BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is a 2D sci-fi fantasy fighting game developed and released by Arc System Works for arcades (using PC-based Taito Type X² hardware) in Japan on November 20, 2009.
A direct sequel to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Continuum Shift continues the story while adding two new characters (the suspicious Hazama and his subordinate Tsubaki), revamped gameplay mechanics (replacing the "Guard Libra" and "Barrier Burst" systems with "Guard Primer" and "Break Burst"), new UI and new system voices. It later received an enhanced revision, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II (and its console release BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend), followed by the sequel BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma.
The game's story continues where Calamity Trigger left off, with both the continuous resurrection of the Black Beast and its ensuing time loop stopped by Noel Vermillion preventing Ragna the Bloodedge from being merged with the Murakomo Unit Nu-13. As the city of Kagutsuchi finally reaches the 23rd century, a new evil entity known as "Terumi" begins its evil plan.
The game later received a console version on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, released in Japan (on July 1, 2010), North America (by Aksys Games on July 27, 2010), and Europe (by pQube and Zen United on December 3, 2010). This version features a new story mode, revamped versions of the predecessor's stages, Legion Mode (from the predecessor's PSP version), new tutorial-based modes (including a Challenge mode similar to Street Fighter IV), and post-release patches (including character balance changes and new DLC characters).
Much of the game is identical to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, with some key additions and updates:
- In addition to the Type-A and Type-B button configurations, a new "Beginner" configuration is added. See Beginner Configuration for more details.
- The "Guard Libra" system is now replaced with Guard Primer, in which players start with a limited number of points (determined by character, with smaller characters starting with a smaller amount) and lose points for blocking attacks with "Guard Break" properties. Once all points are lost, the character enters a Guard Crush state that leaves them temporarily vulnerable. Performing a Barrier on the final point instead consumes more of the Barrier Gauge. Points are regenerated over time.
- The "Barrier Burst" technique is now replaced with Break Bursts, which are now tracked with tokens underneath the player's Life Gauge. These can be used offensively while in neutral (to launch opponents upward) or defensively while in hitstun/blockstun (to knock the opponent away). Unlike Barrier Bursts, Break Bursts no longer depletes the Barrier Gauge and are carried over between rounds (with players starting with 1 token and gaining an additional token after losing a round). Performing a defensive Break Burst reduces the player's maximum Guard Primer points by half.
- A new stronger variation of the Counter Hit system is added, known as the Fatal Counter. Certain attacks now inflict Fatal Counters instead of normal Counters, which further extends the hitstun of each attack in the combo.
- All characters now have Astral Heats available from the start. The criteria to perform an Astral Heat is also updated, allowing it to be performed at the user's winning round (rather than the overall final round) and with the opponent at a higher Life Gauge (35%, rather than 20%). However, it now requires one Burst token in addition to a full Heat Gauge.
- To help against continuously-attacking opponents, players who are in a near-continuous blockstun for at least six seconds causes all of the blocks afterwards become Instant Blocks until they are no longer blockstunned.
- The damage reduction penalty from Negative Penalty has been reduces from double damage to +50% damage.
- The Life Gauge now changes color to better indicate the character's vitality. Green -> Yellow -> Red.
In addition to the standard Type-A and Type-B configurations, the game includes a new Beginner configuration intended for beginner players, with simplified command inputs and auto-combos.
Rather than the standard four-button layout, Beginner completely changes the layout into the following:
- Basic attacks are now done using either the Normal (N) or Heavy (H) attack buttons. Rapidly tapping these buttons can be used to perform pre-determined combo strings.
- Special moves are now initiated solely using the Special (S) button. The type of special move used is based on the joystick position.
- Both throws and throw escapes are now performed solely using the Throw (T) button.
Some advanced techniques are not possible with this configuration, including Drives, Counter Assaults, Rapid Cancels, and Break Bursts. However, all blocks are now Barriers, and players can still perform Distortion Drives (by holding either N or H buttons) and Astral Heats (by holding both N and H buttons).
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.
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.
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.
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.
11 of the 12 characters from the original BlazBlue return (the only exception being Nu-13, who is refitted into the new character Lambda-11). The original Arcade version added 3 new characters, for a total of 14. The Console versions added two additional characters (one unlockable, one as DLC), with two more added as post-release DLC (for a grand total of 18 playable characters).
Similar to the original game, each character in the Console version has a unique and powerful "Unlimited" version. These are unlockable per-character through Score Attack mode, or purchasable as DLC ($0.50 each, or $4.99 for all characters). DLC characters have their Unlimited versions unlocked from the start.
- Tsubaki Yayoi - A First Lieutenant of the Novus Orbis Librarium and friend to both Jin and Noel. Armed with the heirloom of the pretigious Yayoi family, the "Sealed Weapon Izayoi", she is tasked by her superiors with hunting down both Jin and Noel. Her Drive, "Install", allows her to charge-up her unique "Install Gauge" in order to perform enhanced versions of her special moves.
- Hazama - The Captain of the Novus Orbis Librarium's Intelligence Division, who hides his "true self" behind a gentle and suspicious demeanor. Up until this point, his true purpose is unknown. His Drive, "Ouroboros", allows him to manifest and send forth a snake-headed chain attack (from different angles) that can be followed-up with multiple acrobatic maneuvers.
