Developed by Arc System Works and published by Aksys Games, BlazBlue Central Fiction is a 2D fighting game that is set after the events of BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma for Playstation 3. The game includes all twenty-eight fighters from Chrono Phantasma Extend. In addition, Central Fiction implements seven new characters, increasing the roster to a whopping 35 fighters.
These characters are – Hibiki Kohaku (Kagura’s assistant); Naoto Kurogane (the protagonist of Bloodedge Experience); Nine the Phantom (the boss of Act 1: Phantom of Labyrinth); Hades Izanami (she’s a villain of the series); Es (a character from the XBlaze series); Mai Natsume (the main character of the Remix Heart and Variable Heart manga’s); and Susano’o (a secret character that is unlocked by completing Story mode.
Like its predecessor, Central Fiction contains a variety of changes and updates. For starters, the Overdrive system – which is located beneath the Burst Gauge – now uses a countdown timer that counts seconds and split-seconds. While this can be considered a small change and not necessarily an update – the character portraits that appear next to the health bars now shake when a character sustains damage. Additionally, the ‘Wheel of Fate is Turning’ now shows when the first Rebel (i.e. match) begins.
Arcade mode is now separated into three acts. Additionally, Central Fiction includes two new game modes: Speed Star Mode and Alliance Mode. In Speed Star Mode, the player must defeat a group of CPU controlled adversaries before the timer expires. This mode is divided into three courses that contain their own difficulty, opponents, and time limits. Oddly enough, the player’s fighter does not sustain any damage while fighting. The game ends when the timer runs out.
Alliance Mode involves building a team of four characters and then battling groups of AI controlled fighters. The player must clear each course that contains six team battles. Similar to The King of Fighters, any characters that don’t participate in the battle will regain portions of their health. The game ends when the player’s team is defeated.
New features have also been added to Central Fiction’s gameplay. For example: Exceed Accel is a new type of Distortion Drive. This move can be executed by either pressing all four attack buttons together while in Overdrive or holding the same buttons after Overdrive has been activated. When a fighter performs a specific move that connects, the background will shatter away into a Overdrive background. The damage output increases tremendously for this short period of time.
Active Flow is a new game mechanic that is the opposite of Negative Penalty. A character that fights offensively enters Active Flow, which increases damage and recovery of the Burst Gauge. The character’s emblem (located on the health bar) glows purple pink, indicating that Active Flow is in use. The Exceed Accel function will gain additional damage during this period.
Stylish Mode has been completely revamped, and it now works like Technical mode with one minor exception: the player can use the Special button to perform chain combos and special attacks, eliminating the steep learning curve that most 2D fighters have. Veterans of the genre will most likely shun this new feature, while newcomers will appreciate its simplicity.
With updates aside, Central Fiction is a solid 2D fighter that still delivers all the knuckle-whitening action of its predecessors. Its online component also remains strong, as it delivers stable netcode that prevents input delays and lag. Plus, the online community is quite active and contains a wealth of experienced players.
BlazBlue: Central Fiction continues to lead the 2D fighting genre with innovative gameplay, solid controls, and a memorable cast of characters. As far as games are concerned, Central Fiction is one of the best fighting games currently available for Playstation 4.
Platform: Playstation 4
Developer: Arc Systems Works
Publisher: Aksys Games
ESRB: T (Teen)
|Gorgeous 2D sprites and backgrounds.|
|Ear-piercing sound effects and a rocking soundtrack.|
|Intense gameplay both offline and online.|
|BlazBlue Central Fiction is one of the best 2D fighters currently available for Playstation 4, period.|