Video Games: BlazBlue – Calamity Trigger

76e43754ac75c4176ca6fc9b13f58dfdI’ve had this game for a while, but I haven’t been able to play it until recently. And oh god, it’s an excellent 2D fighter.

For those of you that don’t know, BlazBlue is a 2D fighter from our friends at Arc System Works. Y’know, the people behind Guilty Gear? It takes place in Kagutsuchi, a city in the sky. Apparently Ragna the Bloodedge, the main protagonist of this game, is a wanted criminal for destroying the numerous branches of the Novis Orbis Librarium and… I’ll just spare you the story, because it’s just too deep and comprehensive.

Basically, you’ve got 12 characters to choose from, all with their different abilities and attributes. The fighting system is nice and solid, and resembles Guilty Gear quite a bit. There’s your standard light/medium/heavy attack, then there’s your fourth “drive” attack. Basically, these drives are a special attack unique to that specific character (eg.: Noel can bust out a one-button combo, Rachel can control the wind, Litchi can use her bo staff, etc). You also have your “supers”, referred to as “Distortion Drives”, and your “finishes” known as “Astral Heats”, a console-exclusive addition that you can pull off at the final rebel (this game’s lingo for round) of any match.

Let me get to the graphics. Holy crap, the graphics of this game look absolutely gorgeous. You’ve got some nice, crisp, hand-drawn 2D character sprites on nicely rendered, vibrant, and vivid 3D backgrounds. The game runs by without a single framerate drop, making it a nice appeal to the eyes. The sprite animations are nice and smooth, and transition great without any jerkiness. The Distortion Drives and Astral Heats look positively stunning as well. It’s fantastic eye candy, especially when viewed on an HDTV.

The music in this game is the the same that can be expected from Arc System Works: extreme rock music. This type of music really fits into BlazBlue quite well and sounds great whilst beating your opponents down. The sound effects are nice to hear as well. The English voice acting is surprisingly very good, possibly one of the best, if not the best, dubbing for a game I’ve heard. The voices fit in quite well, from the ramblings of Bang Shishigami to the cold, robotic monotone of Nu (“Why do you hate me, Ragna?”) to the indifferent, smug voice of Jin Kisaragi. The voice acting is acceptable enough that you don’t have to forcibly switch your language track to Japanese.

There’s a story component to this game, as well, in the form of a visual novel of sorts. It is very vast and very comprehensive, even requiring you to lose a match or win with a Distortion Finish. This adds a lot to the game’s replay value, as you also unlock various story scenes and cutscenes. It really does push you to 100% complete the story, although you don’t get an achievement/trophy for doing so.

The network component is great as well, as there’s very little issues with game lag, something that I cannot stand (coughkingoffightersxiicough). There’s also an RPG-esque system where you level up and show off your prowess as a skilled veteran. You can save replays of match and share them across Xbox Live/PlayStation Network via the leaderboards. The only downside to this is, when you try to connect to a room with a game already in progress, you can’t enter that room. You’re only notified of this when you try to join the room, so it kind of stinks to not be let known that the room has a match in session until you try to join.

All in all, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger is a great game and is totally worth the $50 to buy for your PS3 or Xbox 360. With its great fighting, brilliant graphics, an epic story, quality online matches, and excellent music, you definitely cannot go wrong. If you’re a person that likes all of these qualities in a game, this is your call to action. BUY THIS GAME IMMEDIATELY.

And that’s all I have to say for BlazBlue. Can’t wait for BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. Until next time.

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