GAMES - Article
10:35 - 23rd October 2015, by NEO Staff

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend

Get ready to get your game on, as PQube unleashes the fury of BlazBlue in the UK today!

The BlazBlue series first hit back in 2008 with the arcade release of Calamity Trigger. Since then, we’ve been treated to Continuum Shift, Chrono Phantasma and now Chronophantasma Extend, a polished and updated version of the third installment, and the first game in the franchise to be released on the Xbox One and PS4. The game is also available on PS3 and PSVita.

This is an awesomely fun fighter with great characters and visuals – the narrative might feel weighty to the newcomer, but the action is slick and fast. The roster of 28 characters has a varied and extensive move set. They all vary in speed, power, ranged or close attacks, but each of them have four basic attacks, ranging from weak to powerful. By pushing all four of these attack buttons at the same time, you trigger Overdrive, which gives each character a unique benefit. The lower your health, the longer you can initiate Overdrive for. This can really turn the tables of a battle, and adds even more tension to the proceedings. There are techniques a-plenty, and although you can accidentally feel like a pro by button mashing, coming across a player who knows the finer details of the game will soon put you in your place.

Luckily, there are additions to the game to cater to newbs and veterans alike. The Stylish Mode makes it far easier to string combos together, and you can light up the screen with insanely psychedelic attacks. Those familiar with the series will enjoy the reworked Guard Gauge system, as using Guard Crush successfully gives you an amazing sense of accomplishment.

Tutorial and Challenge modes are there to help you get to grips with the very basics, such as moving around the 2D arena, all the way to mastering moves so complex you need a PhD in Engineering to pull them off. These modes are essential for any new player, as there are a number of special system mechanics that take a little getting used to.

There is also a mode called Teach Me, Miss Litchi, which schools you on the vastly expansive history of BlazBlue. The new Story Mode gives you three arcs to flick between, with beautiful visuals and a hefty amount of exposition. Fortunately, the voice acting is awesome and the story flits between lighthearted and funny, to serious and sombre at a regular enough pace to not feel like a real grind, even if you do find yourself waiting for ten minutes at a time between battles.

For even more longevity there are no fewer than six Battle Modes, including the standard Arcade and Versus, plus Abyss, Score Attack, Unlimited Mars and Highlander Assault Modes. In Abyss Mode, you can earn and discover items that would otherwise need to be bought, Unlimited Mars Mode sees you fight against ten Unlimited characters, which is a challenge in and of itself, but you are also trying to wrack up the highest score possible (which you can post online for boasting rights).

Lastly, by completing the Story Mode, players can select the Highlander Assault Mode for a chance to fight against Gigant: Take-Mikazuchi, the largest Nox Nyctores – a beast so big he is encased in a satellite, and rains down destruction from space! With so much to unlock and achieve, there is a staggering amount of replayability – and that’s before we’ve even hit on the incredible online mode!

Pick up NEO 143, on sale 29 October, for more on BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend, out now on PS4, PS3, PSVita and Xbox One from PQube.

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