BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger is one game this summer that fans of the fighting genre can absolutely not miss out on. It has been quite some time since we saw an entirely new fighting game brought to the table. BlazBlue is an original title sporting brand new never before seen characters, setting, story, music and even gameplay mechanics. With the recent release of Street Fighter IV earlier this year, as well as King of Fighters around the corner, how does this new IP stack against the fighting game genre of this generation? Developed by some of the same guys that worked on the Guilty gear series, this game is one you’ll be adding to your collection on your wall extremely soon.
From the beginning, the game starts off with a beautiful HD anime cutscene, as well as a taste of what the music has to offer, as you get a glimpse of the different characters in the game. At first glance, it can be mistaken for another Guilty Gear game, but the game is extremely different than anything Guilty Gear has offered to us before. BlazBlue only has 12 characters, but this is not a bad thing. All of the characters are original and diverse, as they all play differently, and each character has it’s own special “gimmick.” For instance, one character has a pole you’re able to stand up in the background, and use during combat, and another character is able to transform into different shapes and forms for a wide variety of attacks and tactics. There are no “clones” in this game. Each character is different from the next and plays differently than every other character in the game, (Not like, let’s say Ken and Ryu in Street Fighter, or Captain Falcon and Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros.) Each character also has a very big list of color schemes to pick from, changing the color of the character’s hair, weapons, and clothes. BlazBlue is able to prove to us that quantity surely does not equal quality.
BlazBlue has an amazing number of game modes and features that make this game a hard to put down fighter. Story Mode and Arcade Mode, traditional to all fighting games, as well as a practice mode. The story mode is presented with full voice overs, and is actually enjoyable to play. The game presents unlockables in the form of gallery art and movies, and there is a LOT of artwork to collect. Each piece of artwork is also accompanied with a sometimes humerous comment on the bottom from one of the developers. (One even commented on how he was yelled at for drawing one of the character’s breasts too big, laughing about it.) The game’s online mode features lobby’s with multiple players waiting to play at the same time, mirroring that of Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting when it was originally released on the Xbox Live Arcade/Playstation Network a few years ago. The game actually will let you save matches at the end for your viewing later, a feature more games need these days.
But how does the game actually play? The game is fast paced. Not as fast as say, Marvel vs. Capcom, but the game can speed up. BlazBlue does the traditional Health Bar and Special Bar, but also introduces an interesting gameplay feature. When starting a round, you are granted a protective barrier that you can break to push away your enemy if he traps you in a corner, or in a combo. Choosing to break the barrier may give you an opportunity to get back on your feet and come back, but it increases the damage you take significantly, and it’s your choice to use it at your discretion. This feature plays out extremely well, and even sometimes makes the game change to “Who will break first?” Each character is very well balanced, and it’s hard to say that there are any real “cheap” characters. Each character can also play different depending on the person playing the character, which leads to some very interesting match ups online.
The game comes packaged with an extra DVD/Blu-Ray that contains a hint movie, as well a soundtrack to the game. The game’s soundtrack is one of the best heard in the past several years. The heavy metal of guitars mixed in with an orchestra of instrumentals make this game’s soundtrack one of the most unique in the video game industry as a whole. It’s amazing to listen to even when you aren’t playing the game. As a whole, BlazBlue is one of the best games released this summer (if not this year). Fans of the fighting genre can not miss out on this game, and even those who do not enjoy fighting games may find this game enjoyable.
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger was reviewed on a PlayStaiton 3 computer entertainment system. The game was played throughout several of its storylines. BlazBlue: Calamity launches for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America on June 30, 2009 MSRP of $59.99.