7) BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
I’m a huge fighter/fighting enthusiast, and given that I play a few other fighters competitively, I can say that I’m really passionate about fighters. This is one of the fighters that I do play competitively, and greatly enjoy doing so. BlazBlue is a fighter developed by Arc System Works, the same company that brought you Guilty Gear. BlazBlue is a fighter that’s heavy on anime styled themes and characters, all of which pertain to me. Even if you’re not into this sort of thing (though if you didn’t, I don’t know why you would be on this site to begin with), it’s still a solid fighter to pick up. Continuum Shift is the second entry in the BlazBlue series, though the game isn’t quite perfect. Balance issues are all over the place, and the overall gameplay still feels a tad clunky at times. The story is extremely complex and convoluted, to the point where I’m still not sure what the hell went on in Story mode. But really, story in a fighting game?
The core gameplay is quite traditional, with the basic linking buttons together to form combos, punishing badly executed attacks and pressuring the opponent with moves. BlazBlue takes all that and adds its own flavor to it. The result is a smooth, fast paced fighter with a slightly clunky execution. Balancing issues are heavily present, unfortunately (LOOKING AT YOU, RACHEL ALUCARD), and the combo system needs an overhaul as well (Looking at you, Litchi). However, the core gameplay is fun for those new and knowledgeable to the genre. For beginners, there’s a Beginner Mode that allows you to pull off very basic combo through button mashing. For veterans, there’s plenty of combo possibilities that work in many different situations. BlazBlue is a VERY combo heavy game, so knowing a few good combos is a must. Each character has their own unique style, with BlazBlue’s unique “D” attack system, which is a fourth attack button that’s unique to every character. This opens up a lot of different matchup possibilities, as well as several different ways a character can be executed. The music score in BlazBlue is also superb, with many memorable tracks (a personal favorite of mine is Endless Despair and Nightmare Fiction). They all work well in-game, and never feel out of place.
Speaking of characters, Noel is hot.
|The Queen of Fetishes|
6) Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
Good ol’ Capcom fighting games. I’m really passionate about fighters, but TvC just happens to be my favorite one thus far. I’ve participated in three tournaments so far, but that’s about it. I won one of them, actually, at Sakura-con. So, if you were there in the gaming room watching the TvC tournament, you probably saw me (though I doubt any of you actually did).
Anyways, as a fighter, it’s pretty simple. You have three basic attack buttons, and you can chain/link them together to form combos. The unique thing about this game is that you have a partner whom you can call upon to help you or tag out at anytime, so you’re given two fighters to use in a single match. As a VS Capcom games are, TvC is really flashy and combo heavy, unlike the more traditional Super Street Fighter IV. The fast paced fighting and action, along with flashy cartoon animations makes this game a blast to play. Despite its seemingly basic controls, there is a surprising amount of depth in the game, like every other fighter. Bursting, Baroque-cancelling, and OTG attacks are all but a few to name. If you live in an area with a huge fighting scene (I’m located in SoCal, where fightan games dominate the scene), then definitely give this a go. It doesn’t have as much recognition as some other fighters have, but the scene is still decently sized and tournaments still happen.
What? But, visual novels aren’t games!
Yeah, well, screw you. For those of you who’ve never heard of visual novels, they’re…well, visual novels. Pretty self-explanatory. It’s a game where you read text accompanied by pretty visuals. Sort of like an interactive picture book, but better.
Anyways, Ever17 is your bread and butter for English translated visual novels. It’s highly hailed as one of the best, if not the best translated visual novel out right now. Can’t say I agree with this being the “best”, but it definitely is a masterpiece. It’s so good in fact, even 4chan prevents anyone from spoiling the story to anyone playing this game because of how amazing the plot is. The plot is indeed amazing, though it takes a while for it to start up. Ever17 is basically a mystery visual novel, where a mystery is presented to you and it’s up to the protagonist to solve it. Ever17 is divided up into five routes: You route, Tsugumi route, Sora route, Sara route and Coco route. Coco route is only available after completing every other route in the game. To get the most out of the game, you must play through all five routes. Each route presents answers and even more questions to the mystery, and Coco’s route beautifully answers everything in ways you never thought imaginable.
Not much I can really say about this. Can’t say too much without spoiling a huge chunk of the game. So, take it upon yourself and try this out if you haven’t yet already.
4) Valkyria Chronicles
Ah, yes, Valkyria Chronicles. That one game everybody recommends when someone asks for recommendations for good PS3 games. That one game nearly everyone seems to love. That one game that even won the Guinness Book of World Records award for best PS3 strategy game.
|Though that’s not saying much.|
Valkyria Chronicles is my favorite PS3 game, hands down. It’s a military game where you take the role as the commander of a small country being invaded by the strongest force in the nation. Through your miraculous and cunning actions as commander, you work with your unit to push back the opposing force and save your beloved country. Valkyria Chronicles is perhaps the most stylistic PS3 game I have seen to date. The game is done in a beautiful canvas-style setting with beautiful outlined sketches.
The gameplay itself is built from an engine named BLiTZ (Battle of Live Tactical Zones). It’s a turn based military game where you use your troops to advance and capture bases. The concept is simple, but the execution is beautiful. You have several classes you can choose from to use, such as Scouts, Lancers, Snipers, Engineers, Tanks, and Shocktroopers. Each class has their quirks about them. Scouts can run for a long distance and are somewhat effective at medium range sniping, but they have very low health. Shocktroopers are your frontline men with plenty of health, but bad range. Lancers are your bazooka men, capable of bringing down tanks in one hit given the right circumstances. Snipers are…snipers. Engineers fix up your tanks and supply ammo and health to your squadron. Lastly, Tanks are just tanks that demolish the battlefield.
As I said before, Valkyria Chronicles is a turn based game. You use up all your points to move your units and defeat the enemy until you run out of points, and then your enemy does the same. The strategical part of this is positioning your unit in the right areas so they can effectively attack, yet not be counterattacked. There are plenty of obstacles you can use for cover to help in advancing, such as your tank. You bring down the enemy slowly and take over their camps, which progresses you further in the story. The game is heavily dependent on teamwork between your classes. Snipers can take out other snipers and other harmful units before you send your shocktrooper to the frontlines. Scouts can survey the area in front of them to make sure it’s safe to proceed. Every move and point you have is valuable, as the battlefield is constantly changing.
The story is wonderfully executed, a touching tale of an unknown squadron banding together to save their country. Conflicts, deaths and betrayals binds the story together to present us with an amazing plot that’s not overly complex or simple.
Simply put, if you have a PS3 and have not yet played this game, get out there to your nearest game store and buy this for $19.99, and then spend the next few days locked up in your basement playing through this.
Oh. Right. Updates on Takkoku!!:
Tomorrow’s Tuesday, which means it’ll be out most likely by tomorrow or Wednesday. So no worries, we haven’t dropped it yet. Anyways, the last part to this list will be posted tomorrow.