BlazBlue has always been an interesting franchise. It’s a fighting series with a huge focus on story and characters, to the point where the story mode is largely a visual novel and more in depth compared to other action based story modes. It has also had its share of interesting fighting game mechanics, with the series changing drastically from its original form in the last few years as well as expanding its roster significantly from the original game.
BlazBlue Central Fiction looks to bring the series to its conclusion, simplifying the gameplay and wrapping up the convoluted story that it has continued since the original game. It even has a summary section in order to get you up to date on what happened in the previous games, although it just gives you the meat of the central story, so any character specific side plots are left out. The story itself is quite interesting once you get a handle on it, although trying to figure it all out can be quite the challenge. Once you get into character specific subplots, you can get kind of lost. That being said, the main story is fully explained by the end with a nice conclusion and hints of continuing if the developer and community have enough interest. The story even manages to make use of characters that were relegated to BlazBlue spin-offs and while they don’t add a whole lot to the story, fans will be happy to see them here along with the ability to see expanded stories for them. The story is crafted with love and brings a conclusion to the many plots, questions, and theories fans of the series have had for years–and also poses some new question.
The gameplay of BlazBlue Central Fiction has been beautifully streamlined. The series has brought in the ability to string a lot more moves together which makes the combat even more accessible. There are a lot more options for combos now, including many moves that couldn’t string together previously. Even simple strings like Light-Medium-Heavy-Special are easily accessible and it makes gameplay more enjoyable for for everyone. Simple combos are easier for beginners and the more advanced combos are easier for experienced players. It makes the game more exciting and keeps the action moving at all times.
The character roster is super diverse. Plenty more characters were added to the final roster of the fourth game. There is a character for almost every play style and the way they have simplified and streamlined the combat makes it even easier to learn any character you might want to pick up. Although mastering them is a different story entirely. Every fighting game archetype is here; from balanced to grapplers, keep-away to rush-down, there is a character for almost everyone.
The music and stages for BlazBlue Central Fiction are fantastic. The stages are not too elaborate but remain captivating. The music is the same as previous games but with more tracks added. BlazBlue Central Fiction has been polished to shine over its various incarnations and the music itself is beautifully composed.
Online gameplay for BlazBlue Central Fiction has been shined to a polish as well, with many different modes of play. The lobby system is still here, which allows you to get as many players in the same place and actually challenge anyone you would like randomly; akin to old days of arcade cabinets. There is also your standard random-ranked and player-matches, but this time, they allow you to make your own digital room, filled with whatever decorations you want with a little chibi character for whichever character you prefer. It’s a nice touch and helps reflect the care and adoration the developer has for this series. The net-code is still good and has improved a bit from previous games, although you will still have problems if your opponent doesn’t have a good connection. This is something that cannot be blamed on the game and is squarely a problem you will run into online multiplayer anyway. Otherwise, the online is good, and I expect the lobby feature to keep the games online booming for as long as people want to play the game.
BlazBlue Central Fiction is a fantastic finale to the overarching story in the series and if this is the last BlazBlue game they make, they went out on a high note. The combat reaches that satisfying medium ground of easy to learn, difficult to master that makes it satisfying for anyone to play, and I would love if new fans of the series were a result of this. The characters themselves are interesting to play and fun to learn, the music matches the theme and is well orchestrated, the online meets the standards that fighting games need to be fun online, and I think it’s a fantastic tie up to the series as a whole..and perhaps an interesting chapter to something new.
A PS4 Review Key for BlazBlue Central Fiction was provided by Aksys Games for the Purpose of this Review
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