BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend (PS Vita) Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Accessibility, Some Tweaks Favor Skilled Fighters, Abyss Mode, Relius Clover, Story, Can Disable Touch Controls, Stable Online For A Portable
Bad: Not Much of an Update
User Score
9.7
(3 votes)
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Fighting games usually have a love/hate relationship with gamers. While some people love them, others are bitter over new “updated” versions. Currently BlazBlue is on its fourth iteration, so we’ve seen a lot of what it has to offer already. However, does this mean we’ve seen everything Blazblue has to offer or is this update worth buying?

Find out the HOTs and the NOTs in our review of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend.

HOT

Accessibility
Fighting games are traditionally only for those who want to put in the dedication to master them, but BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend goes out of its way to assist you. From the start, you can experience the tutorial mode. Here, every element is explained and basic techniques are detailed. Through this, you’re given a deeper understanding of why, where as other games just show you how.

Additionally, there is also an expanded challenge mode. This is fully represented like on the console versions and includes what the inputs are, plus there’s a video of what the correct input looks like. However Extend adds an additional five challenges per character with extended starting challenges. For instance, most characters have a “full tour” for the first two challenges. The first one focuses on basic moves and the second one is usually reserved for specials, while the rest slowly show you more advanced moves. Unlike earlier titles, the new challenges make the progression a little slower, which makes the learning curve lower.

Another huge change was the dumbing down of Score Attack mode. This mode was originally extremely difficult, but now lacks any of the more difficult fighters (Ragna, Hazama, Hakumen, Taokaka). This change might seem bad, but for less skillful gamers, it makes a nice semi challenging survival mode.

Finally, if you’re uninterested in learning how to play, you can simply play under “stylish”. This will allow you to perform pre-programmed skills and seem like you have high amounts of skill. Naturally, this isn’t an instant pro setting, as the AI on a high difficulty will usually blow you away with ease.

Some Tweaks Favor Skilled Fighters
Earlier I mentioned Score Attack was dumbed down, but this was evened out by adding Unlimited Mars mode. This mode takes all the aforementioned difficult fighters and ups the ante by forcing you to fight them in unlimited form. I don’t normally say this, but I would wager this mode is simply impossible unless you have legitimate skill.

Abyss Mode
In an effort to change up the formula, Abyss Mode was added with several RPG undertones. These include a level system, power up items, a store to buy upgrades and much more. It also has a series of intense fights. You see as you progress through the levels, you will gradually go deeper for using certain skills/damage. Every 20 levels there will be a boss and the section will end at 100. This formula continues down to floor 999, which is great for anyone killing for a long task. There are a number of rewards so it is definitely worth your effort.

Relius Clover
Relius or Carl’s Father are finally added to the roster. Unlike the three former DLC characters, he’s completely his own thing. With this being said, he’s similar to Carl, although he is pretty unique too. For the most part, he’s hard to explain – think of him as a more combat heavy Carl with some interesting puppet attacks. Like all other fighters, Relius has his own style which makes him a great main choice.

Story
Just like Guilty Gear, BlazBlue has a long expansive story. Not much was added from the earlier Continuum Shifts, but there is a summary of Calamity Trigger that is simply fantastic. Granted it’s not the same as playing the game, although the nuts and bolts are fully represented. This makes it a fantastic introduction to the story if you missed the earlier games.

Can Disable Touch Controls
So far we’ve seen a lot of Vita games force touch controls down our throats. While they’re presented in Extend, you can also freely disable them. The actual controls use the back touchscreen and are achieved by dividing the back into eight segments for each control. I honest don’t think the game is playable with these controls, but you can disable them which is all that matters.

Stable Online for a Portable
Traditionally, fighting games have poor online matches, because any lag can cause a serious difference in inputs. However, I found the online on the Vita to be completely stable. There might be some slight delay, but considering it’s a portable console this feat is quite impressive.

NOT

Not Much of an Update
While BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend has a lot of awesome elements, but very few of them are new. Out of everything listed, the only new elements are new paid DLC (previous DLC is included for free), Relius Clover, Unlimited Mars, minor tweaks and touch controls. None of these things are a huge update from the previous Continuum Shift II.

VERDICT

BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend is exactly what every Vita game should be. It looks fantastic and tries to have something for everyone. Additionally the online is fantastic, which is a strong feat for the system plus you’re also given the option to play via ad hoc. Just about everything is flawlessly represented, but it would have been nice to see more updates. Honestly, if you’re looking for a fighter on the go, this is the game for you. It truly showcases just what the Vita is capable of.

 

[Editor’s Note: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend (PS Vita) Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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