It’s been a while since I’ve played a 2D fighting game. With Street Fighter’s transition over to 3D models with classic 2D mechanics, I honestly never thought I would, but Nitroplus Blasterz turned up and I found myself enjoying the 2D side of things once more. I’ll not tell you I’m an expert on fighting games at all, but I know what I like, and Nitroplus brings a decent amount of that fast-paced action that even a masher like myself can at least make his way through the A.I. opponents. Anime-girl fists up, ladies and gents! It’s time for our full Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel Review

Look and Feel

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What we have here is a classic 2D fighting game in both look and feel. It features female anime characters from popular shows (hence the Heroines in the name) going head to head, fleshy blob to floating, holy blades and Excalibur to, well, everything. Saber is legit.

It has a fully animated opening equipped with the obligatory anime rock band and full Japanese voice acting from what appears to be the original voice actors behind the characters in their respective franchises. Of course, having watched a woefully low amount of the anime involved here, I can’t say for certain if this is the case for everything heroine.

There’s nothing too impressive about the backdrops, and the initial “Versus” introduction when you start a bout looks like something that could be thrown together in a basic Photoshop session, but the performance is fluid. I encountered no issues in the flow of the game and the loading times aren’t too long.

There are some translation issues in the English dialogue. Often it’ll be a missing word or absent punctuation. No big deal, but quality control should be noted.

Ultimately, it’s anime ladies fighting other anime ladies in an art style more faithful to their source material.

Gameplay

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If you’ve played a classic fighting game before, you might know what to expect, but basically Nitroplus Blasterz lets you choose from one of 14 playable characters and pick two of 20 support characters before you head in to your one-on-one with the great one.

Standard fighting game rules apply: beat your opponent until their life-bar is, yep, without life. This game features a building “super” meter that can be used to pull off various special attacks or saved and expended on their Lethal Blaze ultimate attack. It also features a fair amount of double-jumping, air-dashing and combo cancelling for those that want to dig deep in to the systems. It appears to achieve the core of what makes a good fighting game: easy to play, difficult to master.

Speaking of easy to play, the A.I. opponents are fairly weak on the base level of difficulty, which is default set to 4 out of 8. If you’re after more of a challenge, I’d advise raising it to around 6 for a genuinely enjoyable experience, but if you’re just after the surprisingly deep story, 4 is suitable to breeze through.

There’s nothing particularly different about the control scheme compared to other modern fighting games. Chances are you’ll be familiar with the half circle motions and zig zags on the D-Pad required to pull off and chain various special moves.

The roster is varied enough to make each of the character I played as feel different, and the game’s Another Story mode does a decent job of making you try out different characters. Whether it’s Sonico’s cats and friends diving in from out of nowhere whilst Sonico cries, or Saber’s more direct sword-fighting style, there’s a lot to take note of. Though I can’t speak much to the balancing, as I found some characters to be significantly more capable. Ouka being my personal main, her abilities are some of the most devastating and she’s impressive at both long and short range. I think there’s enough variety in there for anybody to find their preferred play style.

If it’s missing anything it’s a decent tutorial. The game assumes that you’re already experienced in these games, so it doesn’t explain some of its more unique mechanics, like the guard break by holding in X, or whatever the hell the Variable Rush or Infinite Blast moves actually do. I honestly couldn’t tell you. They’re just button prompts to me at this moment in time. The game could do with a brief tutorial or even a glossary of move summaries.

Unfortunately, after an hour of waiting in my Training lobby, I couldn’t connect to an online match to test my skill against others. Am I to assume that I’ve become so powerful, so very champion-like in the 2D fighter world, that everybody else has given up? No. Not even slightly, but there’s certainly an issue here. Either there aren’t many people playing the game (and I even set my search parameters to All Territories), or there’s a network issue. Either way, I’m not wasting any more time trying to get on.

So in summation, Nitroplus has a decent roster of varied characters with an additional support character option that can turn the tide if used effectively at the touch of a button. It’s a very familiar experience, perhaps too much to an avid 2D fighting game enthusiast, and its default difficulty is a tad too forgiving, but if you ever wanted to pit Saber against Sonico for some bizarre reason, this here’s probably your best avenue to do so, and it’s a lot of fun to dash around that screen, getting air-countered out of existence. No sarcasm.

Game Modes

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There are far more modes than I’d expected. There’s the basic Story Mode for each character which, after one full completion, unlocks Another Story mode. The original Story Mode features 8 stages for each character and their own unique dialogue moments throughout with some minor repetition in the overall arc.

Another Story serves to be a surprisingly fleshed out narrative, which I won’t spoil here, and puts you in control of a preselected character for that chapter. If a story is what you’re after, this is where you’ll find it.

Basic Versus mode puts you in to a quick match against either a friend or A.I.

Score Attack throws you in to a seemingly endless series of fights until you lose and upload your high score to the leaderboards.

Training is, well, training. Practice your combos, though it’s a severely limited experience compared to other fighting game training modes. The options are sparse.

Network SHOULD put you against other players online, but as mentioned above, it didn’t happen. If I ever do, I’ll update the review, but I appreciate the ability to wait for a match whilst in Training Mode. Practicing before a fight can give you the edge by pre-conditioning yourself rather than being thrown in wild.

There’s also a gallery to view your completed scenes, game openings and endings. Finally options, because options.

With Story Mode and Another Story, there’s a fair amount to do and Score Attack should keep you busy if you’re loving the game. If you’re having luck with the Network features, I imagine you’ll be spending the bulk of your time taking on real life digital people. It just didn’t pan out for me, but I enjoyed most of what I did experience.

Overall

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Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel is a cool throwback featuring beloved anime heroines. The fighting feels good, with a fast pace as the focus and features fighting fans have come to expect. If you’re expecting to get online, I hope you do, but Another Story in particular is a pleasant aside to go in to that I didn’t expect to see from a fighting game. It won’t keep you for too long, but it’s enough and more than most fighters will give you. It’s a solid enough game, but there are better experiences right now in the realm of pure fighting games if that’s your main reason for considering this.

Game: Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel
Review Format: Playstation 4

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