Fighting games are in a weird place right now. In a world dominated by the prospect of becoming the next big eSport, games tend to focus on that ‘eSports money.’ Smaller games do not worry about that and tend to get left in the dust because of it. The marketing money is not there and the games tend to rely on word of mouth to be able to get the game into more hands. Needless to say, finding a niche is hard in a landscape that already has almost everything for everyone. You need something to help set yourself apart from the others to get people playing. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel, despite its hook being a good, accessible fighting game, falls a little short of making any impact due to its lack of content and online player base.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel takes characters from various visual novels that developer Nitroplus was involved in along with manga and anime series that Nitroplus were, in one way or another, involved with. Fans of these visual novels will no doubt find this game easily enjoyable and sink time into the story mode to see that has in store. Those who have no interest in anime or things of that nature may be immediately turned off by the story mode or maybe the game as a whole. This game is very anime-heavy so do with that information as you will.
The mainstream fighting games (your Street Fighters and Killer Instincts) use six buttons. You have three buttons for light, medium and heavy punches and kicks. The game then uses various combinations of those buttons for special moves. Those moves can take a little long to get the hang of and even longer to master. In fact, some may think the task is too daunting and they may just give up on fighting games. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel uses five buttons. Three of those are your light, medium and heavy attacks. The other two buttons are for escape and heavy actions. Attacks are very easy to input and execute. In fact, the controls may make this game one of the most accessible fighting games on the market right now. It took me very little time to get the hang of combos and I’m not necessarily a professional when it comes to fighting games. A training mode is present for you to practice combos and learn each character, much like most fighting games today.
You also choose two support characters that do various effects when you input their command. There are some pretty neat animations on these support actions ranging from a bunch of raging fangirls to a girl riding on segway inflicting some decent damage (There could be some story arc to all of that, but I’m not one who is well-versed in anime.) Inputting these actions are easy and can set up some decent combos that were surprisingly satisfying.
The accessibility may make Blasterz a good entry point into the fighting game genre for newcomers. However, there may not be enough to keep newcomers interested for a very long time.
You have your typical modes for a fighting game present in Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel. There’s a story mode that is the same across the 14 playable characters. Like I stated at the beginning, there isn’t anything special about this and may even prove to be quite bizarre if you are not into anime or the nitroplus manga. The difficulty on the story mode also ramps up big time toward the end. I found myself spamming the same move constantly to take down my opponent successfully which was not very fun.
There is online multiplayer but good luck trying to find a match, at least on the PC version (the version I reviewed.) I tried multiple times to get in on a match and was unsuccessful each time. This either says something about the online player base of the game or the netcode. My bet is the player base, especially on the PC version (the game is also available on PS3 and PS4.) This does not seem like the game that will cater to an online audience. There are also local multiplayer options via the versus mode.
In a world dominated by Street Fighter V, Marvel vs Capcom, Tekken 7 and Killer Instinct, the fighting game landscape is pretty well saturated right now. For new players trying to break into one of these games, the task can be almost impossible. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is an accessible fighting game that will help teach a newcomer the very basics of a fighting game. However, that is all it will do because there is very little else that the game brings. The lack of a steady online player base and a very niche story mode make this a hard sell for most people. The fighting is fun, no doubt, but it is hard to recommend a game that does not bring much to the table.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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