|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Arc System Works|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Arc System Works recently announced the latest title in the BlazBlue line, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma. With this announcement came a whole host of new gameplay and system updates that will take effect in the new version. In fact, Chrono Phantasma is so different from Continuum Shift, it feels like an entirely new game. Let's go over a few of these changes to see what Chrono Phantasma has to offer.
First of all, the Burst system has been replaced with the "Overdrive" system. Essentially, characters have an overdrive bar that fills over time. When it maxes out, they can use it to burst out of an opponent's combo, or to activate their own unique "overdrive mode." Overdrive mode puts you into a powered-up state and lasts longer depending on how low your health is. It also freezes the game timer when used. Many characters have had their existing power-up supers converted into overdrives. For example, Ragna's Blood Kain power-up is now his Overdrive mode.
Three new characters are being introduced to the game. Amane Nishiki is an androgynous male in a pink kimono who fights with a scarf. His drive uses the scarf to attack at long range by changing it into a drill. Somehow, Amane is able to upgrade his drive's level over the course of a fight, though it hasn't yet been revealed how. Using Overdrive will instantly upgrade all of his attacks to their final level.
Bullet is a fast and mobile grappler, as opposed to Tager's slow dumpy pace. Her drive lets her rush opponents and grab them quickly before transitioning into other moves. She has some sort of "Heat Up" status that apparently increases her attack power as she uses her grapples, but actually restricts most of her grappling moves once active. Using Overdrive immediately puts her into an infinite Heat Up state. She actually has a three-part super that involves two 720s and a 1080 one after another. This may be one of the hardest supers to execute, dexterity-wise, in fighting game history.
Finally, we have Azrael, who is a muscular brawler. His drive attacks reveal weak points on the enemy when they hit. These weak points can then be hit for some effect, though we aren't quite sure what that effect is yet. When Azrael uses his overdrive, his attacks reveal weak points even if they are blocked, and all attacks act as though a weak point was hit.
In addition to these new characters, returning characters have gotten new moves as well. Ragna has gained "Blood Scythe" a new overhead scythe swing that can be done in the air. Jin has lost his B and C projectiles, his A Ice Car and his A DP. Instead, he now has two new forms of Ice Car that can be performed in mid-air. Noel has a new move called Chamber Shot that fires a projectile out of a drive chain, and has an additional attack on top of Revolver Blast. Rachel has two new attacks on down down A and down down B, but their functions have not yet been revealed. Taokaka has new Cat Spirit follow-ups and a new pouncing super from mid-air. Tager has a new body splash move, and an air-to-air grab. Litchi has a new reverse DP she can use without her staff, and a few brand new half-circle moves, though her original half-circle moves were removed.