BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend Review
What makes for a good fighting game? One could argue that deep mechanics, a bevvy of options or even a story mode make for a good time, but what if I were to tell you there is a game that packs all three? Aksys’ BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend most certainly fits the bill.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend ReviewBlazBlue is no stranger to the fighting game community – it even got a spot at the EVO fighting game championship not too long ago. As the newest iteration of the series, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend packs a lot of depth into just four buttons. Unlike games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, the combat here is sped up with the inclusion of air dashes and a more subdued focus on projectiles. Much like the Marvel vs. Capcom series, this is one title where it pays to go on the offensive. Mechanics are made that much more complex with screens full of meters, pages of moves and enough 360 moves to cramp anybody’s hand. Except for one set of clones, no two characters in its 28 character roster play the same.
So what makes Extend new enough to warrant another standalone iteration? Those familiar with the original Chrono Phantasma will notice a number of balance tweaks among its roster of characters. Two new fighters: Celica A. Mercury and Lambda -No.11- make their appearance, along with downright deep movesets. Unfortunately, that’s almost the only thing that’s different from the original – even the majority of the backgrounds are the same as before.
Those hoping to test their might have a number of ways to do so in Extend. Arcade, Practice and Score Attack modes are all present and accounted for, but there is also the RPG-like Abyss Mode, the tough-as-nails Unlimited Mars mode, a Score Attack mode that has you gunning for the high score, and even a set of Challenges unique to each character. Online play, while practically devoid of players as of this writing, has smooth netcode that can survive play with players overseas.
Of course, fighting is only half the battle – Extend also has story modes (plural) that go on for hours. The story mode from the original Chrono Phantasma makes an appearance, which will be a treat for those who like their anime series on the wild side. There is also “Remix Heart Gaiden,” a fanservice-heavy spinoff starring the girls of BlazBlue and their adventures. An “Extend” mode tells more about characters like Kokone and Bullet, while a gag reel plays on the encounters from the main story mode. There is a lot here to keep you busy, and while the game can get bogged down with nonsense terms like “ars magus” and “seither,” it still packs intrigue.
Seeing how PC owners never got the original title, this newest iteration of BlazBlue is practically a no-brainer. It might not be as drastic a change this time around, but those itching for more content and depth can find both in spades here.