BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. What to Expect.

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger was an anime styled 2D Fighter released back in April to us English folk. Now, just 9 months later we are delivered Continuum Shift, the next in the BlazBlue series. Arriving just in time for Christmas. But is there any reason to pick up this fighter less than a year after the first though?

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is a fighting game, just like the Street Fighter and Tekken you all know, it’s 2D side-scrolling brawling fun. You play in matches which consist of 5 rounds, known in the game as rebels. As you’d expect, to win a round you must whittle your opponents health bar to zero or have more health when the clock hits zero. During each rebel, players fill a Heat Gauge which can be used for advanced techniques such as Distortion Drives, Rapid Cancels, Counter Assaults, and certain characters’ attacks. The Heat Gauge can be filled via dealing damage, taking damage, and perfectly blocking attacks. All in all, it plays similar to what you already know from a fighting game. These however are all the same as the previous BlazBlue game, what’s different this time round?

The Guard Libra system which utilizes a tug-of-war gauge has been replaced with the new Guard Primer point system. Each character has a certain amount of points. These points are depleted whenever moves with “Guard Break” properties are blocked. Upon depletion of all points, the character is immobilized for a certain period of time known as Guard Crush. Primer points regenerate over time or after all points are depleted.

Barrier Burst has been replaced with Break Burst, a similar ability but with different penalties. Break Burst can only be performed twice in a single match, and its second use can only become available if you lose a round. It no longer permanently drains your Barrier Gauge or gives you the “DANGER” penalty. Bursts have different properties depending on when they are used, as the offensive “Gold Burst” has high bounce and combo-ability and the combos initiated by it can kill while the defensive “Green Burst” will provide invincibility for the entire burst motion at the cost of permanently halving your maximum primer points. All lost primer points due to Green Bursts will not recover until the next round.

Astral Heat conditions have been changed. Instead of requiring it to be the final round and the opponent being within 20% health, it now only requires it to be your match point round and the opponent being within 35% health, in addition to the aforementioned requirement of one free burst.

I’m sure these changes all mean something to the hardcore BlazBlue players out there, to the newcomer though, basically stuff happens to make the game fairer. (Dumbed down explanation is a one-off)

Now for the plot of the game. Wait, Plot? Yes, you read write Plot, for you see BlazBlue does have a storyline to it aswell. (Warning the coming section contains some spoilers of the storyline in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift and possibly Calamity Trigger) Continuum Shift follows on from the events of Calamity Trigger. It’s been a few days since the raids conducted by Ragna the Bloodedge. The 13th Hierarchical City “Kagutsuchi” forgets to celebrate New Years, as his alleged involvement in the “Mysterious Bombing” and “Huge Pentacle Sightings” becomes the talk of the town. With the Novus Orbis Librarium offering no official explanation, the citizens voice their own theories, exaggerating and spreading rumors like wildfire. The name “Ragna the Bloodedge” is engraved in the minds of the people. Completely indifferent to the state of the city, the silver-haired Grim Reaper grips his massive sword and quietly bides his time—waiting for the chance to achieve his true objective.

OK, it’s safe to read again if you don’t want spoilers to the story. The Character roster has been updated, as would be expected, in Continuum Shift. We see the introduction of 7 new characters in the game, prior to the Console Version. 4 of them were in the game by default while 3 were DLC exclusives. The original characters from the previous game makes their return to the sequel except for ν -No. 13- (Nu), who is replaced by Λ -No. 11- (Lambda) in Continuum Shift as her palette swap. Nu is however still playable in the game, instead being Lambda’s Unlimited form which can be unlocked in-game or purchased through DLC.

That’s pretty much all the info I could find on BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. I hope you’ve been appropriately informed of this possibly missed fighter. If anyone is interested in playing Calamity Trigger before Continuum Shift then its typical pricing on sites like Amazon is around £10.

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is due for release in the UK December 3rd 2010.

About Nick Duggan
I'm 19 an I study Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University. I'm a video gamer and also a Yu-Gi-Oh! collector/player. Twitter: @30DiedOnMars

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