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PlayStation Vita  header logo

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma


For: PS Vita

Blazing Battles

Product: BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma | Publisher: Aksys Games | Developer: Arc System Works | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Fighting, Hardcore, Multiplayer | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US
 
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma PS Vita, thumbnail 1
BlazBlue: Chronophantasma is the latest entry in the BlazBlue series, picking up where the last title - Continuum Shift - left off.

It features a lot of revamped mechanics and a host of fun new characters that are incredibly well balanced.

I was delighted to find that Chronophantasma transferred flawlessly from consoles, offering crisp, unsullied visuals and smooth controls.

After a few days I found myself preferring it to its console counterpart. The fast-paced gameplay compliments an on-the-go environment perfectly.

My one gripe with the game is its monotonous story mode. Its stale animations, poor dialogue, and convoluted story make it a particular weak spot.

But the spectacular fighting will have most players coming back for more all the same.

The art of fighting

The first thing players are likely to notice is just how great the game looks on the Vita. It's stunning in motion, and though its story animations are lacking detail - to the point where it came across as lazy - the battles, special abilities, and overall fluidity are nothing short of awesome.

What makes this feat particularly impressive is the fact that not once during my time with Chronophantasma did my Vita stutter.

As most fighter aficionados know frame rate is key, and I was pleasantly surprised to find such a tremendous visual achievement that doesn't sacrifice performance.

Developer Arc Stystem Works decided to overhaul some of BlazBlue's mechanics here, getting rid of Gold Bursts and replacing them with a new mechanic called Overdrive.

In addition there are five new fighters: Bullet, Azrael, Amane Nishiki, Izayoi, and Kagura Mutsuki.

Overdrive is an interesting new inclusion. It's gained over time and can be activated to increase damage and offer character-specific benefits.

In addition the duration of Overdrive is directly linked to the amount of HP your character has at the time of activation, making it vary wildly.

As you can imagine, this changes the game drastically, increasing the variety and depth each character brings to the table, and allowing you to exploit their strengths for even more of those epic comebacks.

The game's online environment is bare-bones but there's little-to-no input lag. And I found that the community, while unforgiving, was surprisingly willing to help me improve my skills.

Storied Disappointment

BlazBlue has never had a story that’s enthralled me, and Chronophantasma is no different. The fact that it's buried beneath a wall of poorly presented dialogue and horrible animations doesn't help much either.

Playing the game's story mode feels more like a chore than anything else. It also makes no attempt to refresh players about previous events in the series, so newcomers can expect a lot of confusion throughout the course of the title.

Some of the dialogue during encounters in Arcade Mode is laughable (why on earth would fighting a cat calm it down?), but the story mode is downright atrocious.

Let's just say I hope you came for the gameplay.

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma has slick fights, remarkable combat visuals, and some great new mechanics, all of which are far more important than that awful story.

And, like any great game, the longer I played it, the better it got. This is an essential Vita game for anyone who just wants to duke it out on the go.
 
BlazBlue: Chronophantasma
Reviewer photo
Palmer Sturman | 14 July 2014
A stylish, eye-catching fighter that proves to be one of the Vita's essential games, even if it is marred by a poor storyline
 
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