Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is an anime cross-over fighting game developed by Kadokawa ASCII Media Works and published SEGA. This is an odd combination for anyone living outside of Japan. The game provides an interesting 2D fighting game mash up of popular anime characters from various Japanese light novels. Fans of anime shows like Sword Art Online and Durarara will love seeing their favorite characters interact in cool ways. Those who have no base knowledge of these characters and their anime however may feel somewhat disconnected from the experience.
If you’ve ever played a fighting game like Marvel VS Capcom or BlazBlue, then you will find many noticeable similarities in Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax. You can select a character from the game’s roster and a support character to help assist during a fight. Once in a match, players can attack each other and call upon assist characters to aid them at any point. When things get crazy however, each character can use a Trump Card attack that powers them up and shifts the momentum of the fight. These Trump Card attacks are unique to each fighter and give them a variety of effects and new animations during a match up.
What makes Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax really stand out is in the attention to detail in the presentation. The musical tracks throughout the game are fantastic remixes of familiar tracks from other games and anime. All of the characters on the roster have various animations and voice over that are huge fan service references to their respective anime series. Pairing up different combinations of fighters can trigger unique dialogue before and after each round of a fight. The win animations can sometimes range from simple one-liners from each character, to full on sprite animations with other characters appearing from their anime series. This makes every match in the game feel special each time you play.
The game modes of Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax are the traditional gameplay modes you commonly find in the fighting genre. Arcade and Versus modes allow you to play alone or with a friend, as well as Time-Attack and Survival modes for a little extra challenge. The Arcade mode has a story that tries to tie the backgrounds of the whole roster together, but it’s just as meager as you would expect. A lot of the enjoyment of the story here will be dependent on your own knowledge of the characters and the series they come from, which can be hit or miss for some.
There are some characters and stages that SEGA fans will love, including appearances by Akira from Virtua Fighter and a Sonic the Hedgehog stage, but this only goes so far. Those that play alone will enjoy the Dream Battle mode. This mode consist of a series of fights for each character with unique dialogue spoken in a dream match setup. These are very interesting, but can get a bit repetitive quickly once you play through with a couple of characters.
Online play in Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is pretty basic. You can play Ranked or Player matches online with friends or people around the world. Much like other fighters you can create a player card to display your name, favorite character, and icon that you can customize from the game’s menu. While the quality of matches will depend on your own internet connection, there aren’t a lot of glaring issues with the game’s net code. What you would expect from any fighting game online is exactly what you get here.
If you like anime and love fighting games, then Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is for you. The game is available on both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita and features cross-save functionality. There is some extra content for fans of the anime that are highlighted here, mostly in the form of artwork and voice overs. Someone who isn’t familiar with anyone on the roster however may find little to no value in this. The game offers small profiles of each character, but it isn’t enough to update newcomers.
The story given for why these characters are coming together is a bit on the cheesy side, but it’s just enough to keep things focused on the gameplay. Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a solid 2D fighting game that offers anime fans dream matches of their favorite characters with some extra fun included from SEGA.
This review was based on a digital copy of Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax for the PlayStation 3 provided by SEGA.