Sometimes I feel like there is a rich landscape of Japanese niche titles that I never get my grasp on. It’s as if looking from the other side of the fence when a neighbor gets a brand new pool. Everything inside is telling you to dive right in, but yet somehow, you know it’s not for you. Thats how I felt before diving into Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel, and let me say the water was not as bad as I thought.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is a take on the traditional fighting genre. The unique part is that this fighting roster is solely made of up female characters from IPs from the Nitroplus universe. The roster is awesome. Every girl has their own identity, weaponry, and skill set that varies stranger and stranger from the next. I seen chainsaw arms, to wings made of swords, to a Thor-style hammer. Each one extremely badass. If you are a newcomer, this is a rough game to break into though. Immediately I noticed a lot of terminology from past lure. It left me feeling a bit confused but from what I gathered the story wasn’t too groundbreaking. I knew this because the game wasn’t 100% westernized with voice over, delivering piles of subtitles that allowed me to read and re-read at my own pace.
Even though this is just your standard fighting game, it packs a decent amount of content. While the typical expectations would be the standard arcade ladder ran a bunch of times, NB:HID unlocks another hefty story once you beat it. I give developer EXAMU credit, this second story was given just as much effort as the main one. One thing I couldn’t help but notice is the city in the second story is literally called “Arkham City”. Their story references a character who is a CEO of a multi-million dollar company. Who in secret, uses his resources to fund fighting evil. Seriously. Who was in charge of westernization here? How did nobody have that “wait a second, that’s Batman” moment?
The most important aspect of any fighting game is how it controls. NB:HID is weird in this department. While the movement felt slow, the combos felt fluid and responsive. Getting to the opponent was the hard part, but once there you can unleash an assault like no other. The combos were easy to execute and always a pleasure to see the over-the-top animations that complimented them. You have your standard strong attacks and weak attacks. Then special attacks, which include calling in your AI partners, each player picks 2 in the player select screen, to double the beating.
The visual aesthetic of NB:HID was nailed perfectly in my opinion. The bright animated pastel tones to bold neon bursts really give this a nice polished presentation. The backgrounds and environments are crisp and well designed. It would have been cool to have interactive stages, but they do a modest job of just being there and looking pretty. It still impresses me when a game can make me feel like I’m playing a cartoon.
The only area that seems to fall drastically lower than the rest in NB:HID is the audio. The voice acting is cookie cutter in relation to other entries in this genre. It’s either over dramatized delivery of lines, grunts and groans, or cheesy jokes. The game is sadly not saved by its score either. It is eerily reminiscent of early 90s Sega games. Now that may sound nostalgic and awesome at first, but when it’s the same clip being played over and over, not so much.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel delved into my curiosity of the Japanese fighting genre. It was greeted with a decent experience and solid foundation. Controlling your fighter can be awkward, but get next to the opponent and release feel good, glorious beat downs, and a button mashing war. An interesting roster, dual storylines, and great visuals prove this to be worthy of a newcomers time, and a real treat for established fans.
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