BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (also known as BlazBlue: Chronophantasma) is a 2D sci-fi fantasy fighting game developed and released by Arc System Works for arcades (digitally via the NESiCAxLive service for PC-based Taito Type X² hardware) in Japan on November 21, 2012.
The third main installment of the BlazBlue series (after BlazBlue: Continuum Shift and its revisions), Chrono Phantasma continues the storyline while featuring several revamped gameplay mechanics (such as the new "Overdrive" system), four new playable characters, redrawn character sprites, a new user interface, and a re-arranged soundtrack by Japanese power metal band GALNERYUS.
The game later received a console version for the PlayStation 3, released in Japan by Arc System Works (on October 24, 2013), in North America by Aksys Games (on March 25, 2014), and in Europe by pQube (on April 23, 2014). It was also released for the PlayStation Vita in Japan (on April 24, 2014) and North America (on June 24, 2014). This version features revamped story mode (which now chronicles three groups: "Six Heroes", "Chrono Phantasma", and "Sector Seven"), an expanded tutorial and gallery modes, and new DLC characters.
The game was later revised with BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend, and was superseded by BlazBlue: Central Fiction.
Much of the game is identical to BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, with some key additions and updates:
- The "Burst Icon" system has been revamped into the Burst Gauge (or Overdrive Gauge), which is now a single gauge that fills up both over time and as the player gets hit. Players start each match with a full Gauge and carry its status over between rounds. Players can no longer perform a Break Burst while in neutral, which now instead performs a new Overdrive technique (see Overdrive for more details).
- The "Guard Primer" system has been removed. Instead, players now have a special attack, known as the Crush Trigger, that causes an automatic guard crush against opponents who block normally. However, it can be guarded by Barrier Block (which instead drains a portion of the opponent's Barrier Gauge). This technique is performed by pressing A+B while in neutral, consumes 25% of the Heat Gauge, can be performed mid-combo, and can be charged-up to drain a larger portion of the Barrier Gauge.
- The Beginner configuration has been revamped into the Stylish configuration. See Stylish Configuration for more details.
Performing the Break Burst command (A+B+C+D) while in neutral with a full Burst Gauge now instead puts the player's character in a power-up state known as Overdrive.
While in Overdrive, the character gains their own unique buff for a short amount of time (up to around 15 seconds, based on the character chosen and their remaining Health Gauge). Most of these buffs involve enhancing the character's Drive abilities and their relative Gauges, as well as their special moves and Distortion Drives. While a player is in Overdrive, the stage timer is frozen and the opponent cannot perform Overdrives nor Break Bursts. Once an Overdrive is finished, that player immediately regains a portion of their Burst Gauge.
The technique is notable for being invincible on activation (making it a useful reversal technique). In addition, players can cancel combos into Overdrives (known as Cancel Overdrives or Overdrive Cancels). Cancel Overdrives are faster to activate and allow players to deny access to Break Bursts for the current combo, but halves the time in Overdrive.
Some characters have had Distortion Drives in previous games which mimic this technique (such as Ragna's "Blood Kain" and Bang's "Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan"), which have been removed in favor of this system.
The Beginner button configuration option from the previous game has been changed to Stylish, which now resembles the basic Type-A configuration but replaces the Drive button with a "Special" button.
Similar to Beginner, Stylish allows players to perform pre-determined combo strings by rapidly tapping the three attack buttons and allows players to perform their special moves using the Special button (with the type of move dependent on the joystick position). In addition, characters automatically guard attacks using the Barrier Block technique and can now perform a standing guard by leaving the joystick in a neutral position.
Also like Beginner, the player is limited on their access to advanced techniques while in Stylish, with some techniques (such as Rapid Cancels) unavailable. Both Distortion Drives and Astral Heats are now performed by pressing both Light and Normal (A+B) with a joystick direction.
All 19 characters from BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II return (the only exception being Lambda-11, who is refitted back into Nu-13, who returns from the original game). Four new characters were added, bringing the playable total to 23. Nu-13, Mu-12, and Izayoi were time-locked in the original arcade version.
Three new characters were added to the PS3 and Vita versions, bringing the total to 26.
Similar to previous games, the game includes Unlimited variants of each character (both unlockable and DLC) and additional character color DLC.
- Amane Nishiki - The androgynous leader of a wandering dance troupe, fighting to master the art of the dance and to scout handsome men to join his troupe. His Drive, "Spiral", allows him to transform his long cloth scarf into a drill for continuous attacks (that can be held for additional hits, but can be overheated). Attacking with his Drive fills up his unique "Spiral Gauge", which depletes over time and enhances his Drive attacks.
- Azrael - A notorious criminal of superhuman strength and uncontrollable bloodlust, released from cryostasis by Sector Seven to hunt down their enemies. His Drive, "The Terror", allows him reveal his opponent's "weak points" when certain attacks hit, boosting the effectiveness of other attacks relating to those weak points.
- Bullet - A wandering mercenary who travels the world, seeking to avenge the deaths of her mercenary squad years prior. She uses a special gauntlet attached to her arm. Her Drive, "Lock On", allows her to activate a stance that, if the opponent is close to her position, causes her to launch herself at them for a powerful attack. Each hit with these attacks increase her "Heat Up" level, which buffs her Drive attacks and certain special moves.
- Izayoi - A powered-up version of Tsubaki Yayoi after breaking free from the Imperator's control by releasing the powers within the Sealed Weapon Izayoi (which transformed from a shield to a lance). Her Drive, "Scarlet Justice", allows her to enter a special "Gain Art" mode which gives her new movement and attacking options (all using a unique "Zero Weave Gauge" that is replenished outside of this mode). Released in the arcade version on December 12, 2013.
- Kagura Mutsuki - The highest-ranking General of the Novus Orbis Librarium and the head of the Duodecim's powerful Mitsuki family, seeking to overthrow the Imperator. He combines dark Ars Magus energy with a massive slab sword. His Drive, "Black Gale", allows him to enter one of three different stances, each with their own unique set of attacks to choose from for the next attack. Added in the PS3 and Vita versions as an unlockable (with alternate DLC unlocking added on April 1, 2014).
- Kokonoe - The genius feline half-beastkin scientist of Sector Seven and both the creator and superior to Iron Tager. Appearing as a NPC in previous games, she fights with a variety of mechanical armaments of her own design. Her Drive, "Graviton", allows her to summon special devices (known as "Gravitons") to pull opponents towards them (while changing the properties of some of her moves). She also has icons showing the status of some of her special moves. Added in the PS3 and Vita versions as DLC on April 1, 2014.
- Yuuki Terumi - The series' central antagonist and one of the "Six Heroes", previously assuming the artificial body Hazama before becoming a separate entity. His Drive, "Force Eater", allows certain attacks to grant him an additional buildup of the Heat Gauge on both hit and block (while negating his opponent's Heat buildup). Added in the PS3 and Vita versions as DLC on May 27, 2014.
This version will come in a ¥7140 standard edition as well as ¥10290 Limited Box version. The Limited Box includes:
- Nendoroid Petite Series Rachel Alucard figure
- BLAZBLUE VISUAL BOOK II
- BLAZBLUE SONG INTERLUDE II (BBCP soundtrack)
North American (PS3):
The standard version will retail for $49.99 USD. The Limited Edition ($79.99 USD) will include:
- Small Nendoroid figure of Rachel Alucard
- 40-page full-color artbook
- Official soundtrack CD
- Special features Blu-ray