Guest Writer: Darryn Bonthuys
Although it was released back in July last year for American audiences, BlazBlue Continuum Shift has finally arrived on our shores, bringing with it tried and true 2D action gameplay with a touch of over the top action.
Set in the near future, BlazBlue features an eclectic cast of characters, all tied up in some grand convoluted conspiracy that involves apocalyptic beasts, legendary heroes and several protagonists with bizarre abilities.
If you’ve never playedÂ BlazBlue before, then here’s a quick primer.Â A spiritual successor to ARC System Works’ previous series of games, Guilty Gear, BlazBlue is a 2D fighter that emphasises tactical gameplay with aerial acrobatics and counters, while running at an extremely fast pace.
In addition to the basic gameplay, each character has their own unique and specialized attack meters with which to perform special moves, resulting in battles that utilise several factors at any given time. Each character is balanced brilliantly in BlazBlue, resulting in matches that can easily have the tide turned against the opposition, provided that gamers know enough about their chosen brawler.
With all these mechanics in play during a match, you’d think that matches would become complicated and frustrating early on in any match, but BlazBlue manages to keep these gameplay mechanics flowing smoothly while still being accessible to newcomers of the series, thanks to the attacks being assigned to the four face buttons.
While the usual weak, medium and strong attacks take up the first three buttons on the controller, it’s the inclusion of the D button that makes gameplay interesting.
Also known as the Drive Move, this button produces a completely unique move for each of the characters, resulting in attacks that can be chained together, anything from freezing attacks and health restoring moves to launching an onslaught of robotic swords at your opponent.
BlazBlue doesn’t have the largest roster of fighters, but the variety that these characters bring into battle is what gives this game an edge. Whether you prefer fighters who charge with fists flying or tactical characters that require split-level timing and concentration in order to land that perfect combo, it’s safe to say that there is a fighter to suit each taste and style of the applicable player.
If you’re still having trouble learning how to use each character effectively, the game does feature an in depth and robust tutorial mode, as players are taught how to use attacks and guard breaks with super-combos, while figuring out exactly the subtle differences between each fighter.