlazBlue it is! I call dibs on Hakumen! 😀
Too bad I have to wait a week before they bring it over here…


Last edited by WolfCrimson on 7/1/2009 7:03:20 AM

fundando
fundando
13 years ago

JHC this game is sick!
I will have to agree this is one of the best fighters I have ever played and that is just talking about the battle system.
Everything else is just icing on the cake. The graphics, story, characters even extra backstory done in Chibi.
I might just skip on kofxii for awhile and hone my skills at this.

Pick this game up now! Don't miss out on the 2 disc soundtrack and the bonus Blu-Ray.

PSN: Fundando


Last edited by fundando on 7/1/2009 2:54:46 PM

Jed
Jed
13 years ago

Well, I've never heard of this game, but arnold seems to rate games pretty well. And after a review like that I will definitely have to check it out.

Arvis
Arvis
13 years ago

Check it out, Arnold's review was featured on Gamasutra in this week's edition of "Critical Reception."

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24268

-Arvis

Lordnicon
Lordnicon
13 years ago

Im sorry guys i didnt read the review yet but i was so excited that i just had to comment.

Well ppl I have been waiting for this game for like 2 years and I have to say its pretty damn awesome. It shares a lot of qualities with the GG series (which I LOVE) but it seems just a tad bit slower. I was really worried to be honest but the game is damn fun. I really dont even know what to say. There are things in the game that are still growing on me. Some of the character designs and such (but like guilty gear, it took me a little bit to appreciate all of them which i now do).

I think the music was better in GGX2 and #Reload but its not bad in this game. Combos can be easily pulled out if you are used to GG but the advanced ones are tricky as they should be. The game is far more punishing if youre turtling or if you "burst" out of harms way. Especially if you burst, you take significantly more damage for the duration of the round which suggests that certain character combos are so deadly that you might just want to use it but watch your shoulder buttons so you dont accidentally push them lol.

The game has put a smile on my face a lot faster than SF4 could and thats saying a lot (might not mean much to you). The game has online play too which is becoming a must in fighters. Even if you rent the game (which you should if your skeptical), its one of those games you will want to buy anyway if you like it enough because like most good fighters, its life spans far greater time than a rental allows.

Teddie9
Teddie9
11 years ago

I love just about everything except that the block function is tough to get used to. Especially with Ragna – his moves are close range (regardless of the huge sword) and now I'm backing up all the time. Maybe there's more skill or timing to the blocks….