The first time I played BlazBlue I was impressed by the game’s immense visual look and style. Few fighting games look this good, sound this good, and play this good. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger was not only an immense game, but one that proved itself to be a worthy successor to the, also excellent, Guilty Gear series. But Ark System Works’ ‘if it isn’t broke’ attitude has resulted in several subsequent releases many have hailed as nothing more than expansion packs disguised as new games. Chronophantasma is the third main entry in the BlazBlue series, and proves to be slightly more of a step forwards than Continuum Shift was. We’re still taking about minor enhancements, tweaks, and additions, but the result is still arguably the best BlazBlue game ever created.
One of the things I first thought when playing BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger was how well it would work as an anime. I was intrigued by the game’s characters, but felt that the story wasn’t being told in the right medium. It’s taken four years, but this anime is now a reality, and as I suspected it goes a long way towards resolving the problems that I felt didn’t allow the game’s story to reach it’s full potential.
Phantom Breaker Extra is a 2D fighter by Japanese developer 5pb. Whilst at a glance similar to the likes of BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, it doesn’t take long to realise that this game fails to match the quality I’d almost began to expect as a standard for the genre. In fact, 5pb’s latest title reminds us that Arc System Works have been spoiling us with fighting games these last few years, and Phantom Breaker Extra is both underwhelming and unenjoyable.
Dead or Alive is just as great now as it was 10 years ago. The formula has always worked, and the series has often been about making minor amendments and enhancements to an already superb fighting game. Dead or Alive 5 added the graphical and presentational values the game was previously lacking, but one year on and this enhanced version of the game is going to feel awfully familiar to anyone who picked up the original last year.
It’s been 25 years since the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga originally began, yet despite huge success in the printed medium there was a general shortage of the mandatory anime, games and other such items that usually follow. But since last year this is no longer true, and following on from the incredibly awesome anime, which finished back in April, we now have a fighting game fans won’t be forgetting any time soon.