Short Version: Have you played Aquapazza? If yes, then you have already played this game. It’s a very mediocre game and I did not like it as much as I wanted to. If you are a big (and I mean a BIG) fan of the characters appearing in this game, you’ll probably enjoy it, but I don’t see that enjoyment lasting more than an hour count with two digits on it. If possible, I say you rent it.
Long Version: Crossover games always seem to be a win-win situation, since it’s mostly a recipe for excitement and attention. Looking at titles such as Super Smash Bros, Marvel Vs. Capcom and even the Persona 4 Arena games, it seems that it’s not difficult to make a decent product featuring everyone’s favorite characters from a certain property beating each other up. Unfortunately, Examu, the developers of the game in question have demonstrated that you can very much turn something exciting into a mediocre and flat-out boring experience that will leave you with more headaches than trying to solve a puzzle in The Witness. Seeing the frustratingly average Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel makes me want to appreciate and celebrate how good the previously mentioned titles actually are.
An Infinity of a Dozen
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is a 2D fighting game featuring a variety of characters that either come from or are in some way related to the Nitroplus brand. There are 12 playable fighters, 2 DLC characters and 19 support characters, which give us a total of 32 characters. Though the numbers make it sound big, it will almost always feel small and lacking, since most of the characters simply serve as support and most of the playable ones control the same and don’t feel all that unique from each other with a few exceptions. The only ones that seemed in any way interesting to me were DLC characters that I have to pay real money for, even though they are fully present and available to fight against in the game. I just can’t use them unless I pay to be able to, which doesn’t bode well with me. I know that the characters are free to download for a certain period of time, but my point still stands for when that period ends.
Speaking of things that don’t bode well with me, the actual fighting in this game, though it feels functional, also feels very empty. There are many things that you can use in this system like Infinite Blasts, assist attacks, evasive movements and even a “Lethal Blaze” mode that I assume makes you stronger or something; I am not entirely sure what any of it does.
My words carry a lot of uncertainty, since the game puts absolutely zero effort in explaining how their fighting system works. The closest thing I ever found to a tutorial was leaving the game and finding a video on Youtube that taught me the basics, which is a thing that I should never have to do. Going back to what I said before, this lack of a feature makes me appreciate games like Skullgirls and the Blazblue series for their very extensive and completely optional Tutorial mode that goes in depth on how their game works, whereas in Nitroplus Blasterz, it only has a barebones Training mode and a trophy given to you for staying there for 5 minutes. Even then, I pretty much survived entirely on doing quarter circles back and forth without really knowing how any of the other systems worked. I barely even used my assist characters either, since I could pretty much wipe the floor on my own, making everything else feel unnecessary. Even the AI I was fighting against barely used their assist characters at all.
Speaking of a lack of features, I found that this game, just like many previous Examu titles, have only the bare minimum that fighting games have come to expect, such as Versus, Online Play, Score Attack and a Gallery. All of it feeling incredibly lackluster and slapped together like a man that forgot his wife’s anniversary and had to come up with something quick. You’d think that after so much time, they would attempt to bring more content and extra modes to their games, but they simply don’t bother. Even Arcana Heart 3, one of my most favorite fighting games made by them has this same problem. Of course, none of these problems hold a candle to the game’s absolutely atrocious duo of modes called “Story” and “Another Story”. I’m not kidding. They literally have a mode called “Another Story.” Why they couldn’t just integrate both modes into one is anyone’s guess.
Love and Infinity and Darkness or Whatever…
If there is any way to describe the storytelling in Nitroplus Blasterz, I would say it’s like a teenager that has to write an essay for a philosophy exam that they didn’t study for, so they had no choice but to just make up a bunch of stuff that involves really long, hard to pronounce words and talking about opposites all the time.
“Time and existence mean infinite darkness to the behemoth, for love and hate are both the same when looking at the mirror of gods. The macrocosm of the eternal star gives way to an abyss of forgiveness and blood which envelopes humanity with the noblest of sacrifices.”
What you people just read was me improvising and typing whatever popped up in my head at the time of writing, and I still think it’s more cohesive and easier to explain than the incomprehensible nonsense that is the Story Mode. This is coming from a guy that is super into the Blazblue storyline and doesn’t have much trouble understanding it.
The dialogue ranges from overly pretentious and pseudo-existential to infuriatingly stupid sentences that mean nothing. Get ready to hear the characters say stuff like, “I don’t really know what’s going on, but I’ll do my best!” or “This is all very strange, but I’m not giving up!” Every single character says something along those lines at least once, which shows an enormous amount of laziness and a complete lack of understanding of what the writers of this story were even intending to do with this crossover. It even comes to the point where Super Sonico, one of Nitroplus’ mascot characters (and probably the only thing I liked in this game), stands in front of an insipid, generic background and spells out everything that happened in a very nonchalant way, as if none of it was a big deal. And that’s just the regular Story Mode. In “Another Story,” you come across an even more incomprehensible, convoluted and headache-inducing story that involves more nonsensical gibberish that I simply couldn’t bother to understand after a few chapters.
Overall, If I ever had anything good to say about this game, is that the fighting is so easy to get into that pretty much anyone can join in and play without any trouble. Visually, the game is acceptable but nothing special. And finally, Super Sonico in general is a pretty enjoyable character to be around; especially when the fictional character is performing with her fictional band First Astronomical Velocity, which has always contained a solid amount of neat and catchy songs to look forward to. Other than that, I really can’t come up with good things to say about it.
In the end, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel feels like a game that doesn’t know what it wants to be, and whatever it does ends up being, it’ll never strive to do anything other than the bare minimum while relying too heavily on their name recognition to do all the work for them. But, at the same time, it is overdoing it so much that it makes me wonder if this game came from a different dimension and my feeble human mind is simply not capable of understanding it’s plight to humanity. Either way, it’s a fun little distraction at it’s best, and a frustrating mess at its worst.