- Lambda-11 (stylized as Λ-11, or Λ No. 11) - An imitation "Murakomo Unit" created by scientist Kokonoe from fusing the soul of the 13th Prime Field Device with the body of the 11th one. A living bio-weapon with no memories of her past, she is used for fulfill Kokonoe's goals. In-game, she is a palette swap of Nu-13 who is rebalanced for normal play. Her Drive, "Sword Summoner", allows her to launch a variety of sword projectiles at different angles.
- Mu-12 (stylized as μ-12, or μ No. 12) - A Murakomo Unit, the "Sword of the Godslayer: Kusanagi", and the true form of Noel, who is revealed in her Arcade Mode ending to be the 12th Prime Field Device after fusing with a piece of the Azure. Her Drive, "Steins Gunner", allows her to summon energy nodes in one of four targeted locations, each tracking the opponent and firing a single half-screen laser beam. She can also use these nodes with some special moves. She was added in the Console version, and is unlockable either by completing Story Mode or via DLC.
- Makoto Nanaya - A squirrel beastkin and former classmate of Noel and Tsubaki, drafted into the Novus Orbis Librarium's Intelligence Division. She is a close-ranged brawler who uses a pair of cross-shaped tonfa in battle. Her Drive, "Impact", allow her to charge-up a powerful punch attack (which have additional properties, such as knocking opponents away or allowing new combo routes). Added in the Console version as DLC.
- Valkenhayn R. Hellsing - A wolf beastkin and the loyal servant to the Alucard family, who seeks Rachel's whereabouts after sensing the calamity in Kagutsuchi. He has many secrets regarding his past, including his role as one of the six heroes who defeated the Black Beast. His Drive, "Werewolf", allows him to switch between his human form and his wolf form. While in wolf form, he has a new moveset that is more aggressive and agile (at the cost of being unable to block). He has a unique "Wolf Gauge" that determines how long he can stay in wolf form. Added in the Console version as DLC on September 2010 (PS3) and December 2010 (360).
- Platinum the Trinity - A mysterious young girl with two personalities: the brash girl Luna and the timid boy Sena. Armed with her Nox Nyctores weapon "Muchourin", they are requested by Jubei to travel to Kagutsuchi for a purpose. Her Drive, "Magical Symphony", allows her to randomly summon one of six items for her Muchourin (including multiple types of melee weapons and ranged explosives) and then attack with them. Originally added in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II, then added in this game's Console version as DLC on May 2011.
- Ragna the Bloodedge - A fugitive who holds the power of the Azure Grimoire ("BlazBlue"). Still hunted down by the Novus Orbis Librarium, he begins his hunt for the one responsible for his abominable past (the one known as "Terumi").
- Jin Kisaragi - A military genius who is normally faithful to the Novus Orbis Librarium, only to abandon his post to search for Ragna (who is revealed to be his brother). While recovering from the incident, he again deserts in order to find Ragna (while being hunted down by the Librarium enforcer Tsubaki).
- Noel Vermillion - Jin's direct subordinate, revealed to be successor to the true power of Azure. As she is hunted down by both the Librarium and Sector Seven (both for different purposes), she continues her quest to reunite with Jin.
- Rachel Alucard - The current head of the Alucard vampire family, who is revealed to have had the power to carefully spectate the events of the time loop. When she sacrificed this power to intervene and end the time loop, she becomes determined to settle matters with her enemy "Terumi".
- Taokaka - A cat beastkin who is revealed to be the descendant of a series of biological weapons created from the genes of Jubei (one of the "Six Heroes"). She decides to venture out of the Kaka Village for further excitement.
- Carl Clover - A young vigilante who has brought many criminals to justice with his sister Ada (who he refuses to accept that she was transformed into the Nox Nyctores doll weapon "Nirvana"). He seeks Ragna's Azure Grimoire to turn his sister back to normal.
- Litchi Faye Ling - A renowned doctor and former Sector Seven scientist, as she is seeking to restore her former colleague Arakune. She now seeks help from Sector Seven scientist Kokonoe.
- Arakune - An amorphous monster housing a myriad of insects. Revealed to be a former Sector Seven researcher who transformed into the creature due to encountering an immense power. It still lurks in the underbelly of Kagutsuchi, hungry for a strong life force.
- Iron Tager - A cybernetic soldier serving Sector Seven, who is dispatched by his superior, Kokonoe, to secure Noel, the successor of the Azure.
- Bang Shishigami - A ninja and self-proclaimed "Vigilante of Justice" who protects the refugees of Ikaruga. After hearing that the heir to the late ruler of Ikaruga is alive and well, he begins a quest to seek the heir's whereabouts.
- Hakumen - A swordsman and one of the six heroes who defeated the Black Beast, only to lie in wait in the depths of Kagutsuchi for nearly one hundred years before his defeat by Ragna and capture by Sector Seven. He was later broken out by Rachel, and works with her to hunt down the evil "Terumi".
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift has a total of 29 stages, 14 returning originals and 15 new.
- 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
- 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
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.
Standard edition: $40
Standard edition: 7,140 ¥
Limited edition: 9,660 ¥
- Game disc.
- BlazBlue drama CD.
- BlazBlue art book.
- BlazBlue mini script.
- Nendoroid petit (figurine) of Noel.
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).
- 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 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.