Not many will know BlazBlue, one of the flagship series of the software house Arc System, which many will have heard of for the not so distant Dragon Ball FighterZ. Originally released in late 2016, BlazBlue: Central Fiction it represented the fourth title in the BlazBlue saga, as well as the last one with Ragna as the protagonist.
After about 3 years, we can enjoy this title on Nintendo Switch! Will he have thrilled us once again?
A look at the mechanics
Being a direct follow-up to BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend, it is appropriate to refer to some mechanical details introduced by the title in question. L'Overdrive first of all it was a focal point in the development of the series from Chrono Phantasma onwards, replacing the Gold Burst di Continuum Shift.
Leaving aside passable changes to the graphic appearance and positioning of the bars, we can recall two important additions of Central Fiction: theExceed Accel and l 'Active Flow. Put simply, the first mechanic allows the player to make a powerful attack inside an overdrive; conversely, the second mechanic gradually regenerates the burst meter and rewards a more aggressive play style.
The ability to play in also returns Stylish, that is, one play style suitable for novices which makes the title accessible to a much wider audience. We remember in any case that the choice of this style does not help at higher levels, since it not only limits your options, but it does not allow the maximization of damage and favors the counterattacks of more experienced opponents.
Technicalities aside, the variety of the roster gives an immense freshness to the gameplay which benefits greatly, certainly offering a unique experience as a fighting game. In fact, the style of play of each character is unique in its own way, making on the one hand a positive experience for players looking for novelty, but on the other hand worsening the learning process of match ups at a competitive level.
Once upon a time…
Normally a fighting game shouldn't have an overly complex or long storyline, and in the case of BlazBlue we are faced with a story mode not too long of about 13 hours, based on reading speed and extra content.
BlazBlue has always been characterized by its own dual nature of fighting game title and Visual Novel at the same time, ensuring a solid storyline accompanied by the frantic action of a 2D fighting game. Don't expect a narrative too different from that of the typical shonen, but don't underestimate the lore and continuity enjoyed by this long-running series.
Speaking lore, we will also enjoy a dictionary with all the necessary terminology to better understand some passages or deepen some themes. Just like in the vast majority of visual novels, this care towards the terminology and background of the series can only go in favor.
Although the original version was criticized for not being able to have all the characters right away, this version can boast the full cast and even DLCs.
We do not recommend going into history if you are not familiar with the events of past games, as you may spoil some of the details of the series. At the beginning of the story we will be offered one sort of a 20-minute recap of past events, which is not however sufficient to fully understand the narrative thread.
Fortunately, you can still enjoy the plot but it would be better if you recovered or inquired about the plots of previous titles.
In this regard, remember the plot plays a totally superfluous role in BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, a spin-off title we've reviewed in the past and highly recommend.
More ways for more fun
But the fun doesn't stop there! Thanks to Arcade mode we will be able to enjoy a lot of additional hours to add to the Story Mode, so another added value for the narrative side.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a mode with greater customization and variety, we highly recommend the Grim of Abyss Mode, where you can equip the so-called "grimoire" to get bonuses and skills of various kinds.
The online component
Impossible not to mention the online factor in a fighting game, especially the likes of BlazBlue. Having done some online matches, we did not find any particular defects or slowdowns worthy of note, even if you notice that compared to the PlayStation 4 version we are still on a lower level.
Also interesting is the presence of online rankings for some modalities such as Score Attack Mode and Speed Star Mode.
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The optimization of the Switch version
We had foreseen it, but we did not expect such a simple but well done port! BlazBlue: Central Fiction on Nintendo Switch loses in terms of graphics compared to the PlayStation 4 version ma wins in terms of comfort and flexibility, as the DLC and all the updates released so far are included, if we don't count an extra color for each character.
Unfortunately, it still is absent the much requested English dubbing, consequently you can only enjoy the title with the Japanese dubbing, which is still the best choice regardless.
One of the biggest advantages of this version is the possibility to play in portable mode, which appears to be quite fluid and satisfying. Certainly you will not have the same range of controls as the other versions, but in fixed mode you can indulge yourself with numerous types of controllers that best suit your style of play.
As for battery very interesting values are recorded, passing from a minimum of almost 3 and a half hours with maximum brightness and Wi-Fi turned on at peak of 4 hours and 40 minutes with approximately minimum brightness and with Wi-Fi disconnected. A pretty good result that also demonstrates the excellent work done by Arc System.
The Wheel of Fate is Turning
We conclude our review with the most iconic phrase of this title, which you can admire before your meetings. BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition is confirmed not only as a great porting but also as an excellent chance for those who have missed this little pearl.
The competitive scene has always been on the PlayStation 4 version, however, an experience on the Switch version certainly doesn't hurt, even counting the presence of DLCs and the portability factor accompanied by one amazing battery life, also the result of an optimization process.
Would you like to delve into the complicated world of fighting games? Why not just start with this BlazBlue?