BlazBlue Central Fiction

BlazBlue Central Fiction Review

Capable fighting with a massive cast

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PlayStation 4 on

BlazBlue Central Fiction is also available for PlayStation 3

ESRB Teen rating

2D fighters have been around for decades yet BlazBlue has remained a fresh take on the genre. Seeing as this fourth BlazBlue title has a lot of competition out there, let's see how it holds up in the ring.

BlazBlue Central Fiction screenshot 1
Valkenhayn R. Hellsing and Celica A. Mercury fight to see who has the better middle initial

I must admit, I'm new to the BlazBlue universe. However, I had a great time playing Central Fiction over the past week or so. One of the most welcoming aspects is the fact that the fighting gameplay is accessible since it features extensive tutorials on both a general level and a character-specific level. Additionally, you can play in Stylish mode which simplifies the controls for amateurs like me. On the other hand, I got destroyed when I played online. That's when I realised that there's a lot more than meets the eye. Picking up and playing BlazBlue is easy but mastering the fighting is a whole other story. It's quite clear that it'll take a great deal of practice in order to become skilled enough to have a fighting chance online and considering the cast of characters is so varied, being able to master more than one would be quite the feat. Overall, I can definitely understand why fans can't get enough BlazBlue.

List of characters in BlazBlue Central Fiction

  • Ragna the Bloodedge
  • Jin Kisaragi
  • Noel Vermillion
  • Rachel Alucard
  • Taokaka
  • Iron Tager
  • Litchi Faye-Ling
  • Arakune
  • Bang Shishigami
  • Carl Clover
  • Hakumen
  • ν -No.13- (Nu)
  • Tsubaki Yayoi
  • Hazama
  • μ -No.12- (Mu)
  • Makoto Nanaya
  • Valkenhayn R. Hellsing
  • Platinum the Trinity
  • Relius Clover
  • Izayoi
  • Amane Nishiki
  • Bullet
  • Azrael
  • Kagura Mutsuki
  • Kokonoe Mercury
  • Yuuki Terumi
  • Celica A. Mercury
  • λ -No.11- (Lambda)
  • Hibiki Kohaku
  • Nine the Phantom
  • Naoto Kurogane
  • Hades Izanami
  • Susano'o (unlockable)
  • Es*
  • Mai Natsume*

* available as DLC

On a visual level, the environments and characters are incredibly vibrant and well-animated. It's quite the feast for the eyes. That being said, I found the graphics to be lacking when compared to other modern games in the genre. Having recently played Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, Central Fiction just seems like your average-looking 2D fighter without much flair to set itself apart in such a crowded genre. On a positive note, the music is great as it features a mix of orchestral pieces and rock with Japanese vocals. Speaking of which, I enjoyed the Japanese voice cast but it's disappointing not to have an English dub option available. For a full-priced game, not having this option is pretty lame. Even if they were under time constraints, I'm sure most fans wouldn't have minded waiting a little longer.

BlazBlue Central Fiction screenshot 2
Just chillin' in an online lobby not picking any fights

As you can tell by the huge list above, there are loads of characters in BlazBlue Central Fiction. Having this many to choose from is mind-blowing for any fighting game fan. Each character is bursting with personality and has a distinct set of moves as well as their own convoluted back-story. Thankfully, there are tons of modes to enjoy them within. The story mode with branching paths can take hours to work through while the arcade mode allows you to explore each individual character's story. Grim of Abyss is a pretty cool survival mode with multiple stages that mixes RPG elements in the form of grimoires, skills, and items. To challenge your skills further, Score Attack and Speed Star modes are also available. When you're ready to face actual people, you can battle your friends in vs. mode or bring the fight to a comprehensive online mode. Here, you can choose Ranked or Player matches, join a lobby, configure your presence, and even join an in-game forum. On top of all this, there are plenty of extras to unlock in the gallery and item shop.

Even though there is a lot to do, I didn't find many aspects of the gameplay to be unique enough for me to enjoy myself for longer than an hour at a time. There are a handful of mechanics such as Distortion Drives (and more powerful Exceed Accels while in Overdrive) that keep the combat somewhat fresh but at its core; nothing really made BlazBlue Central Fiction feel special compared to the other dozens of 2D fighters out there. Don't get me wrong, the fighting is solid but it's just not special enough to hold my attention.

BlazBlue Central Fiction screenshot 3
Lambda kicks Ragna the Bloodedge in the shins

BlazBlue Central Fiction is a worthy fighting game that any genre enthusiast should have on their radar. It may not reinvent the 2D fighter but there's enough here to keep fans occupied until Arc System Works' next masterpiece comes out.

  • + Tight 2D fighting that manages to be both accessible and tough to master
  • + Huge cast of unique characters
  • + Wide variety of modes and content
  • - Although colourful, the visuals lack flair and come across as dated
  • - Doesn't do much to set itself apart
  • - No English voice acting
7.8 out of 10
Gameplay video for BlazBlue Central Fiction 3:21

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