True to Arcsys form, and hot on the heels of the last revision to the flashy 2D fighter BlazBlue (Namely, Continuum Shift EXTEND), Arc System Works has just announced the next rendition of the game, Chrono Phantasma.
Along with the usual rebalancing, Chrono Phantasma is looking like another full expansion on the BlazBlue storyline. Like Continuum Shift before it, Chrono Phantasma introduces a new story arc, a overhaul of the art and the HUD, and new characters. 3, to be exact. Along with most of the usual suspects from previous iterations of the game, joining the fray we have Amane Nishiki, a very feminine looking guy that fights with a cloth (this game’s Bridget, perhaps?), Bullet, a voluptuous brawler with a tail, entirely reminiscent of Makoto Nanaya, and Azrael, a big shirtless bruiser that wears his suit jacket like a cape, and looks like he stepped out of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure or something. From Famitsu’s Youtube channel, I give you Arcsys’s brand new trailer so you may see for yourself.
Curiously absent from the trailer are Mu-12 and Lambda-11, but (assuming they aren’t in the game), the new characters bring BlazBlue’s roster up to a respectable 20 (with a possible 22 if Lambda and Mu do make a return appearance).
Maybe one day the roster size will catch up to Guilty Gear.
Interesting to note is that Noel’s been redesigned. She’s no longer wearing her NOL uniform, and her guns are different. This implies that she probably left the library after the events of Continuum Shift, and with my limited knowledge of Japanese I can tell you she’s talking about saving Tsubaki in the trailer (Tsubaki apparently having turned evil). It’s unlikely that many people actually care about the story of a fighting game, but take it for what it’s worth.
You can see that many characters have new special moves and Distortion Drives (or supers, as I like to call them), and that the game will be available late this year, though it can be assumed that applies to a Japanese arcade release.
On a personal opinion note, the quick turnaround time for this game, with this being it’s fifth iteration and seventh balance change since the game’s release 4 years ago (only 3 if you go by console release date) is why I’ve had to effectively give up on it. North American shores just received the last edition of the game a short 6 months ago, yet players already have to prepare for yet another turn of the wheel of fate, which will probably come complete with another spin of the game’s revolving tier list.
On the other hand, the game does look cool, and the trailer, while short, gives the impression that it will give you everything you’d want out of a sequel to a fighting game.
So, while I’m hype for this newest invitation to get back into BlazBlue, I just wish Arcsys would pull a Pat Sajak and give the wheel a final spin.