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Overview

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift continues the current trend of fighting games by being a more up to date version of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, similar to what Super Street Fighter IV achieved over Street Fighter IV. To put it simply, it's more of an evolution than a totally new game. Arc System Works have spent a great deal of time listening to fans and analyzing feedback from arcades in order to balance the unique collection of characters, while at the same time strengthening the existing fight mechanics.
 
The console version BlazBlue: Continuum Shift was released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 on: July 1st 2010 in Japan, July 27th 2010 in the US and December 3rd 2010 in Europe. 
 
The arcade version of the game has been in existence since November of 2009 and runs on the Taito type X2 board.

Story

In terms of story, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is a sequel and will continue where the story of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger left off. The only information on the story so far is this translated prologue:
 
AD2200/Jan
 
A few days have passed since the reported raid by Ragna the Bloodedge , the SS-class Librarium traitor with the highest bounty in history, alias "Grim Reaper". The 13th hierarchical city Kagutsuchi forgets to celebrate New Year's, as his alleged involvement in the mysterious bombing and huge pentacle sightings becomes the talk of the town.


With the Novus Orbis Librarium offering no official explanation, the citizens voice their own theories, exaggerating and spreading rumors like wildfire. The name Ragna the Bloodedge is engraved in the minds of the people.

Completely indifferent to the state of the city, the silver-haired Grim Reaper grips his massive sword and quietly bides his time, waiting for the chance to achieve his true objective.

And then, the enormous power that has ensnared the Grim Reaper begins to activate...  

General Changes  

General changes for BlazBlue: Continuum Shift that are of note include:

  • Rebalancing of all characters.
  • All astral Heats unlocked immediately.
  • General decrease in combo damage.
  • New moves for all characters.
  • Auto break on moves that freeze.
  • Unable to jump with barrier on.
  • Movable time after winning shortened.
  • Delay on back dash after jump.
  • Better animation.
  • New effects, new system voice.
  • New pictures for character select screen.
  • Cross-platform player rankings (no cross platform play).
  • Story mode will be 1.5 to 2 times bigger than Calamity Trigger.
  • The game will be patchable for character balance.
  • Arcade fight request system added.

New and Improved Game Modes

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift also includes a number of new game modes. Expanding upon the standard: training, replay, arcade, story, vs, network and score attack modes available in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger; all of which make a return.
 

 Ragna in training mode

Improved Training Mode

This time around the training mode will not only be a place for testing your combos against a dummy opponent (played here by the unfortunate Bang Shishigami), but will also teach new players about the fundamentals of BlazBlue. Subjects such as: movement, attacking, the new guard primer system, instant blocking, dashing, the heat gauge, the barrier gauge and break bursting will all be covered by everyone's favorite cat umbrella wielding, bat abusing vampire; Rachel Alucard.
 

Challenge Mode

Ragna's challenge mode
Taking a leaf out of Street Fighter IV's book; BlazBlue: Continuum Shift now also includes a challenge mode for players to learn new combos with their favorite characters or to test their skill at pulling off some of the games more complex combos, like Arakune's 70 hit combo with added bees. Challenges are available for the entire cast, and if the game's designer Toshimichi Mori is to be believed; each additional character released as DLC will come with their own set of challenges.

Legion Mode

Similar to the Legion Mode found on the PSP game; BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable, players will fight their way through various stages of a grid map adding members to their party as they progress. Changing the difficulty will result in larger grid maps with tougher enemies. 


Beginner Mode

In an attempt to make the game more accessible to new players a "beginner mode" has been added. Replacing the; A (Light attack), B (Medium attack), C (Heavy attack) and D (Drive) buttons, beginners will have access to; N (Normal attack), H (Heavy attack), S (Special) and T (Throw) buttons. (It is not possible to break burst in beginner mode).
 
This works similarly to Tatsunoko vs Capcom on the Wii, where if you were using a Wii remote the game allowed for simple command inputs for complex moves/combos.
 
By rapidly tapping the "N" button the player can easily initiate a combo, the "H" button can then be used during the combo to mix in other attacks. This system is intended to make game play far more rewarding for newer players.
 
The "S" button is used for character specific special moves, pressing the "S" button while holding the analog stick or D-pad in different positions will result in a different special move being used.
 
The "T" button is pretty self explanatory, it is used to throw opponents, but can also be used to throw reject your opponents.
 
Finally, holding down either the "N" or "S" buttons will activate the character's distortion drive. 

Returning Characters

All playable characters (and some non-playable NPCs) return this time around for the game's extensive story mode, which directly follows the True Ending of Calamity Trigger. Some of these characters have undergone changes to their move sets.
 

Ragna the Bloodedge

Escaped the Library after surviving the fight against V-13 and then against Hazama. Still a wanted fugitive by the Library, currently biding his time until he can accomplish his true goal. Ragna once again receives council from Jubei on how best to proceed.
 
