Blazblue: Chronophantasma Extend PC review

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8 years ago, Aksys Games, developer of the popular Guilty Gear franchise, took its formula and twisted it to create its second IP in the fighting genre titled BlazBlue. Arc System Works launched the original game back in 2008, and since its inception, it’s filled the void in the hearts of Guilty Gear fans. With its over-the-top animated characters and fast-paced action, it has continually challenged players reflexes and fighting prowess.

Finally after 8 years of releases and updates, we now have what I can say is the definitive version of Blazblue. The latest expansion has the biggest roster to date of 25+ characters, all of which have multiple costumes and color combinations. To put it in perspective this newest version is filled to the brim with content similar to the previous juggernaut of the fighting game community, Ultra Street fighter IV.

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Game Modes

Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend has so many modes available that for newcomers to the series, it may be a bit overwhelming at first. If you’re a fan of fun narratives and knowing the backstory before finding your favorite character and leaping into combat, then fear not, for they have included a six chapter Cliff Notes version of the previous story events called “Teach Me, Ms. Litchi.” This a great tool for newcomers to learn or for veterans to refresh their brains about the characters, the world, previous story events and just what the hell the Azure Grimoire is and why it’s so important.

After finishing your crash course on everything Blazblue, newcomers will have the actual story mode to complete. The story is separated into chapters based on the events in each character’s lives that occurred in the previous games. Veterans will be able to skip to the chapters where they left off, or pick and choose the story lines they want to play based on how much time they want to invest here.

For newcomers I recommend  starting in the beginning with the original release and working their way chronologically through the story to avoid spoilers or confusion. The story plays out like a choose your own adventure book where decisions you make will either lead you to a true story progression or into a goofy what-if scenario. The what-if scenarios are generally purely comical and there are no repercussions of getting this result after making a decision other than replaying the previous chapter and choosing the alternative dialogue option.

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My favorite game mode by far is the survival stylized mode called Abyss mode. Abyss mode has you fighting increasingly difficult opponents while descending into dungeons of increasing depth. As you deal damage during battle you will descend deeper through the dungeon, at specific intervals you will be interrupted mid fight with a new challenger of increased strength that will grant you rewards upon defeat. These bonuses will range from simple yet permanent stat boosts like attack, defense, and speed. Occasionally you may also get lucky enough to receive rarer bonuses like auras, passive traits and even gold to purchase other bonuses from the store in between dungeon runs. These bonus traits and stats stack on a per character basis so you can build up each of your characters with your ideal stats. There are 11 dungeons in total, with the 11th and final one being an endless dungeon and enemies until you can no longer fight.

Closing out the game modes you have all your traditional modes: Arcade, Score attack, VS. Mode, Network mode, and then one unique mode called Unlimited Mars mode. While the traditional modes don’t offer much flash or pizazz, they give exactly what traditionalists will want out of their fighting games. Now the one unique mode called Unlimited Mars mode gives you 3 courses each with 10 relentless opponents each with increasing strength and challenges you to finish with the highest score which can be posted to the online leaderboards for bragging rights.

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Graphics/Sounds

Blazblue has always had a beautiful mixture of anime/visual novel graphics and nothing has changed on that plane. While it doesn’t boast a more realistic look, the style matches the personality of the game. Each element of the game is drawn with precision and accentuates the game’s focal points. The graphics during cut scenes are just immaculate the truly evoke the feeling of watching an anime, the action is entertaining to watch, the comedic points almost always draw laughter. When not in battle or in a full cut scene the game uses visual novel style storytelling where still images of characters are on screen and animate as they talk and react to things, or even while taking action during the heat of the moment.

The Soundtrack for Blazblue is full of upbeat battle music and softer slower songs that are paced flawlessly and orchestrated to each battle and cutscene perfectly. The voice acting performance is another huge positive. Both English and Japanese actors nailed their respective characters leading to entertaining and lively characters. Each character’s voice matches perfectly to their character’s personality which creates a more believable story which is extremely important for games like Blazblue where the narrative is so imaginative that the voice acting can often be the key to players becoming engrossed in it.

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Final Reaction

Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend has as much content as its title is long, and even though games often add more content as fluff, this is not the case with Blazblue. Every part of the game feels deliberate and has plenty to offer to fans of all experience levels. The gameplay is fast and fluid and combat is extremely well balanced. There is a wide variety of character to choose from each with their own unique weapons and style of fighting. Stages are varied and give gorgeous backdrops for all the action to unfold in front of. Cutscenes during the story are beautifully animated and enthrall the players into the story leaving them wanting more. The Characters are a lively bunch each with their own intricacies in and out of battle and are one the most impressive things about the game.  If you are a fan of previous Blazblue games or of Aksys’s other franchise Guilty Gear, then look no further than Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend for it is the definitive version for the franchise.

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Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

About author

Jada Griffin
Jada Griffin 334 posts

Legends tell of a princess captured and raised by Ninjas to be their future leader. Jada was trained from an early age to max the luck stat, always strike first and to never surrender.

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