BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend (Vita Version) [Available on PS3, Xbox 360 and PlayStation Vita]
ESRB Rating: T
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: ARC System Works
Release Date: February 14, 2012
19 unique characters, and no clones. Contiuum Shift Extend is one of the most diverse fighting games I’ve ever played. Each character handles differently. Some have weapons, some don’t, one looks like a giant blob of mucuous…. it’s so refreshing. A few characters even bring weapons or sidekicks that you need to control during fights. It’s an out-of-control cast that’s hard to resist. If you plan on mastering multiple characters, expect to invest dozens of hours in this game.
+ Many different modes! Players have access to more than ten fighting modes. This isn’t Marvel vs. Capcom 3, if you know what I mean.
+ Excellent tutorial. If there’s a problem with the fighting genre, it’s that it’s not beginner-friendly. If you’re willing to invest time, BlazBlue provides all the tools to help you understand the basic mechanics and ease into the more advanced techniques. Of course, multiplayer is still the best avenue to improve, so you can expect be whupped plenty of times. I’ve never played a fighter so eager to teach its roots. More series should take note, as this helps to bring a new audience to the genre.
+ Deep story. There’s a tad too much dialogue for my liking, but everything is voice-acted. Nice anime scenes are included too, offering a ton of backstory on the crazy characters. If you tire of reading, it can be skipped. Good stuff.
+ Hardcore appeal. If you’re a pro (not me) and couldn’t care less about tutorials, then the Unlimited Mars mode is perfect. Foes adapt to your play style as you go along, making it impossible for button-mashers.
+ Online. Truthfully I haven’t played online yet because no one else seems to have the game. It was cool on the consoles, so I expect the same quality here. If it turns out differently, I’ll update.
+ Fantastic visuals! Enough said.
+/- Might be too demanding for casuals. Even with an excellent tutorial, this is a complicated fighter. You can’t succeed with minimal effort. Veterans won’t mind of course.
– Vita’s buttons. They’re too small for fighters. This is a hardware issue, so I’m not knocking the game, but it’s worth mentioning. If your fingers hurt playing with console controllers, you might want to avoid this.
– Identical to the console releases. There’s nothing new, besides a few extra chapters and whatnot, to warrant a purchase if you already own the PS3 version. That is unless you love the series and want a portable option.
BlazBlue came out of nowhere this generation, taking the fighting scene by storm. This portable gem entry is no different and shouldn’t be missed if you’ve never played the series before. Just know that it doesn’t offer much new compared to the console versions. Plus, it might be tough to play thanks to the system hardware. With a solid online community (hopefully), superb visuals, loads of gameplay modes, and tons of characters to master, there’s something for everyone. The Vita has yet another excellent title to call its own.
Final Score: 8.7/10