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Feature: A Beginner's Guide to the World of BlazBlue

Posted by James Newton

Welcome, stranger

Released in North America a few months ago, today marks the European release of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2 on 3DS, the fighting series' first ever appearance on a Nintendo console (well, there was BlayzBloo: Super Melee Action Battle Royale, but that doesn't really count.) But what exactly is BlazBlue? With a pretty decent select of quality fighters on 3DS already, what makes BlazBlue stand out? Let us explain.

Whereas Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition went with polygonal models, BlazBlue's stock in trade is quality 2D artwork: each character has over 1,000 frames of animation, reflecting not just the quality of animation but the wide move set at each fighter's disposal too. Granted it might not have quite as much spectacle on 3DS as Capcom's effort or Tecmo's Dead or Alive: Dimensions, but quality sprite work will always have a special place in the hearts of many gamers.

In our BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2 review we said:

With the 3D fully enabled the characters stand out in front of vivid multi-layered backgrounds, and it's absolutely beautiful to behold.

The characters aren't the usual mute journeymen searching for the perfect fighting style either, as these official character descriptions explain:


The true form of Noel. After fusing with the Azure Grimoire, she believes the world is filled with lies and wants to erase it from existence. Hitting the D button will allow her to summon inter-dimensional lasers to trap and attack her enemies.

Valkenhayn R Hellsing

Valkenhayn is Rachel’s butler and is always looking out for his mistress. He’s also a werewolf, and can turn into this form at will, for more powerful attacks and speed, but at the cost of defence.


The fastest combatant in BlazBlue – Taokaka uses deadly claws to quickly slash at her opponents. The cat-like Tao is also one of the stupidest, with a lust for food and, er… the larger breasted lady.

Her speed makes her a difficult foe to keep up with meaning she can get an attack in before her opponent knows what hit her.

Each character handles very differently, too: BlazBlue is renowned for having a very complex but rewarding fighting system. Fighters each possess a unique "drive attack", ranging from magnetism to unleashing hordes of bees; they're generally a little more unusual than the special attacks seen in other games.

If it all sounds a bit confusing, there's a particularly in-depth tutorial that takes you through everything from movement and blocking to chaining attacks and combos. Whether you're a newcomer or a fighting game veteran, make sure you play through the tutorial at least once to make sure it all sinks in.

Once you've mastered the moves, the expansive story mode awaits. Laid out as a graphical novel permeated by fighting, each of the 18 characters has three endings; completing the game with each fighter unlocks another mode with another chunk of visual novel to work through. There's also Legion mode that combines turns-based strategy with combat as you send your characters around a map to conquer nodes.

If all this sounds right up your street, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2 is out now in North America and Europe. Stay tuned to Nintendo Life in the near future as we'll have some exciting BlazBlue prizes to give away including the sought-after manga edition comic, currently only available by purchasing the Manga Edition from the BlazBlue store.

From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (24)



Reala said:

well this sounds a hell of a lot more interesting then the other fighters on 3DS imo, also sprites are a definite plus too.



Legodavid18 said:

Couldn't have timed this article better: I was just watching a walkthrough of Calamity Trigger's Story Mode, so that I would be fully prepared for BB:CS2. The sad thing is that while the official releasedate is today, none of the shops around here have the game until the eighteenth, not even the online shops!



Popyman said:

BUY THIS GAME. Sure it doesn't have online but you know what? It doesn't freaking need it. It's jam packed with content, things to unlock, multiple modes that are all fun, a story that is the best a fighter has ever had, and a tutorial mode that teaches you EVERYTHING. This is by far the greatest fighter ever made, IMO, with or without online.



Noire said:

Arc System Works has such beautiful and ridiculously awesome fighting games. I have Continuum Shift on the PS3 and it's so much fun and definitely contends for my favorite fighter.

Now if only Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Area could get released now because I am impatient...



