BlazBlue Preview: The Wheel Of Fate Is Turning
I remember the day a few years ago when Sir-G asked me if I had seen the trailer for the hot new fighting game by the guys that did “Guilty Gear.” He was a bit more on top of his game that day than I was, and he sent me the trailer below to the Japanese arcade fighter known as “BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger.” Sir-G knows I love fighting games (I’m not good at them at all, but I love playing them) and after watching the trailer once… then twice… then a third time I knew this game was something I had to play, and that the wait was going to be a long one. From the footage that was available at the time I could already tell that the game looked beautiful, sounded amazing, and there was a good chance that it was something I would really enjoy playing. But, that was well over a year ago, and I’ve kept up on the “BlazBlue” news since then, even making sure it was at the top of our list to cover at this year’s NY Comic-Con. However, I always watched but never touched. I wanted to experience the entire game on my own terms. This is something I don’t reserve for many games, but I figured “BlazBlue” deserved it. However, that wait came to an end earlier this week, when I finally had a chance to sit down and play the game, and, at first glance, it’s all I hoped it would be.
The most noticeable thing about “BlazBlue” is the stunning graphics. Arc System Works continues their tradition of bringing beauty to video games. The characters are hand drawn, and battle over 3D rendered backgrounds making the game’s art style unique right off the bat. Each character pops with their own unique look and style making it unlike any other fighting game currently available for this console generation – it’s somewhere between “Dragon Ball-Z: Burst Limit” and “Street Fighter IV,” but with that incredibly distinctive Arc System Works/“Guilty Gear” sensibility thrown in. It’s something that is best seen in action to really appreciate the full effect.
After my little time spent with the game the controls manage to hit the sweet spot between accessible, but not dumb down. There are four basic attacks, all mapped to the face buttons of the controller – weak, middle, strong, and a dive attack. Each can be used to execute to a certain attacks when used in combination with the d-pad, and, subsequently strung together for the obligatory combos. Amazingly, the basic combos are also very easy to learn as well (a problem I typically have with most fighting games – I already mentioned I wasn’t that good), allowing for the advanced fighter to have the advantage when attempting to pull off larger scale moves, but not entirely leaving the inexperienced gamer defeated in the dust. It’s a solid system that some other games may want to consider for future iterations of their games.
I’ve only spent a little bit of time with the game, and there’s a lot more to say. Check back next week for my full review where I’ll dig deeper into the game; exploring the characters, story, online play and much more about what “BlazBlue” has to offer.
The Original Trailer: