Note: For a second opinion, be sure to check out David Poole’s prior review!
Examu and XSEED Games were excited to bring a new fanservice crossover title to us in the form of the fighting game, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel. Will it try to skate by solely on the fan service, or will there be a decent amount of content?
As with quite a few fighting games, the story in Nitroplus Blasterz isn’t very in-depth. You choose a character and fight through several characters until coming up to the boss. Honestly, as the developers are quite experienced with visual novels, I was expecting better. While it’s true that many don’t play fighting games for the story, I was disappointed that this would be another game that falls into that vein.
That said, once you get through the main story, Another Story opens up, which is more interesting than I was expecting, and even does more to show off the visual novel roots. You will go through several seemingly unrelated (at first) characters, with one or two fights thrown in. This mode is presented more like a visual novel, and I found it to be more enjoyable than the game’s “Main” story.
As a result, I would say the stories balance each other out, resulting in one that isn’t fantastic, but isn’t terrible either. It’s interesting to play through once, maybe twice, but then you’ll likely go for the other modes.
As a fighter, Nitroplus Blasterz features some simple pick up and play controls that more casual fighting fans will enjoy, though these may put off some veterans of fighting games who prefer control schemes like those found in Guilty Gear Xrd and the like. You have three attack buttons as well as one that can be charged and utilized to launch your enemy.
Each character’s move list is unique, but the inputs for each of the super moves tends to be the same across all characters. You will input quarter-circle and two attack buttons to utilize a super move on any character, and each character’s Lethal Blaze move is performed with a double quarter-circle and two buttons.
This simplistic input scheme, which is mapped quite well on the Dualshock 4, certainly lowers the barrier to entry, and the system itself seems quite simple at first. That said, the simplicity belies a more complicated side, with features like the Vanishing Guard system.
With this system, if you tap the evade button while guarding at the correct moment, you will be able to counterattack your opponent. Again, it sounds simple, but the tricky part is timing it correctly, and it becomes a risk-reward system, as, if your timing is off, you can be trapped while doing it and your opponent can easily exploit the opening and take you out.
Even this system, however, may not be enough to keep veteran fighting game players entertained.
Where most gamers will likely spend the majority of their time at is the game’s online mode. In this mode, you can choose any region to do battle with, and I typically did not experience any lag, so the netcode appears to be good.
In addition to the online and story modes, you have Training, which, contrary to what the name implies, doesn’t really explain the game’s mechanics. It serves more as a mode for you to experiment in.
There is also Score Attack, which is self explanatory, and the game’s Gallery mode, where you can view unlocked images and slideshows.
The last thing we’ll mention is the game’s roster. You have twelve (fourteen, if you include the two DLC characters, which are free for the first month) to choose from, each of which feels unique from one another. In addition to the cast, you have twenty support characters to choose from, which can help out by summoning deadly insects, running from hordes of zombies, unleash giant lasers, or even grant both you and your opponent a full meter on your three-part super meter. The different characters are certainly fun to play with and experiment with, but it is disappointing that there aren’t a few more in the playable roster. Each comes from something that Nitroplus worked on, be it anime or visual novel, but many of the references will likely be lost on the typical player, as a lot of the source material hasn’t made it over to our shores (unless you count some fan subbed and fan translated projects, of course).
The art style is good in Nitroplus Blasterz, but the static backgrounds may turn off a few. That said, even with all six characters on-screen, my friends and I didn’t notice any lag, The character animations may feel a bit bare-boned at times, but the sprite artwork is still good, and, if that’s the price to pay for not experiencing lag with so much happening on the screen at once, it’s a small price to pay.
In terms of music, Nitroplus Blasterz has a good opening theme. That said, the rest of the music can feel lackluster in comparison.
The sound effects, on the other hand, do not suffer this same downfall. Most, if not all, of the sound effects are quite nice and sound high-quality.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel has its share of downfalls, such as a cast that could benefit for being a bit larger and a main story that feels less like a typical lackluster fighting story (though, as mentioned, Another Story does make up for this a bit), but the pros, such as good netcode and a seemingly-simple-yet-deep combat system make up for them.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel isn’t a game that everybody will enjoy, but those who appreciate anime fighters, and especially those who can get all references that it throws at you, will likely find a fun, fanservice-filled fighting game.
Final score: 3.5/5