New move: Belial Edge - Performs an aerial attack downwards. (214C in air).
Improved move: Soul Eater - Consumes more HP on hit.
 

Jin Kisaragi

After suffering severe injuries in his fight against Ragna in the Kagutsuchi Library, Jin was sent to a hospital for treatment. However, halfway through his recovery, he decided to escape the hospital and again track down his beloved brother.
 
New move: Kokuujin Yukikaze - A new counter distortion drive. (236236D).
Improved move: Flying Ice Strike - It is now possible to jump 2C.

Noel Vermillion

Unaware that she is being hunted by Hazama and Kokonoe at the same time, she decides to pick up where she left off and reunite with Major Jin Kisaragi. However, upon visiting the hospital where he was supposedly resting, Noel finds that Jin has escaped, and decides to track him down across Kagutsuchi.
 
Improved move: 4D - It is now possible to 4D in the air.

Iron Tager

Still following Kokonoe's orders, including trying to capture Noel for Sector Seven before the Library can get to her.
 
New move: Gadget Finger - Tager will pick up a downed opponent. (22D).
Improved move: 4D & D - Faster.
Improved move: Magna-Tech Wheel - Now even more magnetic!

Rachel Alucard

After she helped break the time loop from Calamity Trigger, Rachel has been trying to find a way to kill Terumi once and for all. However, Terumi seems to be one step ahead of her.
 
New move: Tempest Dahlia - A new distortion drive that summons objects from off screen (based on silpheed). (632146B).
Improved move: Aerial Sword Iris - Can now be used in mid air.

Taokaka

Tao overhears that her old mentor Torakaka may have returned to Kagutsutchi. But other than this, Tao is still doing whatever it is that Taokaka does, usually involving eating and sleeping and eating and sleeping and... Ooh, shiny shiny!
 
Improved move: Dancing Edge: Reckless Kitty - Now has more hit stun.
Improved move: Cat Spirit Two! - Now hits horizontally, 5th hit is more powerful.

Litchi Faye Ling

Just as before, Litchi is still trying desperately to find a way to change Arakune back to normal. She now seeks Kokonoe's help to accomplish her goal even though she doesn't really want to help.
 
New move: 6D & 4D - New dash attack before placing staff.
New move: Three Dragons: Green - Performs an overhead attack coming down from rod. (236B).

Arakune

Still seeking to eat and consume whatever it can to become the most powerful being imaginable. When Litchi runs into him, Arakune manages to have a brief moment of sanity just to warn her to stay away from him before he reverts back to his hungry self. 
 
Improved move: Curse - Is more powerful but requires more D hits.
Improved move: BEES - Bigger with more actions.
 

Bang Shishigami

Aside from his quixotic quest to win "Miss Litchi's" heart, he has heard a rumor that the son of his late Lord Tenjo is alive and well. Bang has begun a quest to find him so that he can lead the people of Ikaruga once again.
 
New move: Bang's Infinite Chaos - New distortion drive, Bang creates a clone attacking from both sides. (236236D).
Improved move: D - faster.

Carl Clover

He has heard a rumor that his father, Relius Clover, has emerged somewhere nearby. He now tries to track him down in order to answer some questions about his sister. 
 
New move: Volante - Nirvana fires a projectile across the screen. (421D).
Improved move: Nirvana - Now recovers quicker but also expends gauge quicker.

Hakumen

Captured by Kokonoe during his fight with Ragna near the end of Calamity Trigger's story. He has reluctantly formed an alliance with Rachel to escape from Kokonoe's cell in exchange for helping Rachel hunt down Terumi. 
 
New move: 4C & Jump C - Mid ranged attacks.
New move: Fuumajin - Creates a circle to block projectile attacks. (Strike a projectile to activate).

New Characters

The console version of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift sports 7 new playable characters over its predecessor BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger and 4 more than its arcade iteration. 3 of these 7 characters will be released as DLC.
 

Lambda-11

Lambda-11 is a rebalancing of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger's V-13. After her recovery from the Gates of Sheol, Kokonoe erased her memory, now, much like Iron Tager she carries out Kokonoe's orders. The unlimited version of Lambda-11 will actually be V-13, it is assumed she has regained her previous powers in this form.
 
Drive: Sword Summoner - Much like V-13, Lambda-11 will summon swords on screen to strike at her opponents from multiple directions.
 

Tsubaki Yayoi

Tsubaki is a former NOL classmate of Jin, Carl, Makoto and Noel she is also good friends with Noel. During the ending of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger she is tasked by Hazama with hunting down both Noel and Jin in service to the NOL.
 
Drive: Install - Using Tsubaki's drive will charge her install meter (to a maximum of 5). Special moves performed using the D button will have different properties and do more damage, but will cost 1 bar of her meter.
 

