Well, it’s happened yet again, I’ve been asked to review yet another strange little Japanese game. At this point it’s not even a reputation, it’s just the status quo. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is a 2D tournament fighter with characters taken from different anime, manga and light novels, making it a crossover game.
The story concerns a mysterious and evil figure who has brought together characters from several different parallel worlds to make them fight to the death for very poorly explained reasons. There’s also something to do with a strange medical organization called ‘ASYLUM’, and yes, apparently it’s very important that the name is in full caps.
As you can probably tell, the story is a little shallow and ill-explained, but that shouldn’t really be much of a shock, this is a tournament fighter after all, they’ve never been particularly strong on the story front. The game tells most of this story through cutscenes that play between the different fights with each of the 20 characters that you get the choose from, meaning that each storyline you play through reveals more and more tiny titbits of information about the convoluted storyline.
You can also probably tell, thanks to the title of the game, that all of the playable characters in this game are female, and because of that you can probably extrapolate that there’s going to be at least a little ‘fan service’ going on in this game. The thing is that in this game it seems a little more understated than it usually is in other games like this. Sure, there is a lot of cleavage on display, but for the most part it’s not explicitly the focus of the game, and it doesn’t really tend to be distracting in any way.
Having said all that, at least one of the characters in this game comes from a game where fan service is the whole point, so obviously, the character design can lend itself to a lot of ‘t and a’. Oh, and the main original character on display here is definitely there for two things: the special move that points a camera at her boobs and butt, and the boob jiggle that happens on pretty much every screen of the game.
Thanks to the complete wealth of characters on display, it’s likely that you’re going to know at least one or two of the characters being displayed here, as long as you’re a fan of anime. The characters are taken from a variety of different genres and styles, so much so that at times it seems strange to have two particular characters in the same game at all.
The combat is very quick paced, so much so that at times it seems a little slapdash. I’m not an avid player of tournament fighters, to that point that I haven’t really played through an entire game in the genre since Tekken 3, but I managed to get through the entire campaign in one go, only dying once by button mashing. I seriously didn’t even look at a moves list or control diagram, I just pressed random buttons and managed to beat the crap out of pretty much every challenge the game threw at me, bar the final fight in which I died once.
For all my complaining about it being a button masher, it really did get much better once I took the time to map my controller in a way that made sense to me. Even once I had taken the time to map the controller though, I had a hard time consistently pulling off the character’s different moves. In practise mode I got the ‘super’ move of one character to work once and then never again, despite checking the move list multiple times.
There is also an alternate story mode which sets all of the characters in the fictional Arkham Town where several of the characters run a detective agency together. This story mode is mainly just a visual novel, but there are a few token fights sprinkled in here and there. The main focus is clearly on the strange story about trying to solve mysteries, not on the fighting, but it’s a nice little addition if you’re into that sort of thing.
The game is really well animated, and it must have a really high frame-rate as everything seems so smooth. There has clearly been a lot of care and time but into each character’s animations and attacks, and if you’re a fan of these characters, it’s definitely fun to see sprite versions of each of them.
There are several palette swaps for each character, presumably so that if you and a bunch of friends wanted to pick the same character, you could do so without getting confused, but strangely very few of the characters have alternate costumes available. In fact, only 3 characters in the entire game have more than a single costume as far as I can tell. It seems like they should really have only included alternate costumes if most characters were going to have them, not just 3.
Publisher: Marvelous USA, XSEED
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4
Release Date: 8th December 2016