What a surprise! Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel provides a stylish, easy to pick up but hard to master fighting game experience that isn’t just for anime enthusiasts. I will tell you right now that I am not familiar with the Nitroplus characters, but this fighting game is definitely worth playing with or without knowing them. Due to this, I am not reviewing the extended story mode visual novel (Another Story) that is unlocked after finishing the arcade-esque story mode; this is purely about the gameplay, and man, it’s fun.
While the cast of characters is smaller than most other fighting games, they each feel unique to play as and there are no clones to be seen. From diving kicks to throwing cats, there is a character for everyone. Plus, this is a game for everyone. It’s easy to pick up, as it hasn’t got any confusing button prompts to activate moves. All you need to know is that A = Square, B = Triangle, C = Circle, and D = X. Go and have fun, and use the hype-en-fueled special moves at your disposal! These special moves bring a smile to my face every time. Sometimes my jaw dropped with what was happening on screen. They’re well animated and are fun to watch, attacking your enemies in a super hype way. The ultra attacks (Lethal Blaze attacks) also have an introductory animated scene, which adds to the cool move that is about come.
There are a few systems that they have added as well. They have added a support character system, which has the player call upon characters from other anime and visual novels to come help you fight. These characters can help you turn the tide of the battle and are fun to call upon. One has zombies chasing after her, and the zombies attack the opposing player. Another has a beam attack that comes from her mouth. Similarly to the Persona 4 Arena series, you can cancel out attacks with the “Burst” move, which pushes your opponent away mid-combo. The “Burst” move will also regenerate your health slowly and boost your energy meter for a limited time, so use it wisely. You can also hop in the air, which can help continue your combo.
There are a few issues with this game, unfortunately. The stage selection isn’t as varied or interesting as the characters, and the online is inactive and runs in a mediocre fashion. Some of the stages, while seemingly paying tribute to the original source material, do not pop. Unlike Street Fighter IV, Mortal Kombat X, and Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND, the stages have nothing going on in the background. They are static, have no audience in them, and don’t match the wacky characters and moves on screen. The music doesn’t particularly stand out either. However, the majority of the stages offer excellent art to make up for the lack of animation. I especially like the stage in which you are fighting on a blimp over a sunset city.
Despite the fun gameplay, the community isn’t active. On the first day of its release in North America, I was barely able to find a ranked match, and there were less than 10 lobbies to join for player matches. That is not the fault of the developer, of course, but the problem is that the connection is spotty. It’s definitely playable, but the input delay is noticeable and significantly harms the enjoyment of matches. Keep in mind, on the other hand, that I have a download speed of 2.7 Mbps and an upload speed of 3.0 Mbps, so results may vary.
Despite its issues with the lack of movement within the stages and online play, the animations and feel of the game are excellent. The way it controls is responsive, and it never feels like I lost a match because of an imprecise button input. The animations are outstanding, as well. Sure, it’s not the same production value as other anime fighters such as the Guilty Gear series or the Persona 4 Arena series, but the moves flow so well and each special move looks spectacular. Whenever you pull off a combo against the other fighter, it’s exhilarating and that’s thanks to the fantastic animation quality.
Nitroplus Blasterz offers quite the selection of modes to choose from. There is the regular story mode, which is an arcade mode in essence, but includes a narrative that is engaging enough to keep going. It also has different scenarios with every character, so there’s a lot of value out of this mode itself. It seems as though these scenes are great for fans, as they reference other characters from the series and have two completely different characters having conversations with each other. The one issue with the story mode is that the final boss is cheap. Her attacks affect a large portion of the screen and if you are using a melee only character, expect to have a hard time as it’s difficult to avoid her attacks. Once finishing the story mode, you unlock the “Another Story” mode, which provides backstory on the events of Nitroplus Blasterz in a visual novel format. As I am unfamiliar with the subject material, I cannot give an accurate review of this mode, but it’s presented with great art and includes voice acting.
There is also a comprehensive training mode, which gives the player many options to tweak the computer to act in certain situations (blocking stances, block switching, vanishing guard, counter, ground tech, air tech, throw escape, and reversal). You can also record actions for the computer to redo, so you can accurately react to certain situations. Another awesome part of the training mode is that you can switch your characters (as well as the computer’s) or stage in the training menu in the matter of seconds. This is the most detailed training mode I have played in a fighting game. There’s the online modes which lack in variety and the score attack mode, which has players try to get the highest score in a set of rounds. Lastly, there is the gallery, which displays the ending movies for the story mode, Another Story events, and promotional material.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Infinite Heroines Duel provides an accessible but frenetic fighting game that has fantastic animation, a selection of varying unique characters, and a multitude of modes to play. However, the online modes are lacking with lackluster servers and a community. If you can get a friend to play with you, though, you will have another fantastic fighting game to play. Some of the stages aren’t that interesting, either, as there is a lack of animation in the background, but most of the stages make up for the lack of animation with outstanding art. Nitroplus Blasterz, despite a few flaws, is a struggle that’s worth getting into, especially if you are playing locally.
A PS4 code of Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel was provided by XSEED for the purpose of this review
[…] Nitroplus Blasterz is an accessible but difficult to master fighting game that mashes up popular Nitroplus characters into one game. The game features characters from Fate/Stay Night, Phantom: Phantom of Inferno, Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa, Demonbane, and more. I mentioned in my review of the game that “Nitroplus Blasterz: Infinite Heroines Duel provides an accessible but frenetic fighting game that has fantastic animation, a selection of varying unique characters, and a multitude of modes to play.” You can check out our review here. […]