AVahne said:

Well at least it has local multiplayer, but still, if the other versions of the game have online, why not make this game online too? It just doesn't make any sense to have one version NOT have online. And why isn't there C-Pad movement? I prefer D-Pad, but they should've added it for people who prefer a stick for a fighter (arcade days?).



stipey said:

This is coming out so long after the US version: I don't suppose it fixes the slowdown that scored it so many low reviews, does it?

Edit: "So many" seems to have been just IGN....



Slapshot said:

@stipey In my time with the game during the review and extensive time with the game after the review, I very rarely saw any real slowdown, and the only time this happened was with the 3D on at full blast and during extremely chaotic fights with loads of projectiles flying everywhere — at which point I was kinda glad it slowed down a bit to give me an extra second to time my counters! Even then though it was only a slight slowdown and nothing substantial.

@Koto The C-Pad is used for attacks that otherwise would have been mapped to the two top buttons on the console versions (if my memory serves me correctly).



retro_player_22 said:

I love this game, I was really wishing for a port to also come out for the Wii as well. As much as I love the HD versions, a Wii version of BB:CS2 with WiFi online play would make this a worthwhile edition.



FonistofCruxis said:

Since Calamity trigger isn't on a Nintendo console, I watched an lp of that so that I knew the story prior to this but because of how complicated it is I still don't full understand it so I'm going on Blazblue wiki to help me understand it more. I don' think I'll get this game soon but I'll definitely get it at some point.



misswliu81 said:

arc system works who developed this game also developed guilty gear, which is similar both in terms of gameplay and the graphics.

i played blazblue on the 360 before using the tekken fighting game stick. really good fun it was. another great addition to the 3DS fighting games line-up.



emirblade said:

I play this game even more than my street fighter 3DS. It gives me more adrenaline.



timp29 said:

Looks really cool, but owning more than 2 fighters will be a waste for me. Since I have SFIV3D, I will wait to see if Tekken is any good



FonistofCruxis said:

I heard that there are 18 characters but all the characters from BB:CT along with the new ones is more than 18. Did they take out some from Calamity trigger? If so, which ones. I'm guessing V-13 is one of them due to story events.



Noire said:

They took out Nu-13 and replaced her with Lambda-11. I'm pretty sure that's the only one.



KDR_11k said:

These fighting games always have intriguing stories (but maybe that's because they're not being told properly so you just can't tell that they're weak) but I just can't get into the mindset required for one on one melee combat. The fighting game I liked the most was Scarlet Weather Rhapsody because the story mode was made of proper boss battles instead of even one on one fights and relied a lot on pattern recognition and other such classic traits.



Adam said:

The game is way too complicated. What's bizarre is they designed this to be more beginner friendly. I had this on PS3 and didn't understand half of what was going on in the tutorial, much less an actual match. Every 2D fighter these days claims to want to go back to basics but then ends up being more technical than ever.



KDR_11k said:

The framework of fighting games is used so restrictively and rigidly that there's not much possible innovation outside of piling on more incomprehensible systems. Almost no devs are willing to challenge the established tropes in the way Nintendo did with Smash Bros. Well, maybe it's just the rigidity of the definition of a fighting game, when somebody makes something different like e.g. the combat-related EA Sports games they're no longer considered fighting games.



jpfan1989 said:

Does this game have a Download play/multiplayer off one cart feature like the other 3DS fighters?



Retro_on_theGo said:

It's definitely a good game but I'm sticking with the machine at my local arcade. Tekken is the only fighter on need on my 3DS! :3
oh, and SSB D:



wedgeredleader said:

I've spent many an hour playing this game. I don't claim to be good at fighting games but I have a fair amount of fun with this one. I would you pick it up if you have the extra cash, and/or find it cheap.

It's gameplay and characters are similar to that of Guilty Gear (I like the characters in this one better). So if you liked Guilty Gear you most likely would enjoy this one as well.



motang said:

I still need to play this one, I have it, but I just haven't played it as much as SSF IV.

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