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Jahanzeb Khan
03 Nov, 2010

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Review

360 Review | BlazBlue makes a Continuum Shift towards awesome.
It was earlier this year that Australia finally got hold of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, nine months after the US and Japanese release. As much as we loved the game, it was just a little too late as the release of Super Street Fighter IV was very near and so was the release of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is a follow up to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger and was released in Japan and US back in July 2010, and in a surprising turn of events we get the game just four months later. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift gave us the initial impression that it would be a mere expansion to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, but we are pleased to inform you that the game has enough new content and features to make it a proper sequel.

The story of Continuum Shift takes place right after the dramatic climax of Calamity Trigger, with all the characters from the previous game returning and plenty of new faces joining the mix. Continuum Shift further develops the story and answers many questions from Calamity Trigger. The plot of Calamity Trigger was actually one of the best stories we ever experienced in a fighting game, and even though it was a bit weird and convoluted, it all eventually added up and even more so in Coninuum Shift. Once again, things like time travel, cloning, prophecies and the destruction of the universe make up the complex and engaging plot of Continuum Shift. Now it may seem necessary for newcomers to play Calamity Trigger in order to enjoy Continuum Shift, but thankfully that’s not the case because at the end of the day, fighting games are never about the story, they are all about gameplay (multiplayer to be more precise). While it is nice that the BlazBlue series has such an interesting and detailed plot, buying all the games just for the sake of it just isn’t necessary at all.

Continuum Shift plays like Calamity Trigger, as the core system is almost identical but still ends up feeling fresh: all courtesy of the new improvements, refinements and features. The game features a new Guard and Burst system, making tactics a bit more varied and interesting. The Astral Heat conditions have also been changed and are bit more lenient, especially in terms of the opponent’s HP requirement, and this grants more opportunities to pull off these breathtaking finishers. The biggest changes however can be found in the character roster.

Blazy Bloo is back better than ever...and not very late!

Blazy Bloo is back better than ever...and not very late!
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Continuum Shift alters the character roster substantially in terms of play style and balance, as many of them have been given a major overhaul in terms of moves, techniques and other characteristics. The characters have been retuned and rebalanced for the better as a lot as the bouts are now much fairer than they were before. Some characters have been improved dramatically with new moves that further compliment their play style, especially with characters like Carl, Hakumen, and Jin. Overpowered characters have been toned down and underpowered characters have been given new tricks and improved characteristics. Not only that, but some of their moves have been new command inputs, especially their Astral finishers, and so they now flow and connect better. Overall, the character balance has improved substantially and fans will appreciate the refinements and changes.

Speaking of characters, the best thing about Continuum Shift is that it adds six new characters to the roster, bringing the total to eighteen highly unique and fascinating characters. Three of these are available on the disc with the remaining three to be available for purchase exclusively as DLC. The new characters are a breath of fresh air with Hazama serving as a wicked awesome final boss character, and Tsubaki Yayoi being one of the more accessible and enjoyable characters to use as she flows as effortlessly as Ragna and Noel. Lambda 11 is essentially v-13 (from Calamity Trigger)with a different skin and modified attack styles, and isn’t really a new character. Then you have the powerful Mu-12 as an unlockable which requires players to plough through the story mode (tedious but worthwhile). Makoto, Valkenhayn and Platinum will be available as DLC characters but unfortunately we were not able to gain access to any of them at the time of review. However, just the fact that there are fantastic new characters and that the game has such strong DLC support, that alone is pretty awesome.

The new characters are brilliant, with Tsubaki being our personal favourite.

The new characters are brilliant, with Tsubaki being our personal favourite.
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Another major highlight of Continuum Shift are the wealth of new modes, giving gamers more value for their money. It has an addictive and re-playable score attack mode. In Legion Mode you assemble and army of BlazBlue characters and work through a sphere grid against other armies, it essentially works like a Team Battle mode with some added strategy elements (especially in terms bonuses you get after a battle), the mode isn’t exciting but doesn’t hurt to have it. The Tutorial Mode and Challenge are similar to what can be found in the Street Fighter IV series, designed help players master their favourite characters and learn all their skills and techniques. The Tutorial Mode is fantastic as it literally walks players through everything in terms of gameplay systems, mechanics and character move sets. The modes are not only useful for beginners, but hardcore players will benefit greatly from the character specific tutorials that provide in-depth lessons on how to make ideal and strategic use of a character's skills and moves. The customary Gallery mode is actually quite impressive this time, as it's loaded with heaps of beautiful and inspiring artwork, both official and fan made. The in-depth story mode is similar to what was in Calamity Trigger and has fully voiced dialogue, alternate paths and even some cool (although a tad bit messy) anime cut scenes.

