Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2 (3DS)

Title: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2
System: 3DS
ESRB Rating: Teen for blood, language, partial nudity, sexual themes, and violence.
Number of Players: 1 player mode, local 2-4 (no global online play)
Buy It: Here.

It shouldn't have taken me this long to get on playing Continuum Shift 2. There really isn't an excuse for it, and that's because even though I historically loathe fighting games, I can freely admit that I adore the BlazBlue franchise. It's the only fighting game (Super Smash Brothers aside) that I can say that I've sat down and memorized combos for; I've invested more time in 2009's Calamity Trigger alone that it rivals the amount of time I've sunk into We Love Katamari on the PS2. And that's a lot of time.

So, how does Continuum Shift 2 stack up against its predecessors? And how well does it play on the 3DS? Well, that's a mixed bag, unfortunately.

CS2's fighting style plays out wonderfully on the 3DS, and that's a huge plus for it. Because it's a four-button fighting system to begin with, it feels natural on the 3DS, and the D-pad makes launching attacks in a specific direction feel crisp and clean because of its "clicky" feel. And the 2D sprites look fairly decent on the handheld as well. Granted, it doesn't look anywhere as nice as the PSP's offering of BB: Portable, but the 3DS isn't an HD system. So aside from looking nice and playing greatly, what went wrong?

The 3D went wrong, for starters. Playing in 3D mode lowers the game's frame rate and makes combos harder to time than when you have the slider set to turn 3D off because you can't always compensate for lag. Secondly, the 3D gives me incredible motion sickness and a headache I've never felt before in a game. I can't play more than a round or two without feeling ridiculously gorky, and I'm not the only one of my friends that's said that. Other 3D games for the system that I've played haven't given me this sensation (though 3D movies give me massive headaches - that's why I'll never watch a 3D movie.)

There's two other cons that the game has. Fitst of all, the game allows local wireless matches for two to four people, but has no Nintendo Wi-fi Connection link for global play. The second is that it doesn't go into sleep mode. Shut the lid, and it just pauses (and drains your battery) until you open it back up again. Seriously. That's kind of inexcusable, because every other DS game has a sleep mode built in. That was just laziness on Aksys' part.

Other than the frame rate being off and the sleep mode being nonexistant, the game has everything the original console version of Continuum Shift had, including Legion Mode and the Tutorial Mode, which is perfect for casual and beginning players. But this game really doesn't do anything that other 3DS fighters don't do just as well, or better, like Super Street Fighter IV.

Bottom Line: Unless you're a hardcore BlazBlue fan, bypass this 3DS installment. Even though it plays naturally, the 3D was implemented ineffectively and the lack of even a sleep mode gets it points off. It's still a great fighter by itself, but after SSFIV, there's nothing to see here.

Final Score: 6-7

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