Game: Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), PS3
Publisher: XSEED Games/Marvelous USA
The visual novel craze has always had a stronghold over its intended audience of Japanese readers. Last year, Sega developed a crossover fighter featuring the huge cast of visual novel characters from ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki Bunko imprint. For 2016, another visual novel juggernaut has decided to throw its icons into the ring. Nitroplus has peered deep into its offerings of visual novel, manga and anime titles and selected the best female fighters for battle. All these ladies have entered the arena within the 1st big fighting game release of the year, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel.
This anime-focused fighter comes with a varied set of women who stick to certain playstyles. There are rushdown combatants, fighters that are projectile focused and better at long-range, close-range grapplers etc. While the basic mechanics seem basic at first, players will eventually catch on to just how much deeper this fighter can be. Before each fight, you can choose two assist partners. Calling out one or both of these allies usually results in magnificent combo opportunities. On top of that cool ability, you have several other maneuvers at your disposal – double jumping, escape dodging, attacks that break your opponent’s attacks and heal your heroine, flashy super attacks etc. The mechanics at play here are plentiful, which makes this game stand out from the more simple anime-based fighters out there.
On the playable modes front, there’s a Story Mode to run through. The setup for why all these ladies from different universes come together is simple and easy to follow. You probably won’t care as much as those who truly know these characters, but at least the dialogue sequences are quick to read through. That’s not the case with “Another Story” mode, though. The fan fiction story at play here is fine for what it is. Only problem is you have to sit through some painfully long conversations between each character. Reading and reading (…and reading) the backstory behind this mode can turn into an incredibly uninteresting activity real fast. You’re much better off skipping all those long talks just to get to the single battle needed to complete each chapter. At least Score Attack mode is there to offer up the Arcade Mode experience most fighting game fans look forward to playing. It sucks that more traditional fighting game modes are missing from the game, though. An extra Survival Mode or Team Battle mode would have provided some more replay value here.
Visually, this fighter is as close to the visual novels, anime’s and manga’s it’s inspired by. Each lady sticks to a certain stereotype (like the shy, ditzy lady and the mysterious but deadly heroine), which is on display in the best way possible through their attack animations and taunts. It’s easy to see the game’s resemblance to the Arcana Heart series, which should come as no surprise since the dev team behind that series crafted this release. This fighter plays its part well as a decent 2D round of all-female fisticuffs.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel may not change the world of fighting games or stand out from its bigger genre rivals, but it’s still a good time. The varied lineup of Nitroplus’ female fighters all look and play just fine. The deeper options available to more masterful FGC members gives this fighter more life over those much simpler fighter out there. “Another Story” mode is a practice in pure frustration and there’s really not enough modes to keep players busy offline. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is a solid fighter at the end of the day, though.
- The roster is incredibly varied and provides a great representation of Nitroplus’ franchises
- The mechanics at play during every battle is incredibly deep thanks to all the options available to players
- The anime visual sheen is pretty impressive
- The text heavy “Another Story” mode is an absolute chore to sit through
- The lack of more traditional fighting game modes (Survival, Team Attack etc.) is a letdown
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