Xbox 360 Review: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger

Can the spiritual successor to Guilty Gear pack a punch?

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger is a very, typical fighter. It has a great roster of characters, moves, locations and online play. But it also has a great anime look that looks superb, especially in HD. It doesn’t provide any real surprises other than looking good; it might be disappointing to some that there isn’t any real innovation…plus, coming out at the same time as Super Street Fighter IV sounds like a complete disaster in terms of marketing.

Despite that, BlazBlue is a deep and engaging fighter. On the plus side, there are two great beat-em-ups available for those who enjoy the genre. The one thing that bugs me about the game is the story mode, which is full of far too much pointless dialogue between fights. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were animated cutscenes or something like that, but to just have pages and pages of text and bad voice-acting is really annoying, especially for those who just want to fight. I honestly couldn’t believe how long I had to wait between battles.

There’s also a bit of a problem with online play thanks to a skill level that shows how good/bad your opponent is. The thing about it is that the other player can just reject you and you have to search until someone accepts you to fight. Another annoying thing is that I found no results for gamers with a similar skill level, so how is anyone supposed to get off the ground if they can’t find anyone to play online? It’s a problem that needs fixing.

There is a unique “Distortion Drive” move, which is an individual skill based attack for each character to add something diverse to each fighter. They are pretty impressive and make battles that bit more interesting. As a whole, combat is smooth…but there is a bit of a learning curve to pull off special moves. Luckily, the game is easy to pick up but it is especially difficult to master. Like I said, visually the game looks great with its 3D arenas and 2D fighters. It moves fluidly and looks like a proper anime in action. Voice-acting is typically bad, but it’s no great shock.

The Verdict

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger is a decent, yet hardly original fighter. It does have a few issues that hold it back from the higher ranks of the genre, but overall it packs a serious punch and looks simply amazing. Definitely a good alternative fighter for those who have had enough of the other competitor.