BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Az Elias 28.01.2019

Review for BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition on Nintendo Switch

Arc System Works' BlazBlue series has been keeping anime fighting game fans entertained for over a decade, and despite numerous sequels, re-releases and updates, the saga finally wrapped up Ragna the Bloodedge's story in 2016's BlazBlue: Central Fiction. Well, "wrapped up" might be stretching it a bit, as the plot still carries that convoluted moniker even after its attempt to bring everything together, but the long-running franchise certainly has been a wild ride, to say the least. It's sometimes easy to forget there's actually a pretty great fighting game tucked away in there, too, and Nintendo Switch owners can at last see that for themselves in a proper mainline entry, following spin-off BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.

Dubbed the Special Edition for this Nintendo Switch port, fans will be wondering just what makes this version of BlazBlue: Central Fiction so special indeed. Well, apart from including all previous DLC in one single package and adding an exclusive colour variation for each fighter, not a whole lot. There aren't any new modes, characters, or story chapters, an English dub is still absent, and there is no music player. In fact, just like the PS4 version, the description for the gallery still says you can listen to music, despite being unable to. The story mode details also refer to it as if it is previous game Chrono Phantasma's plot you are about to play through. The fact such glaring localisation errors remain in this Switch edition over two years on from the original Central Fiction launch is baffling.

Even more disappointing is that online lobbies have been removed for the Switch release. Just ranked and player matches remain. Whilst groups of friends will be able to create mini lobbies of their own for up to eight people through the player matchmaking, hanging out in the host's uniquely designed and decorated room with unlocked furniture, the lobby feature of other versions - an efficient method of challenging dozens of other players in large rooms that are separated into different levels of skill - is gone. The player-made rooms can serve as a replacement to an extent, but there is no denying that the convenience of the core lobbies makes their removal here an unfortunate loss.

Aside from the aforementioned DLC now being part of the game as standard, including characters Es, Mai, Jubei and Susanoo, making for a strong total of 36 playable fighters, and the lack of the online lobbies, there is no real difference between this and the game that released two years ago. That's no bad thing, though. A port of a great game is still a great game, after all.

Screenshot for BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition on Nintendo Switch

BlazBlue: Central Fiction is one heck of a packed title, with all gameplay modes returning. Arcade has multiple paths per character; the RPG-like Grim of Abyss provides hours of entertainment, as you try to delve further and further, fending off waves of enemies and customising your character with stat enhancing abilities; Speed Star tasks you with beating all enemies in a fixed time, with your performance granting time increases; and the bog-standard Score Attack and V.S. round out the core battle modes (Speed Star and Score Attack have leader boards, too).

On top of the highly in-depth tutorial (which can be a bit overbearing and text heavy with its character chattering), challenges for every single fighter, training mode, customisable online room, and unlockable gallery content, there is no lack of things to do. That isn't even mentioning the story, which is perhaps more synonymous with the BlazBlue franchise than anything else, these days. Given the recap event itself warns players it will take 30 minutes if they wish to view it, that surely indicates the sort of ride fans are in for.

More visual novel than battle-centric story mode, the solo adventure can be worth the price of admission alone if you can invest yourself into this bizarre time-travelling anime chronicle. A much-needed encyclopedia helps make (some) sense of the outrageous terms, characters and incidents that crop up and occur throughout the plot, with optional sub-stories and gag reels available to expand on some characters' roles and provide plenty of humour. An inability to skip (and only fast-forward) text scenes and credits is still a strange and annoying aspect that hasn't been rectified in this port.

Screenshot for BlazBlue: Central Fiction Special Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Other than porting BlazBlue: Central Fiction to Nintendo's platform, this seems to be minimum effort on Arc System Works' part. There isn't really anything special about this Special Edition, aside from including all past DLC in one package. Online lobbies have been removed, yet player-created rooms ensure this isn't too great of a problem. Despite this, it is still the same action-packed game that released two years ago, with a massive (if sometimes over the top and perplexing) anime story mode that befits the Switch's portable nature perfectly, with both dialogue scenes and battles looking just as gorgeous on the small screen as they do on the big one. It won't sway anyone that previously bought the game on another platform, but is more than worth the pick-up for everyone else.

Developer

Arc System Works

Publisher

PQube

Genre

Fighting

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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