Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel Review
Publisher: XSEED Games
ESRB Rating: T
Release Date: (PC) December 8th, 2016
A review copy was provided by XSEED Games, thank you.
Today we’re taking some time to take a look at Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel developed by Examu, which has just made its way to PC. Will this port of the fighting game which uses visual novel characters and the like be able to hold itself up on this platform, like it has in the arcades and on console? Let’s see!
Nitroplus follows some traditions set in place by previous powerhouses in the genre with fast-paced gameplay, double jumps, assist characters, and air dashing, all mixed in to the fray. The button layout is the more unique five button type, which includes: Weak, Medium, Strong, Escape, and even a Heavy Action button. Weak, medium, and strong are your standard normal moves; Heavy Action (HA) is similar to a blow back action when standing, while crouching HA is turned into a sweeping move that will knock down the other player, immediately. Doing HA while in the air causes the same effect; while holding HA will turn it into a guard-crush move. The escape move is simply a dodge-rollー similar to that in King of Fighters, and follows the same properties as well. This move can also be done in the air, and is often used as a blitz option during combos or for applying pressure on an opponent. So much more could be said about the buttons and what they do, but as most fighting games go: it’s all about discovery, and what can be done with those tools.
Before we head into the meat of the game (the gameplay,) let’s cover what modes there are to the game. We have your standard arcade-mode-Story mode involving beating a set amount of fighters and then fighting the final boss (with cut scenes, of course.) After completing this story mode once, we then unlock “Another Story”ーwhich is a continuation of the story offered in arcade mode. Next up is Versus, your standard, local play mode; Score Attack mode, where you take place in continuous fights to make your score the best on the leaderboard and Training, where you can brush up on practicing your most damage dealing combos and more! Visiting the Gallery allows you to view the art and cut scenes from Story and Another Story mode. Option mode lets you adjust the audio, window options, keyboard and controller key settings, and in-game settings such as rounds, time limit, and CPU level. Lastly, we’re going to go over one of the more important modes: Network mode. What we have here is like all other online modes: a ranked, casual lobby search mode; replay options; a leaderboard. The netcode of the game felt on par to that of Ultra Street Fighter 4, when a stable green connection is made between two players. In other words: the game only has about 4-6 frames of input lag, which, on average, is very minimal in terms of impacting online matches
Setting all this aside, it’s finally time to look at the gameplay of Nitroplus. During character select there are 14 playable characters, ranging from all sorts of different visual novels and similar IPs. A few worth noting being Saya from Saya no Uta, and Aino Heart from the “Arcana Heart” series. There are plenty more, of course. Once your character is selected, you then need to choose two assist characters from a roster of 19 different options, with each one again from a series or title connected to the Japanese publisher in some way. While in game, you have the standard health bar and super gauge, although it is broken into three separate bars. This is a bit unusual, but not unheard of. Apart from the usual, you also have your assist gauges, which charge over time to become available. Once a round is over, said gauges deplete back to zero in time for the following round. One of the more interesting mechanics to Nitroplus is the Infinite Blast move, which works similar to that of the burst from “Guilty Gear” with additional properties. To quickly go over what Infinite Blast does: when activated it’ll regenerate health over time, gain more to the super gauge, and cancel special moves into escape actions. On the flipside, it can only work once per round.
Overall, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is another one of a kind fighting game brought over to the PC. Although one of the more niche fighting games using primarily characters from visual novels, there is no doubt it’ll make an even greater impact now that it’s accessible to the PC fighting-game crowd, and market.
My verdict for Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is:
-Varying archetypes of playable characters
-Very solid netcode
-Less than average roster size