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BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Review

Blazblue: Continuum Shift 2 is the latest game in the BlazBlue series by Arc System Works. This is the 1st time this 2D fighter has gone into the 3rd dimension thanks to the power of the Nintendo 3DS bringing with it a ton of content that you wouldn't be able to find in the console versions, however does BlazBlue Continuum Shift II make those high paced, super battles even more epic on the 3DS? Or does the jump into the 3D realm spell a mistake for this certain series.

The game utilizes all the functions of its console counterpart in the 3DS version along with some new modes to make it stand out above the rest. Mechanics wise there are now two different ways you can set up your controls, Technical and Stylish with each working towards how you want to play the game.

Technical is the standard control scheme that you would be used to using. Stylish is like an in-between option where there will be one button to pull of cool combos and another for your special attacks. It’s a nice addition and seems to be pretty helpful to anyone that is new to the BlazBlue series and would like to see how the combat works. The only problem I have with this is that the joystick itself cannot be used for directional movements, instead being utilised for certain buttons or the ever ego filling taunt.
Where the heck do you hide that hammer!?
Another way the 3DS version goes the extra distance is through its Tutorial Mode which pretty much breaks down the entire game, from simply knowing how to dash forward to pulling off crazy combos it’s definitely a great way for anyone to get up to speed with the game’s mechanics in the most effective and structured way possible. It even comes along with an extra mode to help you learn about each character’s unique style and strategies.

Legion mode is pretty much a turn based strategy and fighting mode, yes it may sound awkward however it’s done in a way that works for both genres. You start off with your main character taking on teams of others spread across a map. Once you defeat a team, you have the choice of adding one of their members to your side. The map is completed when you finally defeat the opposition waiting for you at the goal.
The sounds fit the stages well and compliment the personality/ feeling of the character it is assigned to, however at times it seems like the sound is not being produced as well as it should be resulting in low quality background music and character dialogue.

As ever Blazblue: Continuum Shift 2 features the incredibly detailed sprite art that the series is well known for. With this in mind the environments and characters stand out really well regardless of the game being in 2D.
Prepare to get your butt kicked!
With the power of the 3DS, 3D has been enabled for this title adding a level of depth that even surpasses Super Street Fighter 4: 3D Edition. Yes it does pull the player into the game however just having layers on top of each other doesn’t bring out a true 3D experience, even with something like the special moves, nothing was done to make things appear above the screen. It also comes to question if such a heavy amount of depth was needed since sometimes it could make numbers/ letters on the screen difficult to read.

I find it surprising that the bottom screen on the 3DS was not used at all other than displaying player stats such as time played and number of wins. Maybe they stylish layout could have been implemented in the form of touch buttons on the bottom screen for quick control scheme switches during gameplay.
Oh this thing? It's... er... my pet!!
The design of the menu’s themselves are really interesting to look at, even those that appear for only 12 – 15 seconds have a level of detail not seen in many games today.

Final Verdict
The 3DS version of Blazblue: Continuum Shift II looks to be its most complete version. New modes, all characters unlocked (including console DLC ones) and a deeper look into the BlazBlue story overall. The 3D aspect could have been a lot better and the use of 2D art could have proven to produce some eye popping moments however with an abundance of modes to play Blazblue: Continuum Shift II offers just that much extra.

Gameplay = 8/10
Graphics = 8/10
Design = 8/10
Final We Know Gamers Score = 8/10

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