The online multiplayer returns once more, and we all remember how amazing the net code was in Calamity Trigger. Our extremely brief experience with the online code was great but unfortunately a recent online update has made it difficult for us to find a match, and at the time of review, we were unable to download this free update from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Fantastic visuals, art, music and gameplay.

Fantastic visuals, art, music and gameplay.
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Graphically, Continuum Shift is identical to Calamity Trigger, but thankfully there are some improvements as the stunning backgrounds have a lot more detail and beautiful effects, and the colour contrast looks a bit better. The game is perhaps one of the most beautiful 2D games to have been released in this decade, the quality of the sprites, effects, details and animations are nothing short of spectacular. Musically the Continuum Shift is an absolute beast, it retains all the tracks of Calamity Trigger while adding several more monumentally epic tracks. The new tracks, like the previous ones, are a breathtaking mix of heavy metal and symphony orchestra. The tracks ‘Sword of Doom’ and ‘Endless Despair’ are easily our favorites but all the new tracks are pretty much superb.

Perhaps the only gripe some gamers might have is that Continuum Shift and Calamity Trigger got released here within the same year, with a gap of roughly seven months between them. Gamers who paid full price for the local release of Calamity Trigger might be annoyed by seeing a bigger and better sequel getting released here within the same year.

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is far from being just an expansion pack to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, this is without a doubt a proper sequel. The new modes, music tracks, strong DLC support, characters and content set a high benchmark for BlazBlue's (inevitable) future titles. The gameplay refinements in terms of revised mechanics and character balancing do wonders for the gameplay, making it far more enjoyable than ever before. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is one of the most polished and entertaining 2D fighting game releases of this console generation.
The Score
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is a fantastic sequel to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, and it’s easily one of the best fighting games of this console generation.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Content

Platinum the Trinity joins the cast of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
11 May, 2011 New character now available on Xbox Live Marketplace.
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Review
25 Mar, 2010 Dear developers and publishers, please release good games here on time.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Preview
25 Mar, 2010 Fighting game expansions Continuum to get released.
31 Comments
3 years ago
Rad review Jahanzeb! You weren't joking around when you said your review was going up Thursday huh. Been waiting for this for a while.

I need this game so bad! God damn ZEN UNITED! The Tutorial and challenge modes sound interesting.
3 years ago
I'm so pumped for this, gunna have to go 100% story mode in the last one now.
3 years ago
Defn picking this up but I don't know when I'll play it (still haven't finished the story in the first!).

I find it hard to get into. 2D fighters are 'rough' compared with the new 3D-2D on the market for me. When the action gets going it's really difficult to see what's going on.

But the game is like an anime, rich with story. Thus will always be a purcharse for me.
3 years ago
Theres a Aus community who play this. Few imported the game when the JP version came out. Everyone else bought the US version.

If you guys have trouble finding players go to ozhadou.net
You can find a big list of AU BBCS players there.

Most players are PS3 i believe *shrugs*.
3 years ago
Those of you still interested.

The game has been delayed till 2/12/2010 BUT the good news is that the price has been slashed down to only $47, which I think is pretty awesome (assuming that it does get released).
3 years ago
I was wondering what happend. $47 huh. I'd hit that.
3 years ago
I still have a standing preorder for the Fans Edition. Been waiting for this show shop up on my doorstep for quite some time.

I'd almost want next week to come sooner, if that didn't drag my uni deadlines closer.
3 years ago
Jahanzeb wrote
Those of you still interested.

The game has been delayed till 2/12/2010 BUT the good news is that the price has been slashed down to only $47, which I think is pretty awesome (assuming that it does get released).
I haven't seen it listed on any online retailers (bar the UK ones). Do you know if EB/GAME are taking pre-orders?
3 years ago
Game arn't they did originally then called me to say that they're not getting it in and my pre-order had been canceled.

