|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Arc System Work||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Aksys Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 30, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
When you are creating a match, you can choose to create special tournament rooms that have up to six spots. You can fill these spots by looking for players online and inviting them, or inviting your friends. While the seats are being filled, you can decide on the rules, rotation style, and even a recommended skill level for potential players who might join the room. When you are ready to go, then you can begin playing, tournament style, until a winner has been found. This mechanic really recreates the feel of being in an arcade and taking turns in impromptu tournaments with friends, and I was more than impressed with this aspect of the online mode.
Although the story, online modes, and amazingly deep combat should be enough to get any fighting fan into this title, there is yet another element to this game that makes it just that much more awesome: the visuals. The game features a hand-drawn anime-style look, much like the upcoming King of Fighters XII, but with an absolutely remarkable amount of detail. Characters move around the play area with very fluid movements, and the background is constantly in motion. Just looking at the game feels like watching a high-definition anime movie, and I was amazed with just how detailed all of the fighting animations were. Of course, this makes perfect sense when you take into account that each character was hand-drawn and animations consist of close to 2000 individual frames. The game is easily the best-looking 2D fighter this generation, and it definitely stands up tall next to even the most acclaimed 3D fighters.
BlazBlue may have not had the pre-launch notoriety that other fighters like Street Fighter IV and Soul Calibur IV enjoyed, but it definitely measures up to these titles, and it proves that there are still some new ideas left in the fighting genre. The fighting system in BlazBlue is the deepest I have seen this generation, and the level of exploration that is possible within the combat is something that is rare indeed. The story mode was also a welcome surprise, especially considering this is a genre where most titles are content to just keep the story relegated to a few sentences before fights describing a ridiculous premise. I was even impressed to see BlazBlue's stunning 2D graphics, which prove that you don't have to go 3D in order to have graphics that wow both technically and stylistically. BlazBlue is a title that every fighting fan should take notice of, and I wouldn't be surprised if it sets a new standard for current-gen fighters.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor