BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is the sequel to 2010’s hit 2D fighting game BlazeBlue: Continuum Shift from Ark System Works for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The game’s story picks right up from the last game. Ranga The Bloodedge is being hunted and everyone in the BlazBlue universe hunting him down for his raid on the NOL. Ranga is on his own mission to find his friend Noel Vermillion, which he thinks may have been abducted by Hazama – one of the leaders in of the Nol’s forces.
Chrono Phantasma follows this intro right into the Story Mode which contains three branching paths that, once completed, all lead up to a post-story grand finale. The only problem with the story mode is the length of the cutscenes which are illustrated with spoken dialog, which is a good change from the the previous games with some cutscenes being voice and some containing just dialog, but they are too long. These illustrated cutscenes last from three to five minutes before even stepping into the ring to fight, and for newcomers or those who step away from the series, it can and will become confusing. The story mode does straighten itself out before completely losing the player though, thankfully. There is a separate story mode called “Teach Me More, Miss Litchi!” which gives you back-story as well, but this mode could have been shortened to introduce the main story mode instead of being separated.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma thankfully still contains a fully featured Arcade mode ripped straight from the cabinets in Japan as the pre-fight cutscenes, post fight stills, and end credit scene is here and available for each character. The tutorial mode is also overhauled teaching players the basics of the fighting system all the way up to the advance techniques which is good because BB:CP has a few slight changes to the formula. There is also a Challenge mode that gives your 30 missions per character to hone your skills with your favorite fighter and training mode to practice all of your own moves and combos before heading into battle. BB:CP also contains the standard V.S. Mode, Abyss Mode which is players choose a character to level up and reaching to reach the bottom level of Kagutsuchi one of the cities in which the game takes place. Chrono Phantasma also contains Score Attack Mode which you battle enemies with using varied stats to reach the high score on the in-game leaderboard and Unlimited Mars Mode in which players fight the hardest enemy AI to claim their spot on the online leaderboards. The game’s online mode is fully featured with ranked and player match lobbies, tournaments, and timed events that even let you claim content to the offline game. The gameplay online in BB:CP is smooth and responsive with little to no lag and it seems as though Arc System works has really put the time to optimize their online experience setting it apart from the competition in this respect.
There are a few supplemental changes to the combat in BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, the first of which is that “Guard Crush” has been replaced by the Crush Trigger and has new conditions to cripple the opponent’s defense. The Overdrive Mechanic powers up your characters and lets you access hidden moves for a limited time. The controls are still the same with plenty of characters to play with as all of the characters have been brought back from the previous installments, with a few new ones, all of which are completely different in move-sets and abilities. Fighters should be warned that both Guard Primers and Gold Break Burst mechanics have been removed and they should expect the flow of the action to be a little bit different on-screen. Essentially, players should be prepared to re-acquaint with their character.
The graphical quality this edition of BlazBlue is still stunning. Every character from the previous games has been re-drawn and the new characters look just as sleek as their predecessors. The semi-static backgrounds and stages are full of life and color and really blend in seamless with the on-screen action. The sound design in BB:CP is fantastic. The futuristic-esque experimental soundtrack theme is back and the quality voice work for the characters really gives life to the game at large, but its feels as though something is missing from this title. BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma fixes all of the issues from the previous titles and adds modes and functionality that should’ve been in the previous games, making it feel like an expansion and not a full sequel. This isn’t a bad thing as the gameplay is as solid as ever and the overall presentation is still top notch but there isn’t anything that sets it apart from the other games besides the new characters and modes. If you are a series veteran then you know what to expect, but newcomers will be getting the definitive version of BlazBlue to date.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma does what a sequel should in that it fixes the problems of the previous titles in the fighting franchise while keeping what made the series great. This being said, there is nothing in this title that makes it feel like a sequel. The series hallmark gameplay is still there and as fun as ever with plenty of modes to throw-down in, but nothing that really makes it stand out from its predecessors or other fighters on the market. There are other fighting games, however, that have not addressed the problems with their game and the lack of content in their series overall and Arc System Works deserves credit for that. If you’re a fighting game fan and have never tried a BlazBlue game you are in for a treat and veterans to the series – get ready to “Rebel” once again with this definitive entry into the Blazblue series.
Overall Score: 7.5 / 10
RGN Rating : Bronze Game
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Aksys Games
Available On: PS3 | Vita
Played On: PlayStation 3 + PS Vita
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by DJ Killzown Jones on 20140622 and was last modified on 20140622 .