Blazblue Pulls No Punches – Blazblue: Central Fiction Review [PS4]

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Blazblue Pulls No Punches – Blazblue: Central Fiction Review [PS4]

The Blazblue franchise is no longer a newcomer to the fighting game scene.

Blazblue Central Fiction is the fourth entry in the 2D fighting game series and the first on Playstation 4. It arrives with a deep level of fighting game mechanics and is perfect for longtime fans of the series. Like most fighting games, Central Fiction is tough on newcomers but developer Aksys Games do their best to provide resources for players either new to the series or the genre.

Central Fiction will feel instantly familiar to anybody who’s played a 2D fighting game before and yet doesn’t feel like pale imitator or Street Fighter or any of the other big name 2D fighters. As a newcomer to the series the first thing that stood out was the prominence and presentation of the world of Blazblue. Central Fiction’s story mode drops you into the middle crazy anime style narrative presented in a visual novel style that really pops off the screen. While the art is fantastic it’s and full of vibrant colors it’s difficult to fully engage with the story for a couple of reasons. Central Fiction is the conclusion to a story that’s been playing out for a few years now. Aksys Games provides a 30-minute long recap but even then there’s too much going on. Central Fiction also shipped without an English language dub, meaning that all of the game’s dialogue is in the original Japanese. While this isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but it’s certainly disappointing. On the other hand, longtime fans should appreciate the refresher and the conclusion to the ongoing story.

Where Central Fiction does welcome new players in its comprehensive tutorial system. Aksys Games has done a great job of offering a great range of tutorial options. There are tutorials covering the very basics of 2D fighting games, Blazblue’s specific mechanics, and character specific tutorials. The game even offers a simplified control scheme called Stylish mode. This is reminiscent of the Simple mode that has been in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Stylish mode makes it easier to pull off simple special moves but eliminates some of the more complicated maneuvers. It’s an avenue for new players to familiarize themselves with the large cast of characters and the basics of Blazblue’s systems. It was also the ideal way for a fighting game novice such as myself to play. Diving into the later tutorials revealed a deep and complex system comparable to any other fighting game franchise and Aksys Games included plenty of ways for players to test their skills once they feel ready.

Story Mode offers players a glimpse of the characters’ personalities and is a solid introduction to the world of Blazblue. If story isn’t a priority there are good old fashioned Arcade and VS Modes available. There is also Speed Star Mode in which players must defeat computer controlled opponents within a specific time limit. In a fun twist, players can’t get hurt from enemy attacks but failing to defeat all of the AI opponents within the time limit causes a game over. At different difficulties, the number of enemies, as well as the time allotted, changes. Alliance Mode is a take on team battles where players select a team of four and take on computer-controlled teams. Players work their way through different courses, each with six different teams. Managing team members health and the way their teams are deployed introduce an added layer of strategy.

Blazblue: Central Fiction is jam packed with content and while it definitely caters to longtime fans of the series there is enough there for newcomers as well. While newcomers may have trouble entering the world of Blazblue for the first time, the comprehensive tutorial system is a good introduction to the game’s mechanics. The variety of gameplay modes makes Central Fiction a solid pick for both veterans and rookies.

Blazblue: Central Fiction Playstation 4
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Aksys Games
Released: November 1, 2016
MSRP: $59.99

Blazblue: Central Fiction Review
  • 7/10
    Story - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Gameplay - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Mechanics - 7/10

The Verdict

Blazblue: Central Fiction pulls no punches by providing deep and complex gameplay and plenty of modes for players to test their skills on. Central Fiction offers enough for newcomers to jump in but really feels built for long time fans of the series.

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