Game: BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND
Consoles: Xbox One, PS4 (Reviewed), PS3, PS Vita
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Arc System Works
Anyone who considers themselves an aficionado of fighting games know how their favorite franchises are released. A main entry hits the market and, over time, newer updates come in the form of physical or digital installments. Aksys Games has published several titles within its hardcore anime fighter known as BlazBlue. In 2015, the series has finally made its way over to current-gen consoles with new content to herald its latest release. We have finally arrived at BlazBlue’s newest chapter, Chrono Phantasma EXTEND.
Casual fans stepping into the series for the 1st time will be enamored with the game’s huge roster and striking anime visuals. Fans who have stayed for the long haul since the 1st game will notice the new changes that have come along for the ride to Xbox One and PS4. Two new female fighter join the fray – Celica A. Mercury and Lambda -No.11-. Celica is the more fun of the two, thanks to her usage of a robotic doll that helps her dominate the battle at hand with tag team offense. In all honesty though, Lambda feels like a lazy re-skin of the other robotic menaces in the game. Her offense doesn’t do much to make her feel truly new, as her playstyle is entirely comparable to Nu -No.13-.
When it comes to the newest system changes and additions in this new release, two new features change things up a bit. Players who’re looking to jump right into the game can try out Stylish Mode. The combos and special moves implemented here are a lot easier to pull off thanks to this mode’s newb friendly control scheme. The revamped Guard Gauge system is more suited to BlazBlue’s more expert players. Having the opportunity to dish out Guard Crush attacks when another player’s Barrier Gauge is low adds another cool strategic wrinkle to the proceedings. These two new mechanics do a good job of blending in well with the other systems introduced in each passing update.
Currently, BlazeBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND is the best version of the entire franchise’s lineup. The visuals looks even more amazing on current-gen consoles, plus everything that was included from before makes its way over. The wealth of playable modes means you’ll put even more hours into every play through, plus the new story arcs pack on plenty of hours of new content. Longtime fans will enjoy the latest plot devices in BlazBlue’s massive universe. The more light hearted tales are just as entertaining as the game’s more serious and dire storylines.
For fans who’ve put a ridiculous amount of time into the last version of this update, the changes introduced here may not be enough to warrant spending more cash on a full retail release. Everything in this game feels and looks great as before. But its hard to ignore the feeling of being burnt out on a series that has thrived on nothing but sub-titled releases. There’s a lot to do and see in BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND, of course. Xbox One and PS4 owners finally have the chance to act out Ragna and Jin’s most heated skirmishes. But its about time for a true numbered sequel to launch that truly impacts the series’ gameplay in a major way.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND hits the Xbox One and PS4 with new characters, stages, story chapters, character re-balancing, fresh mechanics and so much more. Beginner friendly fans will take to the new Stylish Mode, while expert players will enjoy the retooled Guard Gauge mechanics. The game itself is still as solid as ever. But that lingering same ‘ol, same ‘ol feeling will kick in for those who’ve been with BlazBlue since the very beginning. Newcomers will love this definitive edition, while longtime followers may not see the justification here to buy another retail release.
- Additional character focused story arcs are great for BlazBlue’s most invested fans
- Celica is an interesting and fun selection as far as new characters go
- New features come together with the same solid gameplay and make this the best entry yet
- Lambda is far from being considered a “new” character
- There are incremental updates here, but everything largely feels the same