If you missed out on BlazBlue: Central Fiction on other platforms, this is your chance to finally jump in on Nintendo Switch.
BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition is the fourth entry in the series, which originally launched two years ago — along with all released DLC. You don’t need to play the previous entries unless you’re really interested in story mode. You’ll have a great time even if you’re not invested in the story, but that really depends on whether or not this is your type of game.
BlazBlue’s Anime-Like Story
Without getting too much into the story (I’m not a huge expert myself, having only played Calamity Trigger previously), this is the fourth chapter in the BlazBlue series. You mainly follow Ragna the Bloodedge in his amnesia-filled, sarcasm-infused quest to remember who he is. The cast is quirkier than your average bullet-sponge soldiers and mana-casting mages — they’ll quickly win your heart.
The Japanese influence is on full display here, but don’t let that turn you away. Well, maybe you should if you’re not into that type of thing. If you fall into that camp, you can enjoy BlazBlue: Central Fiction without having to play the story mode. Story mode is more of a study of the characters you’re using in-game.
I would say that the story mode in BlazBlue is pretty decent. There are definitely some tired cliches and messy tropes that are used throughout, but I found it to be enjoyable enough to hold my interest for short periods of time.
BlazBlue has always felt like one of the more difficult fighting games to master. There are numerous, unforgiving combo inputs that require absolute accuracy. The game knows this, as it gives you the option to switch to a more simplified control scheme which favors less complicated inputs. Being the stubborn, “hardcore” gamer that I am, I refuse to play with simplified controls. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not quite as hardcore as I led myself to believe.
I’ve played a lot of fighting games but I just can’t quite get a hang of BlazBlue’s controls. There are certain combos that I can’t do, no matter how many times the tutorial has me retry them. That’s not so much the game’s fault but it should be an indicator of what you should expect.
The main way you’ll be experiencing this game (I’m assuming) is through V.S. Mode. There’s a really diverse cast of Japanese boys and girls to pick. There will be some you click with more than others right off the bat. Some of them may even surprise you.
If you’re more of an online person, you can take the game there as well. The problem is that online is mostly abandoned. There aren’t enough people playing — at least, not in North America — to join more than a match every who-knows-how-long. It’s a shame, but it makes sense when you think about it. This is an old game port, so most people probably play on other consoles. Either way, it’s a disappointment if you want to play online.
There’s not much to dislike about BlazBlue’s presentation. The graphics are crisp, animations beautiful, and the framerate seemed to hold up steadily on both TV mode and handheld mode. It’s great to have this series available while you’re out and about, although the joy cons aren’t really the best way to play. If you play hard enough, you may end up breaking the brittle things.
My only real gripe with the game’s presentation is the backgrounds on the stages. Since this game originally launched alongside PS4 on PS3, the polygon count is a little low to accommodate the PlayStation 3. Some edges are jagged and just doesn’t match up to the pretty sprites of the characters. It’s not too distracting since you’ll be mostly focused on the fighters, but it is noticeable.
There’s Lots of Yelling
BlazBlue: Central Fiction is voiced exclusively in Japanese (there are English subtitles) so don’t go into this expecting to hear any dubs. That’s not a deal-breaker for me but some people might be particularly irked by it. I personally enjoy the Japanese grunting and screaming of the characters — okay, that’s a little weird, but you get my point (I hope). There’s lots of yelling in this game; you’d be yelling too if you were being hit in the face with a giant sword or fist.
The soundtrack for BlazBlue is standard for the series; lots of electric guitars and piano and strings. It’s a beautiful style that compliments the intensity of fights nicely. Gotta love those dueling guitar riffs.
Calling All Fighters
BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition is a great purchase for fighting-game enthusiasts. If you’re not huge on fighting games, you may want to try before you buy. The learning curve is pretty substantial, but if you’re fine with a simplified control scheme, you’ll still have fun with this game. There are plenty of characters to pick from, all from the BlazBlue universe, with their own quirky personalities and movesets.
I’m not sure it’s worth the full asking price, and honestly, I’d recommend BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle over Central Fiction any day of the week. It’s more current and boasts characters from several franchises, including Persona 4. You can check out my BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle Review on Sick Critic for more details. If you decide to buy Central Fiction, you’ll have a blast with it if you have the extra money for it.
This review is based on a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher for Nintendo Switch.
BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition on Nintendo Switch is a really good game, but not without some setbacks. You won't find much activity if you're looking to play online, which is a huge bummer for gamers who aren't keen on playing with friends in person. The asking price is also a bit high, but other than that, you'll have a great time with this 2D fighting game.
Word player, note manipulator, and logic breaker. My favorite game is The Last of Us. I’ll argue with you about it all day. Try me. “To the edge of the universe and back, endure and survive…”