Not sure on EB.
3 years ago
As far as I know, the game is exclusive to EB here:

http://www.ebgames.com.au/search?title=BlazBlue%3a+Continuum+Shift
3 years ago
Ah, damn EB.
3 years ago
Anybody pick this up today? I went in store and checked the shelves but couldn't see it. I didn't ask though (in EB).

I had Mario/DK in my hands so I thought I didn't REALLY need it at this point.
3 years ago
It should be in stock now, I have not checked the store yet but the site says it is.

EDIT

$47 is a fantastic price, anyone interested should go for it. Sure it got delayed a bit, but at least it happned in 2010 and at such a good price.
3 years ago
I've checked the 3 nearest EB Games to me, none seem to have it in stock yet. Hopefully on Monday I'll get a call about my preorder.
3 years ago
LeonJ wrote
I find it hard to get into. 2D fighters are 'rough' compared with the new 3D-2D on the market for me. When the action gets going it's really difficult to see what's going on.
Same here, although I couldn't get into SSFIV either. I played Soul Calibur IV and Dead or Alive 4 to death when they came out but I just haven't been able to get into any fighting game recently.
3 years ago
Picked it up today, is awesome

But boss mode hazama can eat a dick.

Anyone know when were getting valkenhein dlc?
3 years ago
Should be this week, if the EU DLC plans are the same as ours.

FOR PS3
1/12/10 - Makoto Nanaya available with Redeemable Code
...
8/12/10 - Makoto Nanaya available for purchase
- Valkenyahn R Hellsing available for purchase.

15/12/10 - Unlock Mu
- Unlock all unlimited characters
- Additional System voices, Jin, Carl and Taokaka
- Additional Costume Colours, Volumes 1, 2 & 3

FOR XBOX 360

3/12/10 - Makoto Nanaya available for purchase

7/12/10 - Valkenhayn R Hellsing available for purchase
- Unlock Mu
- Unlock all unlimited characters
- Additional System voices, Jin, Carl and Taokaka
- Additional Costume Colours, Volumes 1, 2 & 3
3 years ago
ok so I've downloaded makoto and valkenhein.

How do I actually select them though?

[edit] got valkenhein working, but makoto's portrait has a big lock over it? I tried re-downloading her and still got the lock.
3 years ago
Hey Benza

Just go to options, then system settings and set to the most recent version (1.02)

They are awesome! though I have to say that Valkenhein's wolf form plays alot like Taokaka
3 years ago
I was so looking forward to playing as Valkenhein, but after playing him I think I'm gunna stick with Hazama. God damm he is fun to play as.

This game is awesome, arcade mode is heaps harder then calamity trigger, the extra charecters are brilliant (although I wish the DLC charecters atleast had an arcade mode) this game bumps Blazblue up from being my third faviourte fighting game after SF4 and GGXX2 to top of the list.

The only thing it's missing is the arcade interupt for multiplayer thing that SSF4 has.

[EDIT]
Just tried changing the system setting, didn't do anything.

Her portrait is in the charecter select screen, it just has a lock over it like I haven't bought the charecter or something (Same lock that is over the unlimited charecter selection when you haven't unlocked it) I've deffintly downloaded her though and gone back out and re-entered and everythign.
3 years ago
This is strange, it's working fine for me. Is the lock symbol in all modes?
3 years ago
Jahanzeb wrote
This is strange, it's working fine for me. Is the lock symbol in all modes?
yeah every mode I go into that has the option to select her has the lock over it, in story mode etc the icon to select her isn't there.

I've re-downloaded her 3 times now and still get nothing.

I haven't really unlocked anything since I'm avoiding the story mode till I beat calamity trigger, I'm thinking maybe just wiping the continuim shift save data and starting again.
3 years ago
Are you playing this on PS3? apparently other PS3 owners have had this problem, your trick should get it working. Let me know how it goes.
3 years ago
Jahanzeb wrote
Are you playing this on PS3? apparently other PS3 owners have had this problem, your trick should get it working. Let me know how it goes.
Nope only got a stick for 360 so I'm on that. I'll let ya know though.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  29/10/2010 (Confirmed)
Genre:
  Fighting
Year Made:
  2010
Players:
  2

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