03rd Nov2015

‘BlazBlue Chronophantasma Extend’ Review (PS4)

by Phil Wheat


As someone approaching 40 (dear god, really?) I’ve played my fair share of video games. Probably more than my fair share. From the days of the ZX81, through Commodore 64 and into the console era with the NES, SNES, Megadrive, Saturn, PS1, PS2 etc., And for the longest time my favourite genre was the platformer – especially during the 8-bit era. But as I’ve got older and time has become more precious – especially juggling work, this website, reviews etc., and other grown-up stuff I’d rather not deal with – I’ve found myself leaning more towards two particular genre of games: shoot ’em-ups and beat ’em-ups.

Both are genres that afford me the luxury of being able to pick-up and play games when I have free time, which is a godsend, and both typically cater to my love of all things Far Eastern… I guess my love of shoot ’em-ups and beat ’em-ups also stems from my love of the Playstation 2. Even now I still have a huge collection of shooters and fighters – including the ALL of the Guilty Gear series, the predecessor to the BlazBlue franchise, across all of Sony’s consoles (and yes I even imported the physical release of the recent PS4 Guilty Gear game after it was announced the UK was only getting a digital version).

As a fan of 2D fighters in particular there are four core franchises I play, though I don’t limit myself to them of course: SNK’s King of Fighters, Capcom’s Vs. series, Guilty Gear, and on last-gen consoles, BlazBlue. But these days 2D fighters are few and far between, especially in the West where FPS’ rule the market, so when a new one is announced I can’t help but get a little… excited (as you may have seen in this previous article). Which is why BlazBlue Chronophantasma Extend was a day one purchase, even for a cheapskate like me!

This new iteration of the franchise takes all that has come before in the world of BlazBlue and ups the ante. All the DLC from the original Chronophantasma is here, the game has a rebalanced fighting system, new netplay features and improved netcode that includes cross-platform play between PS4 and PS3. The Story Mode features new story chapters as well as recap segments of the story so far in Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift. There’s also a brand new remix heart mode. Based on the popular manga BlazBlue: Remix Heart, Remix Heart Gaiden is a heart-warming comedic story featuring two high school girls, Mai Natsume and Kajun Faycott, as well as the characters from the main story, Noel, Tsubaki, and Makoto.

But of course BlazBlue is all about the fighting, and there’s a wealth of single player modes, including Arcade mode, Score Attack, Abyss mode, Unlimited Mars and Highlander Attack in BlazBlue Chronophantasma Extend. Plus, for those not as well-versed in the ways of the franchise, the extensive (and I mean extensive) tutorial mode will get even beginners up to speed on just how to pull off some of the games most astonishing moves and combos. And with a roster of 28 playable characters, including the all-new Celica A. Mercury, there’s a LOT of fighting styles and variety of moves to master!

The press release for BlazBlue Chronophantasma Extend states that “BlazBlue is the pinnacle of 2D fighting excellence, boasting gorgeous, fluid, high-resolution sprites for an anime-style fighting experience like no other”. And honestly, I can’t disagree. This game looks amazing, making fantastic use of the power of the current-gen consoles to bring the 2D characters to life; and the level of detail is stunning, even over the likes of its gaming brethren, Guilty Gear Xrd (also available on the PS4). As a fight-game fan I can tell you this…  Street Fighter V has some big shoes to fill. It will certainly take something truly amazing to beat this game.

BlazBlue Chronophantasma Extend is out now on PS4 and Xbox One.


Comments are closed.