Visual and Musical Thrill.
Blazblue is a 2D fighter by Arc Systems who made their names with the Guilty Gear series. As a fighting game that tries something new, you get a fighting game that almost competes with the biggest in the past year.
Visuals-The visuals in this game are certainly of a specific but predictable palate of high definition 2D sprites. Very smooth to look at and fits Blazblue's universe nicely. Yet this is something expected of Arc but the 3D rendered backgrounds makes a more livelier scene.
Gameplay-Much more accessible than Arc's Guilty Gear series in terms of control and gameplay. Three basic attack buttons for weak, medium, and heavy attacks and a fourth button serves for dishing out specials (via Drive Gauge) and puts you more in control of your character's attacks.
Roster-Truthfully I felt the roster was a tad lacking or even pathetic. In number and design. Every character seemed to be a clone of a Guilty Gear character in one way or another; design or personality.
Ragna the Bloodedge=Sol Badguy
Jin Kisaragi=Ky Kiske
Well...you get the idea. But the way each character plays is diverse enough to be fun and can deliver a challenge mastering. A slow powerful style from Iron Tager or a fast-hitting style by Taokaka, which saves the roster in terms of variety.
Unlockables-An entire gallery of over 70 unlockable images along with special developer images will keep you busy indeed. The gallery also hosts the game's amazing music tracks and a few cinematics created by GONZO. These are acquired by playing through the various story paths and arcade runs with some specific challenges as well.
Music-A compilation of mostly hard-rock and metal thrown in with opera vocalization. May sound offputting to some but all will learn that the music in this game really makes the feel. Excellent and diverse compilations by game creator and composer Daisuke Ishiwatari are candy to the ears of the rock and metal enthusiast.
Story-For a fighting game the story is well put together. At first confusing with such terms as "Grimalkin" or "Replica" and knowing the truth under Blazblue will take various story runs with more than one outcome for each character. Trying to see all of everyone's endings (along with the True Ending will be a lengthy ordeal that will force you to throw a few rounds, or as the game puts it, "Rebels".
Arcade-Truthfully longer than most characters' story arcs. But each has only a single ending barely tying in or even canon to the story mode itself. Completing the arcade mode will unlock a character's Astral Heat (instant kill moves) or unlimited versions of specific characters. It seems to be a bit of a bust having to go through the lengthy arcade to unlock a character's hidden move that you will seldom be able to use in a real match.
Online-Pretty smooth even on a weak signal. Always someone raring to go and players are defined with levels in Ranked Matches so you know when someone is more of your speed. In player matches you fight players in rooms with specific conditions; connection status, beginner or advance level recomendation, and rotation types. Online is simple to work and will always ensure there is someone out there for you to scrap...and utlimately lose against. The communtiy is experienced and finding beginner players can be a chore at points but practice makes perfect and with a good mastery of tow or so characters can help you build up your status in the online sanctum.
In all, Blazblue is a truly delightful fighter deterred by a weak and somewhat generic roster and higher difficulty level. Accessible gameplay but a challenging community that will test your patience, but these are easily outbalance by its solid gameplay and delightful soundtrack.