Hazama

Hazama or Terumi Yuuki as he was formerly known is one of the "Six Heroes" who played an integral part in the story of BlazBlue. He now heads the NOL's Intelligence Division and is the commanding officer of both Noel and Tsubaki.
 
Drive: Ouroboros - Hazama launches chains to attack his opponent and facilitate quick movement around the screen. Hazama may do this twice before having to let Ouroboros recharge, this is done by staying on the ground.

Mu-12

Mu-12 is a character exclusive to the console version of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. She is the true form of Noel Vermillion after being fused with the real Azure Grimoire by Terumi and is assumed to be much more powerful than other iterations of the Anti-Sankishin Unit (including Lambda-11, V-13 and Noel).
 
Drive: Steingunner - Mu-12 will deploy up to 4 floating orbs to attack her opponent with lasers. The lasers will reflect off of each orb allowing Mu-12 to confuse her opponent, the orbs can also be destroyed for additional damage.

Makoto Nanaya

Makoto is another former NOL classmate of Noel, Carl, Jin and Tsubaki. She made a brief appearance during Noel's story in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger and in episode two of "Teach Me, Miss Litchi!". For some reason, she has been drafted into the Intelligence Division as part of Hazama's plan, and she wields a pair of cross-shaped tonfa as her weapons. She is the second console exclusive character who was released as DLC on August 5th 2010 for $7.99 or 560 Microsoft Points.
 
Drive: Impact - By holding the drive button Makoto can charge her drive attacks to have additional properties and do more damage. This works similarly to Hilde in Soul Calibur 4, only with a shorter charge time.
 

Valkenhayn Hellsing

Another of the Six Heroes. He currently serves as the butler and protector of Rachel Alucard. Artwork has surfaced revealing that he is actually a werewolf and that he uses a kick-based fighting style. Valkenhayn is the third console exclusive character who was released as DLC on September 28th 2010 for PS3. After some delay, Valkenhayn was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace for a discounted 320 Microsoft Points on December 7th 2010.
 
Drive: Werewolf - Valkenhayn's drive allows him to switch between human and wolf form at will. The wolf gauge will drain when Valkenhayn is in wolf form and refill when he transforms back into human form. While in wolf form Valkenhayn will have access to new moves but be unable to block, much like Bang's Furinkazan.
 

Platinum the Trinity

The last revealed member of the Six Heroes who disappeared some time ago, and has recently re-emerged as a split personality in a little girl who already has two of them named Luna and Sena. Platinum is the third personality, completing the trinity. Platinum is the fourth and final console exclusive character, she was released as DLC alongside the 1.03 balance patch on Xbox Live on May 10th 2011. PSN can expect Platinum and the 1.03 balance patch on May 12th 2011.
 
Drive: Magical Symphony - Pressing the D button will randomly select one among 6 types of equipment for her staff. After selecting, various techniques corresponding to the selected staff equipment can be used (with certain restrictions). For more information on the equipment types available visit the Platinum wiki page.
 

Returning and New Stages

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift has a total of 29 stages, 14 returning originals and 15 new.
 

Returning

   The Monorail stage is Ragna's new home stage
1. Kagutsuchi Port: Day (10:00 AM)
2. Kagutsuchi Port: Night (9:00 PM)
3. Cathedral: 1
4. Cathedral: 2
5. Halloween
6. Requiem
7. Lost Town
8. Orient Town
9. Area 28
10. Ronin Gai
11. The Gate
12. Sheol Gate
13. Monorail
14. Circus
 

New

 The Hanging Gardens is Tsubaki's stage
15. Kagutsuchi Port: Stormy (4:45 PM)
16. Symbolic Domination
17. Moonlight Castle
18. Postprandial Happy
19. Rest Time
20. Cocoon
21. Ronin Gai: Night
22. Closed World
23. Hanging Gardens
24. Adventus
25. Bascus
26. CONTINUUM
27. Altar
28. Heritage Museum
29. Lessons
 

New Fight Mechanics

There are a number of changes to the tried and tested fight mechanics this time around too. These include slight tweaks or complete redesigns of the following:
 

Life Gauge

The life gauge will fade from green to yellow to red to better indicate the health of the player.

 
 

Heat Gauge

The heat gauge gets a little makeover but no real change, the only thing different here is that character specific gauges and counts are displayed above it now.
 
 
 
 

Barrier Gauge

Perhaps the most significant change to mechanics is how the barrier system now works. In BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger using a barrier burst would deplete the player's barrier gauge putting them in a "danger" state, making them more vulnerable until the end of the round. This is no longer the case, as the barrier gauge and the new break burst system are no longer linked. The barrier gauge can still be depleted by using it to block attacks and doing so will still result in a "danger" state.
 
