DISCLAIMER! XSeed was gracious enough to provide us at Dashing Nerds a pre-release review copy of Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel! Thanks a ton, XSeed!!!
A Note from Scott: I don’t have any history with the visual novels or series the characters are from in Nitroplus Blasterz, but my friends and I do play a lot of fighting games. Thus, this review will judge less on character representations and more on its quality as a fighting game. Which, you know, it is, after all…
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroine Infinite Duel is a cross-over 2D fighter that pulls heroines like Saber (Fate/Night) and Homura (Senran Kaguraout) and throws them together in intense, fast paced fighting title. The good folks at XSeed are bringing over this console port of the arcade fight to North America. Will these lovely ladies have what it takes to stand toe-to-toe against heavy hitters like Street Fighter and Guilty Gear?
Anime Girls Fighting? So Kawaii!!! >.<
There will always be a place in my heart for well done, quality, 2D sprite based fighting games. Blasterz is in the same vein as Arc System’s Guilty Gear and BlazBlue titles, but unlike the recent Guilty Gear Xrd, Blasterz still utilizes 2D sprites and not 3D models. All of the character sprites are incredibly well done and detailed, with fluid animations. Each of the 14 playable characters (2 that are currently locked) are very detailed (each character has 18 different color palettes!), and the plethora of support characters are just as beautiful to look at as well.
- Aino Heart (Arcana Heart) (DLC console only)
- Al Azif (Demonbane series)
- Anna (Gekkō no Carnevale)
- Echika (Tokyo Necro)
- Ein (Phantom: Phantom of Inferno)
- Homura (Senran Kagura) (DLC console only)
- Ignis (Jingai Makyō)
- Mora (Vampirdzhija Vjedogonia)
- Ouka (OKStyle mascot)
- Ruili (Kikokugai: The Cyber Slayer)
- Saber (Fate/stay night) (Fate/zero incarnation)
- Sansei Muramasa (Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa)
- Saya (Saya no Uta)
- Super Sonico (console only)
- Akane Tsunemori (Psycho-Pass)
- Alushia (Hakubō no Dendōshi)
- Amy (Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet)
- Angela Balzac (Expelled from Paradise)
- Another Blood (Kishin Hishō Demonbane)
- Anri (Tenshi no Nichō Kenjū -Angelos Armas-)
- Aoi Mukō (Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi)
- Carol (Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas)
- Dragon (Dra†KoI)
- Ishima Kaigen (Hanachirasu)
- Kuro no Franco/Franco il Nero (Zoku Satsuriku no Jango -Jikogu no Shōkin Kubi-)
- Miyuki Sone (Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi)
- Mugen Yoguruma (D.Y.N. Freaks)
- Natsumi Aibara (Hello, world.)
- Sakura (Axanael)
- Spica (Sumaga)
- Super Sonico
- Yoishi Mitsurugi (Phenomeno)
- Yuki Takeya (School-Live!)
While I am personally not familiar with many of the female characters that make up the playable and support roster in this game, I found that each had a unique fighting style; some battled much better playing the long-range zoning game, while others excelled at getting all up in your face. Sound wise, the hit sfx all fit the bill and the VAs did a fine job. In terms of the music, though, none of the tracks really left a lasting impression–at least not one that I would find myself humming once the game was turned off. For better or worse, all of the spoken dialog in Blasterz is in Japanese with English subtitles.
If you have played a 2D fighter before, you will have a good grasp on what to expect with Blasterz. It uses the light, medium, heavy attacks with a launch button that will send opponents flying into a wall or into the air. Quarter circle, charges, shoryuken inputs are present. Characters with unique attacks and combos, super moves, and finishers are accounted for and are easy to pull off.
In addition to the main character you select, you also have a number of assist characters available to to call in once their respective bar fills. It is similar to the assists from the Marvel Vs. Capcom series, but you aren’t able to swap control of your playable character. Luckily, there are 20 assist characters you can mix and match, so there is still a good amount of variety. My personal favorite was Dragon, the pink-haired schoolgirl with a special talent– when summoned, she shoots a huge laser out of her mouth that hits everything on the top half of the screen…Greg from Dashing Nerds did not appreciate when I called in Dragon…
The game suffers not from the dreaded lag, and even the more complex finisher moves I input came out in lighting speed. The game is responsive and fast, almost too fast. Matches ended very, very quickly, with the damage levels being far too high. Even while blocking, being hit with a finisher move could easily take off 1/4 of your life, with it taking off more like 1/3 – 1/2 if you fail to do so. Neither Greg nor I could find any way to lower the damage levels or tweak handicap settings to make the games last longer.
In terms of gameplay modes, each character has their own individual stories. These take place over the course of 8 fights, with dialogue between each fight, leading up to the final big bad. Once you have cleared the game with a character, you unlock the “Another Story” mode which is additional story, but this time you are given a specific fighter to use. Unfortunately, you can clear Another Story in short order–under 15 minutes if you skip the dialogue. Or if you want just the story, you can also skip all the fights. Other than the story modes, the rest of the mode offerings are pretty typical with your versus, a score attack, and training. As of this review, with it being prior to the game’s release, we couldn’t find any rooms for matchmaking.
While Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroine Infinite Duel may not be the most feature rich or balanced fighting game I have ever played, I did enjoy my time testing out and learning the moves for a number of the characters. With crossover titles, you really can get some interesting character combinations, and this is no different. From Muramasa (a robot spider transformer girl) to Sonico (a console exclusive playable character who attacks with her pet cats–yes, pet cats) you have all manner of girls to pick from. I would have liked to seen more of the assist characters actually be playable. If they make Dragon playable in the next game, I will buy it instantly! The story modes were alright, but as more and more fighting games are including rich stories, such as Guilty Gear and Mortal Kombat, I was left feeling fairly ho-hum about the offerings in this. Then again, I can attribute this more to my lacking of source material knowledge for the cast.
Overall, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroine Infinite Duel is more like a cute little sister to the other bigger named fighting games out today. In the future, there is definitely room for development and fleshing out the gameplay systems and roster a bit before it can stand on the same levels as its older established siblings.
- Beautiful 2D sprite work and animation
- Interesting characters and playstyles
- Damage output is really high, leading to really quick fights
- Could use some additional modes or make story modes more engaging than just fight, character dialog, repeat
- Could afford to increase the playable roster of characters