Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax

Gamespot Score: n/a

My Score: 7.2

(+) Pros: - Fan favorites from multiple, popular franchises under the "Dengeki Buko" label, what more can you ask for?, - Fighting mechanics can be fairly complicated, but become very fun to play around with once you put in a bit of training, - Supports are varied, fun, plentiful, and provide tons of different possible matchups, - Fair amount of single player content, - A ton of customization options and extra goodies, - Some quirky dialogue for fans.

(-) Cons: - Some of the character's feel same-ish, - Lazily written story, - No f**king tutorial.

Gameplay time: -

You know I love me my fighting games. You also know that when "Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax" was announced, I was stoked beyond hell. That was when they announced it for ARCADES, in JAPAN. You know I want a game really bad when I get hyped about an arcade release that's nowhere near my reach. Of course, the console version dropped, they announced more characters, and the game slowly but steadily reached its release date. F**k, now an English version has even been announced, for THIS GAME, for a game which some of the animes featured haven't even gotten an English dub yet. Well, it pains me to say that no matter how much hype I had, this game didn't live up to it, as a console release. Its not a BAD game, not by any means. Its fun, but that's all it is. There just isn't a lot here that'll interest you unless you really like these characters, because "Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax" lacks too much to function as a full console release with its current asking price (especially if you intend to import, holy f**k, dat pricing).

Yeah Touma, show all these bimbos whose boss!

As a fighting game, "Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax" does its job well. Well enough, but that's about it. There's a lot of mechanics in the game, so much that it might even frighten you at first sight, but they're actually fairly simple to grasp and follow. There isn't a freaking tutorial (WTF Sega), so you'll be fumbling around a fair bit in Training mode before you can actually pull off the bare basics in this game, and trust me, the bare basics in this game can get rather overwhelming at first sight. Of course, you can always stick to auto combos like a noob if you want to, but to properly learn the game, you need to at LEAST understand the basics.

"Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax" is a 3 button fighting game. You've got your basic light, medium, heavy attacks that vary from character to character. Then you've got your support button, as it states, its an entire button dedicated to calling out your support character. As it stands, that isn't much, but there are a couple of button combinations that can strike off as pretty weird when compared to other fighting games (not counting the basics like Jump cancels, Super cancels, Bursts, so on and so forth, many fighting games already have these). Light + Medium is a universal forward hit that blocks out initial attacks, < Light + Medium is a universal launcher, Light + Heavy activates Trump Card (more on this later). You can even support cancel, yeah. Sounds complicated, but they're actually REALLY fun.

Yo Rentaro, let's f**king go!

EVERY character can do their own variation of the above basics, and all of them function quite differently. Speaking of the characters, the selection is based off characters from franchises under the "Dengeki Bunko" label. Obviously, this is a game for the fans, and if you're a fan, you're going to get most of your enjoyment out of this game through playing as the specific characters that you like. The game has...a fairly sizable cast upon release (14 characters, 23 supports), and these characters are from the various "Dengeki Bunko" franchises, as well as some of Sega's own characters and stages shoes in as well. You've got characters more well known to the modern anime demographic, like "SAO"'s Kirito and Asuna, "To Aru Kagaku No Railgun"'s Misaka Mikoto, "Shakugan No Shana"'s Shana, "Oreimo"'s Kirino, "Toradora"'s Taiga and perhaps even "DRRR"'s Shizuo.

Then we've got the less popular ones, Miyuki from "Mahouka", Tomoka from "Ro-Kyu-Bu", Rentaro from "Black Bullet", Kuroyukihime from "Accel World" and Himeragi from "Strike The Blood". These plus 23 other support characters from various other "Dengeki Buko" titles as well. As someone who has watched most, if not all of these shows, they are all pretty good, and I do love most of these characters. For a fan like me, I enjoyed playing as these characters, whether or not I found some of their play styles repulsive to my fighting game spirit (I hate turtle/zone type characters). If you loved any of these franchises , you'll enjoy playing a majority of these characters, you'll have fun, you'll laugh, and you'll feel good right off the bad before you even select your desired character.

Shizaya, getting along well as always.

Like many fighting games, the characters in "Fighting Climax" play fairly differently from one another. You've got your fair share of rush down, turtle or mix-up characters. There are a ton of different special moves and supers (known as Climax Arts) for each character that they can use to play the match into their favor. Also, they each have their own trump card, that are separated into red cards or blue cards. Red cards, when activated, have your character unleash a powerful attack that has high priority, while blue cards provide the character with buffs, such as increasing the climax meter, allowing them specific cancels, or just increasing their overall speed.

Some character matchups play very heavily into others, and this is where support characters come into the fray. There are 23 support characters, think of them as assist trophies, items in Smash, or assists in "MvC". These guys can be called with a single button for 2 types of plays, offensively or defensively. Offensively, they help you go in, they deal damage. Defensively, they grant you openings, some heal you, some give you buffs, some help slow the enemy down. Because there are so many different combinations of characters, there are a ton of possibilities that you can go up against (of course, tiers still exist). There are PLENTY of support types, and you can spend all day experimenting, finding your ideal support for your favorite character or playstyle.

Sorry Miyuki, but Selveria just isn't having any of your shit today.

Enough about the fighting mechanics, let's move to what the game has to offer by itself. We've got the standard arcade mode that gives us "Story" and "Dream Duel", the latter which is full of dream character matchups, dialogue between characters if they were ever to cross over into each others shows and whatnot (its hilarious, I love this one). We have versus, training and network, which are also fairly standard. The game even throws in survival, score attack and time attack modes for you to test your skills. For single player, there's quite a bit to go around if you ever want to make the most out of your purchase. As you play, you earn points for you to buy customizable items from the customize menu, which acts as a "shop" for your display/online avatar in network play.

The amount of shit you can buy in game is IMMENSE (this is how you do unlockables, not micro-transactions in a game that you've ALREADY BOUGHT), ranging from templates, character icons, character voices, illustrations...its equal to the levels in a "Blazblue" game. Scratch that, "Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax" has MORE stuff for you to buy in game. You can go absolutely crazy and try to unlock everything. Hell, you can even purchase NOVELS of the franchises included inside the game for you to READ in your free time (of course, my import copy of the game is completely in Japanese, so there's goes any chance of reading).

CHOOSE YOUR EMPIRE ON HALT (or whatever the game says during character select).

What does the game not do right? Well, for one, there is no tutorial. That is pretty stupid for a fighting game. How the f**k is someone supposed to get to know the game if there isn't a tutorial? The days where a fighting game is learnt by fumbling around in training mode is OVER. Fighting games have PROPER tutorial modes now ("Blazblue", "Mortal Kombat" and more)! To top it off, "Fighting Climax" has so much to cover! To discover everything by yourself without a tutorial is just a disservice. Pure, f**king lazy. The story mode as well. Its the same story for EVERY character, just with different dialogue. Of course, that's pure laziness as well, and we wouldn't want to see the story again after the first time we cleared it because...its the same damn thing! Also, some of the characters feel a little bit of the same...which puzzles me. This one is personal preference, but I do feel that some characters are minor carbon clones of one another. We have too many melee based rush down type fighters: fact.

"Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax" is a game for the fans. If you like anime and the stuff under the "Dengeki Bunko" label overall, you're safe, this purchase would probably serve you well, and you'll probably be having fun with all of its different anime characters. If you're a fan of the label AND fighting games, all the better, because "Fighting Climax" IS a decent fighting game. However, if you're a fan of fighting games but NOT a fan of the label, or just don't fare too well with these characters, then this is one you'll have to reconsider. There are better fighting games out there that don't cost this ridiculous for an import.

Happy Gaming!