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BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II (3DS) artwork

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II (3DS) review

"The Deepest Story Driven Fighting Package Ever"

Though the arcade market is pretty much dead in the western world now, in Japan, the arcade is still buzzing with light and sparkles. While many fighting fans are looking into modern 3D fighters like Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur, and Dead or Alive, with the once 2D Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat series also jumping into the 3D realm, it seems that 2D fighting games are a relic of the past due to a lack of interest with those kind of games. Well there is a 2D fighting series still taking names and kicking ass with the rest, that series is known as BlazBlue, a 2D fighting game series many arcade fighting fans refer to as the true successor to the original Guilty Gear series that hype arcade to this day.

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II is an upgrade edition to the arcade game of the same name (minus the Roman numeral), as an upgrade it was released for both the 3DS and PSP and as a portable upgrade version of the arcade edition, it really made a big impact on the portable realm.

All the shines and sparkles of the arcade game all made it to this edition. Background arenas shines through with wonderful scenery day or night with great visual effects rolling in the backgrounds. Each characters sprites were also feature in a much detailed form with no cheap palette swap between characters. No two characters look the same or had shared personality, even the little things like the intro (Bang gliding down to battle, Tao's camera close-up before a match, etc.) and outro (Carl and Ada takes off, Rachel sitting on her throne made by Nago, etc.) of the match were faithfully presented just like the arcade version not to mention a whole other visuals treats that are lurking within the game's Story Mode.

Characters portrait show a great deal of expression which offer some deep emotional attachment for the player to get excited or interest to each character, the character selection as well as the title screen and every available contents unlock in Story Mode were also wonderfully presented and shines through with enjoyable plot play and gag reel endings that will making you roll on floor laughing. Plus the added 3D effect makes the game animations pop out from its flat atmosphere into a more three dimensional surface for your eye's pleasure.

If you've played Calamity Trigger, the first game in the series, you knew right away that the music here rocks, though some were remix from Guilty Gear, a lot of the original solid scores were re-mastered from the arcade edition. Like the music, the voice works and character dialogue here were also nicely dubbed and well-translated, the only minor aspect to this was that there were scenes where lip syncing doesn't work so expect to see brief cut-scenes with character dubbed voice not matching their lips. Other than that the sounds are nicely done here.

The control works flawlessly and smoothly here. Like the arcade you are only required four buttons to attack, the d-pad controls the directional and the circle pad is use to assign shortcuts for either attacks, throws, taunt, and such. The gameplay is just like your ordinary everyday 2D old school fighters, you choose from any of the game's 18 selectable characters each with their own arsenal of special moves, super attacks, distortion finish, and chain combos.

Like Calamity Trigger, the game plays in the style of Guilty Gear where each fighter carried a weapon or developed a fight style unique to that character. The fight progress is also smooth and fast-paced with no sign of lags. The AI itself are also balanced and forgiven but also challenging. I love the story arc skit between character conversations in Arcade Mode, each offered some kind of reason for why they battle against each other and developed connections between them. The final boss itself is also tough and challenging but doesn't get hampered by the so called overbalance boss syndrome effect that plague many other 2D fighters back in the day.

For a 2D upgrade of a great arcade fighter, this game has a lot to deliver. There are a sheer number of gameplay modes to experience particularly the challenging Abyss and Time Attack Mode as well as Legion 1.5. There is even a plot twisting Story Mode added in to give story-driven player a taste to dive into the latest chapter of the BlazBlue universe. Sadly for reasons unknown, Aksys purposely removed online play from this edition of the game and that's a real shame as this game plays fairly well offline with local play and having online Network Mode could benefit here since other 3DS fighters like Super Street Fighter IV, Dead or Alive Dimension, and Tekken Prime all offered some very compelling online play support. Also unlocking and viewing contents in Gallery Mode never felt so rewarding.

For the great story, superior gameplay, jaw dropping visuals, and unique character design I have to give this game the score it rightfully deserve. Sure it lacks online play unlike the console port of this but all the great modes and extras makes up for that as local play is awesome and having an online network mode here would had made this entry one complete package had Aksys didn't purposely removed that feature here. I say purposely cause the prequel, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger did feature online play and I'm not going to dropped points due to that as this portable package is awesome with or without it.


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Community review by leeko_link (August 13, 2017)

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