Before starting up BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, I had never played a BlazBlue title. I remember being very interested in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger when it released back in 2009, but at the time, for whatever reason, I passed on it, and as I got farther and farther away from the release date, I simply gave it up as a lost cause and moved on. When BlazBlue: Continuum Shift was released in 2010, I found it even harder to pick up because I had never picked up Calamity Trigger, and I’m a sucker for starting a series from the top. Time went on, and BlazBlue passed from my mind; until BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend appeared on the PS Vita.
When it comes to fighting games, I’m quite good at Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, a fair shot in Marvel vs. Capcom, and fairly hopeless with Dead or Alive and Tekken. The more simple and straightforward a fighting game is, the better I am at it. Also, 2D. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend gives me a 2D, one on one system for combat. It also, however, gives me a very robust control system that requires a great deal of tactical skill to truly excel at. So…you know…mixed bag. The great thing about Continuum Shift Extend is that it has an incredibly strong tutorial system. From how to move and jump to some of the more complex combos and character abilities, the tutorial system is a long and extremely thorough look at how to understand and play BlazBlue. Additional practice can be had in the Training or Challenge modes, so that you can hone your character specific skills before going into battle against AI or human opponents.
As you would expect, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend contains an Arcade mode for single player entertainment. BlazBlue’s arcade mode sequentially pits you against ten AI opponents in a character specific mini-story arc. Not up for a ten opponent marathon? Versus mode allows you to do a single offline battle against a character of your choice. Score Attack puts you up against an AI opponent with specific match settings as you battle for the highest score in a match, while Unlimited Mars does the same thing except with an even more intelligent AI enemy. Abyss provides you with an almost RPGesque fighting experience, as you fight your way through waves of enemies while picking up stat bonuses along the way. Story mode takes you through the larger, more encompassing story of the BlazBlue world by using anime cutscenes and videos with battles interspersed. Online provides you with both ad hoc and true online fighting potential. Online matches can have lobbies with up to six players, and offer full spectator mode for all matches while you’re in queue for battle.
With all of this content and variety, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend didn’t skimp on the presentation. The anime intro and story scenes are wonderfully done, as are the character sprites. The gameplay animation is smooth and fluid, and the vibrant battle visuals are a delight for the senses. The game’s music also helps add a great deal of excitement and punch to gameplay, with some very appropriate song selections.
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For $39.99, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend provides you with a gluttony of content. From Story to Arcade, and Abyss to Online battles, along with the various other modes of play, you really do get a great deal of time and gameplay out of this title. It’s beautiful, sounds fantastic, and feels great. It is, however, an extremely technical fighter, so if you’re not familiar with the mechanics of the BlazBlue titles, you’re going to want to spend a lot of time in the tutorial, and really learn how to play. People after a more simple fighter may take advantage of the Stylish Mode, but may be better suited with an alternative fighter on the PS Vita platform. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend is, however, definitely worth a look at for any fighting enthusiast.
Multiple game modes, lots of content
Great online multiplayer system with full spectator mode
|Too technical for some|
Niche within a niche
Tutorial does not reference Vita buttons