When it comes to 2D fighters I am becoming more and more addicted to titles based on Japanese anime and manga offerings. This is mainly because of just how different and fairly unique they can be in terms of characters and special moves. What’s more is that even if the game is my first introduction to a certain anime or manga series, there is a high chance of still enjoying the core fighting gameplay. The latest title to join my growing catalogue of 2D fighters is Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel for the PS3/PS4. So does this hit all the right buttons for me? Read on and find out.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is based upon the wide array of Nitroplus novels combining characters from the Nitroplus universe with strong core fighting mechanics. This title is also all about femme fatales as the roster is made up entirely of females. There are also two story modes on offer, both different. The first is the normal story which takes the usual form of eight battles. Once you have completed the normal mode, the Another Story mode opens up and is a continuation from the main story. This story instead of playing out as just battles actually feels more like an interactive novel. There are many cutscenes through eleven chapters with fights in between. This time you don’t get to pick your character or supporting characters which is actually a bonus. This mode allowed me to get a feel of the other characters and the story. Even though I am new to the Nitroplus universe I have to say I enjoyed this very dark, Gothic and slightly sexual narrative. It’s not that over-the-top like some anime titles can although some of the special moves of characters have that usual sexual innuendo humour about them.
There are twelve cute but very deadly playable characters as well as twenty non-playable support characters which you will get to choose two from. There are going to be two other characters released on launch day and will be free for the first month. Every character in the game has their very own unique personality and move sets. My favourite character so far has to be Sonico – thanks to her bringing cats to the battle field. Having your cats pull off a devastating 30+ hit combo has never been so satisfying. Ouka is a character that is strapped to a massive cross with cannons at the bottom and levitates. I really like what the team have done to the supporting characters as well since not all come in and do damage. In fact with some, your opponent can gain an advantage from their use. There is one support character who starts playing with a band in the background while releasing notes that give more health and so fourth, but your opponent can also collect this stuff. For some that do damage you, you can also be caught up in the mix. This is quite literary a stroke of genius. The support characters have a gauge that refills over time stopping the chance for anyone to just spam the partner attack.
This wouldn’t be a great fighter without strong core mechanics and I am happy to say that the team have done a great job. This is a fighting game that pretty much anybody can pick up and play, but can be challenging to master. You have a weak, medium, strong and heavy attack. The heavy attack can be held down to charge which usually results in them been hit across the screen. You can call in your support partners using L1 and L2, things can get crazy when there are all six characters on screen. People new to fighters need not get swayed away from this title as there is a Varible Rush move that uses up two power gauge units but will allow you to basically button mash a combo. As you get more skilled you will soon be making better use of that power gauge. Each character has a unique set of special and super moves along with one Lethal Blaze move. The latter results in an anime cutscene but doesn’t always end in an attacking move. Some seem more like a defensive move like Sonico’s which cuts to photographs being taken of her in various outfits. On the opposite end of the scale, one character’s special move has you looking down the scope of a sniper rifle as you try and shoot your opponent, but you need to be really fast and accurate. There has been so much put into the thought of characters move sets that it really makes this game stand out. The only one thing that I’m a little sad to see is the lack of a lot of collectables in the game like, artwork etc. Don’t get me wrong you do have a gallery with artwork from events in the game and two opening scenes, but I would have just liked there to be some more packed in.
Graphically I can’t really fault the game at all as it showcases it’s anime/manga roots. The cutscenes when you pull off your Lethal Blaze moves never grow old. The ten stages on offer are all different and some really do compliment the Gothic theme of the game. My only criticism is that the backgrounds are static, but given the work that has gone into the move sets and other fight animation I can overlook this easily. The voice overs in the game are in Japanese with English text which again feels just right. I liked the Gothic soundtrack on Another Story mode. Elsewhere you can expect upbeat music that packs a punch.
In terms of multiplayer you have local and online to sink your teeth into. The online modes on offer are Ranked Match, Player Match and Friend Match as well as a Replay Theatre. I really like the Replay Theatre as it allows you to watch your matches and in turn improve your skills. It is also great for bragging rights as well mind you. At the time of writing I have only had the one match but didn’t have any lag issues which was great. I will update the article if need be once I have tried out the servers when they go live upon the games launch, but everything is looking good so far.
The Good Things
- Solid fighting mechanics.
- Really like the way the character support system works.
- Don’t need to know the core material to enjoy the title.
And The Bad
- I would have liked to have seen more playable characters but the move list helps make up for it.
- A few more collectables wouldn’t have went amiss.
- Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is a solid 2D fighter with robust core mechanics. While fans of the Nitroplus will get the most out of this title, it is still a great pick up even if you are new to this anime/manga franchise. Thanks to the easy pick-up and play controls even novices will soon be puling off the character’s Lethal Blaze move. While the character count may not be a bold as some fighters, the diversity in the roster is certainly more than present. Each playable character has a wealth of unique moves, and the way support characters are used makes this title even more appealing. I would have liked to maybe have seen some more playable characters and a little more collectables but it hasn’t ruined my experience.
Strong core fighting mechanics and great character diversity hits all the right buttons.