Written by Ross Locksley on 25 Nov 2010
Distributor Zen United • Price £24.99
For those unfamiliar with Blazblue, the game is a one-on-one fighter featuring a cast of bright, varied characters utilizing bizarre and wonderous looking attacks.
First released on the home consoles, Blazblue is arguably the best HD cel-shaded fighter on the market, and the only game to really rival Street Fighter IV in the hardcore fighting game genre.
The PSP version of the game retains the excellent gameplay which has made the franchise such a big hit, conceding its limitations only where the hardware demands it.
If you're used to the home console version, the first thing that will hit you about this portable brawler is the visual downgrade - the ultra-slick sprites of the original are now jaggier than we'd like, but this concession has allowed the gameplay to remain intact - the sprites bound across the screen with the exact same feel of the original game, and thanks to the 4 button control system you needn't worry about the sort of finger acrobatics required by platform stablemate Street Fighter Alpha Max 3, which is probably Blazblue Portables closest rival.
Not content with bringing the experience to the platform, BBP also adds something new to the experience. The first notable addition is the shop - everything you do in this game earns you points, and the in-game store is where you spend them. Music, images and even ultimate versions of the characters are yours to unlock if you put the time in.
Furthermore, the game adds the new Legion mode, wherein you traverse a series of nodes, defeating all combatants on each, and adding one defeated rival to your roster each time. This is incredibly addictive, and keeping all of your fighters alive is tricky as hell, but well worth it.
I've lost count of the hours this title has sucked from my life, but given the bounty that lies unlocked in the store, I'd say I'd given it a pretty thorough crack. The ability to just fire up a Blazblue match anywhere, anytime has been one of my highlights for 2010.
To take a game as finely balanced and pretty as Blazblue and successfully port it to a much less powerful platform is a thing of rare skill, and if any PSP fighting game deserves your cash, it's this one.
Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.
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