Crossovers have been a staple in fighting games for decades now. We’ve seen iconic Street Fighter characters fight against Marvel’s top heroes, and Cloud from Final Fantasy VII take on the world’s favorite plumber. Generally, these games focus on bringing big names together, and adding a ton of fan-service to please different target audiences.
The latest of this bunch is Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel, Combining characters from visual novels and anime, Nitroplus Blasterz features a cast with characters from series like Tokyo Necro, Gekkō no Carnevale, and Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa. If none of these sound familiar to you, then join the club. This is a far cry from a game like Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax or J-Stars Victory Vs+ in terms of name recognition. Even if you’re not familiar with these characters though, there’s still a pretty darn good fighting game to be found here.
The core resembles BlazBlue. It’s a four button fighting game, with each button mapped to a different attack strength. This means that, for a combo, you’ll want to work your way from a weak attack all the way to a heavy one at the end. It’s a pretty standard fighting game setup, which is good since the game has no tutorial whatsoever.
One of the more interesting mechanics in the game is that before each match, you’ll pick two support characters to join you in battle. This is a pretty common mechanic in crossover titles, as it allows more characters to make the roster. These characters, who all have a set attack or action, can then be utilized in-game by hitting one of the left triggers. Finding support characters that complement your style is important, as these can change the tide of battle if used correctly.
There’s a nice cast of characters, too, with there being 12 playable female fighters from the onset. Two additional characters, who are actually the most recognizable characters to gamers, are locked away as DLC. These are Homura from the Senran Kagura series and Aino Heart from Arcana Heart. These characters are, however, free for the first month after the game comes out. So, even if you only have a slight interest in either buying or renting this fighting game, you might as well download the DLC while it’s free.
Frustrating day one DLC aside, each fighter shows off a lot of character in their attacks. Not one fighter feels like a copy of another, and they play in interesting enough styles that’ll make you want to find out where the character came from. My favorite fighter, Sonico, actually fights with a gang of cats surrounding her. It’s ridiculous, but it’s also the perfect inclusion for a crossover game.
Despite a memorable cast, this ends up being a pretty simple effort from a mechanics standpoint. Almost all of the characters’ ultimate attacks (which are called Lethal Blaze in-game) are triggered the exact same way. While it’s certainly nice not having to memorize attack inputs, you do lose the feeling of mastering a character since it’s so easy to jump from one to another. Simplicity isn’t a bad thing, though, especially in a fighting game that isn’t necessarily targeted at hardcore fans of the genre.
Like any good fighting romp, there are plenty of modes to battle in. There’s the strangely named Story mode, which is actually just an arcade mode with next to no story in it. After clearing that mode once, you’ll then unlock a mode called Another Story. This is actually a full-fledged, 10-chapter long visual novel. You can even turn off battles in this mode if you just want to enjoy reading. Finally, you’ve got your standard modes like Versus, Score Attack, a training mode, and all of the online options you would expect out of a modern day fighter.
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel won’t wow players looking for a highly technical fighting game, but it does a good job of introducing a lot of rather obscure characters to a wider audience. If you’re already a fan of these visual novel characters, then you’re in for a bigger treat than most. If not? This is still a fun fighter that can be picked up mechanically after a few short matches, and one you’ll have fun with throughout.
This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version, which we were provided with.
Even if you don't know the cast of Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel, there's still plenty of fun to be had in this simple fighting game. Fans of the characters will be in for a real treat, though.