The BlazBlue series has become popular because of its unique presentation to 2D fighting games with an anime style. Not only does the series have a variety of characters with their own conversing back stories, but gorgeous high definition visuals that are fluid and fast paced on screen.
The third installment in the series is dubbed Chronophantasma and is available on the PlayStation Vita as well as home consoles. On the Vita, the game gets a bit of exclusive content that adds some extra story that continues to build upon the universe set up through all the BlazBlue games. But the fun doesn’t stop there and only gets sweeter as you dive deeper into what Chronophantasma has to offer.
Much like its console counter-part, BlazBlue: Chronophantasma on the PlayStation Vita has fast paced fluid 2D fighting that is superb on the go. Even though the visuals on the Vita are a bit downgraded compared to the HD scaled sprites and visuals on the home consoles, the visuals on the Vita still look fantastic and detailed in the palm of your hand. The stages where you battle are dynamic, colorful, and have excellent backdrops for all the action that happens on-screen. The animation of characters and background objects are detailed and smooth, with plenty of movement with each action that characters take during a fight. Even cooler are some of the unique interactions that fighters have with each other if they have any sort of backstory in the BlazBlue universe. It’s a nice added touch that the series is notorious for including in a subtle fashion.
The fighting system is similar to other entries in the series but with a few minor changes that balance and improve upon the already deep fighting. Each fighter now has their own power-up ability that changes up their attributes and abilities for a brief time during a fight, allowing for a variety of combos and options in different situations. Astral Finishes for each character make a return as the big final blows when certain conditions are met in a game winning round. They not only provide “ace-in-the-hole” moments but also display some crazy good looking effects when they connect. Each character’s Astral Finish is unique to them and can only be used once during a match.
Some new characters are added to the roster this time around, making the total count of fighters twenty four, along with two extra downloadable characters. Fighters that make a return from the previous entry in the series get some changes to their move sets to balance all the new additions. On top of that, each fighter in the roster gets an Unlimited Version of themselves with stronger attributes and different abilities that change the dynamics of the fighting. These Unlimited Version characters can be unlocked by playing through the game’s Unlimited Mars Mode, or by purchasing online through the PSN store.
The PS Vita version of the game gets some exclusive content that fans of BlazBlue will appreciate. Not only is there new Story Mode content that takes some of the characters outside of their element and onto the beach, but also an enhanced Abyss Mode for those looking for a real tough challenge. Pair this up with the other game modes like Arcade, Story, Unlimited Mars, and Online Matching modes; and you have yourself a ton of content that will keep you busy for a long time.
The BlazBlue series does not fall short on single player content, and this entry is no exception. Taking the game online can be a bit of a hassle when trying to find a stable match. Sometimes the matchmaking will pair you up with some pretty bad connections for both Ranked and Lobby matches, but this does not happen all the time. When paired up with a decent connection, matches online can play smooth and be a bit addicting. When not in the midst of fighting, the Gallery Mode has a ton of unlockables and interesting content to explore.
Overall BlazBlue: Chronophantasma is a solid entry into the series. Not only is the lore of the franchise expanded upon with both new characters and development of familiar faces, but the fighting is tweaked for the better and still made to be fun. The exclusive content on the PlayStation Vita version of the game may not be meaty enough to warrant those who purchased the console version to double dip, but those looking for a great fighting game on the go will not be disappointed. There is enough content and fun to be had in Chronophantasma that will keep the game booted on your Vita system for a good long time.
This review was based on a PlayStation Vita version of BlazBlue: Chronophantasma provided by Arc System Works.