Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is the newest 2D fighter on the PlayStation 4. It has an all-girl roster with characters from various visual novel, anime and manga, a premise not unlike to last year’s Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax.
If you are a Nitro Plus fan and have always been wondering who would come out on top if characters from your favorite series met, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is for you. It’s truly a shame that only a handful of the games that they are from have actually made it to the west, leaving the majority of players wondering who exactly are these obscure other characters. It’s one thing having Saya from Saya no Uta fight against Saber from Fate/stay night, but it’s totally another to have a character from Gekko no Carnevale duel it out against a character from Jingai Makyou. Fortunately, all the characters are distinct and have a totally different play style, and each and every one of them is a joy to use, even if you may never have heard of them.
There is not much as far as content goes. You have the story mode, which doubles as this game’s Arcade Mode, the typical training mode, a versus mode, a score attack mode, network mode and a gallery which displays all the artwork you unlocked.
Once you complete the Story mode the game unlocks the aptly named mode, Another Story. While the Story mode was composed of loosely tied scenes in-between every few battles, Another Story is primary concerned about the plot in its 10 chapters that take just over an hour to complete. It even allows you to skip battles so you can fully immerse yourself in the story, however for a game whose meat and potatoes are battles this option seems a bit superfluous. The plot in this mode is so awkward that I am having a hard time of putting it into words, but suffice it to say it is set in 1910s and plays out as a detective murder mystery in Arkham City and features circuses, universities and mafia and somehow ties in all the characters in a rather bizarre way.
Nitroplus Blasterz has a somewhat limited roster of characters, with only 12 characters available and two additional ones which are locked as part of the DLC. While the roster is rather small it grows exponentially in size when you add the slew of support characters into the mix. There are twenty available partners and you get to pick which two you want to bring with you. You’ll be playing for a long time in order to find the perfect combination which suits your fighting style.
A good partner combination can literally mean the difference between an easy victory and a total defeat. Support character can be summoned once their respective cooldown has passed and they each have different skills ranging from area of effect attacks, to counters, to buffs. Because some of these support characters are obviously better than others they each have a different cool down period so some might not even be able to lend a helping hand during shorter battles.
Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel is very accessible, with its fairly straightforward combat. It’s a game that allows you to just grab a controller and enjoy.
Players who are used to Blazblue and Guilty Gear’s massive command list might be disappointed. There is a limited amount of skills and special attacks and it takes very little to get to learn everything your character has to offer. What’s more, is almost all super attacks are cast via the same button combination, so once you learn how to play with one character you can easily swap between others.
Unlike in other fighters here you have three special bars which fill rather quickly. As each super move only requires one segment of your bar and are fairly easy to pull off, you will be able to easily launch them in quick succession. Because of this super moves feel more like an extension of your basic move set, than an all-powerful move which gives you a huge advantage.
Each character has a Lethal Blaze, this game’s ultimate attack. These use up all three bars of your power meter and are easy to dodge. If you do manage to connect with an opponent, you will be rewarded with a sweet little animation and at the same time deal a massive amount of damage.
As for the other systems, players can activate a Blast which interrupts enemy combos, use variable rushes to run down the opponent, dodge roll and use vanishing guard to defend in the air. It doesn’t have as much complexity when compared to other similar titles, but it doesn’t make it any worse for it.
The visuals are really good and easily stack up against the greats. Models look beautiful on the PlayStation 4 and it definitely shows that the game was made for the platform. The characters are hand drawn while the 3D backgrounds seamlessly fit into the style. The only complaint would be the lack of any kind of animation in the background as everything is frozen in place.
Nitroplus Blasterz is actually a very solid fighting game. It may not be able to complete with games like BlazBlue, Guilty Gear or even Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late, but it manages to be an enjoyable game nevertheless. It would have been easy to dis this game as a simple cash grab riding on the popularity of other franchises, but with its polished gameplay, great visuals and both accessible nature and challenging difficulty make it difficult to put down. Even though it may lack content, complexity or recognizable characters, fighting game fans and people looking to get into the genre should give this one a go.