We’ve been waiting a hell of a long time for this, Arc System Works released this game in the arcades of Japan and North America in November 2008 and they received their console versions in June 2009, but the wait for a European release has been well worth it!
The first noticeable difference in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger is having only three different attack buttons and a ‘Drive’ button, instead of Street Fighter’s six button kick / punch configuration. Most fighting games these days also seem to have a character roster as long as both your arms but we’re left to make do with only twelve here. That’s certainly no bad thing in this case, with every character being as diverse and imaginative as you’d expect from the makers of Guilty Gear. Having got some serious time into the game I’m still only just feeling my way into the characters abilities and the fighting system, as the title just feels so very different to Street Fighter, and yet so similar in others.
The game offers up various modes of play: Story Mode, Vs and Online being staple choices, but with no tutorials offering up information as to the way all of these moves can be chained together, notes on strategies for the double jump, or how the various gauges work, it really does take a leap of faith and a large hammer to try and get behind this impenetrable wall of fighting mechanics.
So why keep playing a game that seems to offer up so little in the way of rewards? Because it’s so much fun, that’s why. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger looks absolutely gorgeous and it’s very easy to fall into the ‘one more go’ mentality when playing, gently caressing your senses with a combination of beauty and wonder that never seems to bleed into frustration like so many other fighting games. It has a far superior online mode to Street Fighter 4 to boot – a true marvel of the modern fighting era.
If you like fighting games, then stop waiting for Super Street Fighter 4 and go out and buy BlazBlue. Give it time and you may just be given a glimpse into the future of 2D fighting games.
MLG Rating: 9/10
Platform: Xbox 360 (Playstation 3, PC) Release Date: 02/04/2010
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a physical copy of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger for review purposes by the publisher. The title was reviewed over the course of 10 days on an Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.