 
 
 

Break Burst

Break bursts are now governed by their own icons that appear under the player icon. Each player starts the round with 1 burst, they can use this either as a "gold burst" if they are not being attacked in order to bounce their opponent for a combo or as a "green burst" to knock their opponent away if they are being pressured. Players gain a second break burst if they lose a round, this stacks with the first one assuming it hasn't been used for a maximum of 2 break bursts. Using a defensive break burst will however half the maximum amount guard primers you are able to use for that round.
 
 
 
 
 

Guard Primer

The other significant change in mechanics is the removal of the guard libra gauge and introduction of the guard primer. Different characters will start with different amounts of primers depending on their size and strength, for example the massive Tager will start with a maximum of 10 primer points where as the tiny Carl will start with the minimum of 4. These points are depleted every time an attack with a "guard break" property lands and is blocked. Depletion of all points will put the character in a "guard crush" state giving the other player time to initiate a free combo. Using a barrier will only stop attacks removing the final primer point, but will also cause the attacks that would've removed the final primer to consume more barrier gauge. Guard primers will regenerate slowly over time, flashing before they return.
 
 
 
 

Fatal Counter

There is also the introduction of a new "fatal counter" system. A fatal counter occurs when an opponent is hit by specific moves before they have finished their own move. The result is similar to a counter hit (the opponent takes longer to recover), however this is followed by the bonus of an increase in tech time (2 frames) for the opponent on subsequent attacks, meaning longer combos can be initiated from a fatal counter.
 
 
  

Guard Bonus

Guarding attack strings that last 6 seconds or more will result in all blocks after those 6 seconds becoming automatic instant blocks, until the player is free from the attack string or is hit.
 

Negative Penalty

While negative penalty is easier to acquire in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, the penalty has been reduced from x2 damage to x1.5 damage against the player with negative penalty.
 

New Astral Heat Requirements

The final change comes in the form of a different set of criteria to fill before an astral heat can be performed. In BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger the following criteria had to be met; Last round of a match (e.g. 1-1 of 2 rounds to win), 100 heat and the opponent must be on 20% life or less. The new criteria for BlazBlue: Continuum Shift are; Last round of the match for the player attempting the astral finish (e.g. 1-0 or 1-1 of 2 rounds to win), 100 heat, the opponent being on 35% life or less and at least 1 free break burst icon.  

Versions and Pricing

The PS3 version of the game is region free, meaning it can be played using any PS3 regardless of where it was purchased. The Xbox 360 version however is region locked to its intended continent of release.

US

Standard edition: $40
 

JP

Standard edition: 7,140 ¥  
 
Limited edition: 9,660 ¥
 JP limited edition
  • Game disc.
  • BlazBlue drama CD.
  • BlazBlue art book.
  • BlazBlue mini script.
  • Nendoroid petit (figurine) of Noel.
 

EU

Standard edition: 30 €
 
Limited edition: 36 €
  • Game disc.
  • 96 page BlazBlue art book.
  • 8 art cards featuring special move inputs for characters in Continuum Shift's roster.
 
Fans edition: £54.99 (only available from Zen United UK).
 EU fans edition
  • Only 500 available. (Sold out).
  • Makoto DLC code.
  • Nendoroid petit (figurine) of Noel.
  • Limited edition art print by Alvin Lee.
  • Taokaka mouse mat.
  • Game disc.
  • 96 page BlazBlue art book.
  • 8 art cards featuring special move inputs for Continuum Shift characters.

DLC

DLC in the form of free balance patches and additional characters/system items will be available on both PSN and Xbox Live.
 

Current version: 1.03


  • All new characters will cost $7.99 or 560 Microsoft Points. New characters will include an unlimited version of the character, all 12 default colors, a tutorial and challenge mode added for the character and new Trophies/ Achievements.
  • Mu-12 will cost $1.99 or 160 Microsoft Points to unlock if you do not wish to play the story mode in order to unlock her.
  • The unlimited character unlock pack will unlock the unlimited versions of all characters, it is priced at $5.99 or 400 Microsoft Points for players who do not wish to unlock them by playing through score attack mode.
  • Individual unlimited character unlocks will cost $0.59 or 40 Microsoft Points for players who do not wish to unlock them by playing through score attack mode.
  • New system voices will cost $5.99 or 400 Microsoft Points each. Available in Jin, Taokaka and Carl flavor.
  • Color packs 1, 2 and 3 will cost $4.99 or 320 Microsoft Points each.
  • Xbox 360 gamer picture packs will cost 160 Microsoft Points each, with cheaper versions available at 80 Microsoft Points.

Useful Links

Official BlazBlue: Continuum Shift site.
Arc System Works - Developers of BlazBlue.
Aksys Games
- Publishers of BlazBlue.
Zen United - Publishers of BlazBlue in Europe.
BlazBlue Europe Twitter - Get your timely game updates in 140 characters or less.
BlazBlue on Facebook - A place for fans, with regular updates and competitions.

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