The Latest

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel review

Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel 2

Back in 2006, Nintendo and Tommo teamed up to create Jump Ultimate Stars, a DS-based title which assembled dozens of beloved manga protagonists for a behemoth-sized battle royal. Understandably, obtaining licenses for Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Saint Seiya and a host of other properties would have been a contractual conundrum, with many speculating that there just wasn’t enough of an audience to justify the trouble.

Now, a decade later, fighting games that cull from a variety of Japanese properties are starting to make their way stateside. From J-Stars Victory VS+ to Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, licensing agreements have been hammered out, allowing new audiences to enjoy pugnaciousness between an assortment of IPs. The latest game to sustain this trend is Examu’s Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel. Building on their experience with Arcana Heart 3: LOVEMAX!!!!!! and Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match, the Tokyo-based development team delivers a largely enjoyable title that’s marred by a lack of depth and polish.

Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel 1

Superior fighting games often extend a comprehensive tutorial to players, giving a series of lessons that explain distinguishing mechanics. But woefully, players won’t find much of that in Nitroplus Blasterz. Beyond the ability to skirmish with a CPU drone or pour over the digital manual, you’ll have to learn how to become on competent combatant on your own.

Fortunately, Heroines Infinite Duel isn’t too difficult to pick up. As its core, characters are able to summon weak, medium, heavy and strong attacks. Additionally, a button is dedicated to Escape Actions-  allowing fighters to evade on the ground or in the air or even cancel out of normal attacks. Advanced specials and combos like the Variable Rush, Lethal Blaze, and Infinite Blast tend to draw from a player’s power gauge, but allow fighters to issue devastating combos, specials, and knockbacks from universal input methods. While an interactive guide would have been welcome, it won’t take experienced gamers too long to learn the ropes. Fortunately, the controls are responsive and commands aren’t terribly complicated, with the game maxing out at two quarter-circles following by a dual-button tap.

Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel 3

Like any fighter, the key to advancement is to dig in and study each characters’ combos and well as the timing used for doing things like charging attacks or bringing down an aerial opponent. Recovery represents another worthwhile lesson, with quick players able to risk a bit of their power meter to guard, then instantly retaliate. Two other cooldown gauges regulate when you’ll be able to issue a Partner Blitz, which sends either of your two comrades out in hopes of inducing further damage. Certainly, these are one of Nitroplus Blasterz’ high points, as its persistently amusing to pummel opponents with a pack of zombies chasing after a scurrying maiden or see a secondary come on-screen to thwack a rival with a baseball bat.

Like any fighter with a bevy of licensed combatants, bringing the pain seems more fun with recognizable protagonists. Although Infinite Duel’s heroines might be as popular as J-Stars Victory VS+ or Dengeki Bunko’s luminaries, there’s still a number of notables for fans with even a fleeting familiar of light novels, manga, or anime. The cast of fourteen playables (two are locked at the start) as well as nineteen support characters are culled from Nitroplus properties, as well as any IPs where the publisher’s talent is shared. Beyond the inclusion of Fate/stay night’s Saber, notables include Aino Heart from Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura’s Horura, and voluptuous brand mascot Super Sonico as playables- the latter two available as a free download during the first four weeks of release.

Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel 4

Unquestionably, the cast demonstrates a diversity of play styles, with characters like Ein having lissome mobility and powerful ranged attacks while Ouka delivers amount sof damage that are surprising, especially for a cross-bound loligoth. Scour the roster and there’s likely a combatant that will mesh with your play style, whether you prefer an unpredictable play style, rapid-fire, demoralizing attacks, or simply to control an area.

The downside is that Nitroplus Blasterz is in need of a bit more balancing, as some fighters demonstrate a distinct advantage. This seem to be corroborated by online players, where a selection of four fighters dominate the action. Still another issue is the quality of the netcode; even with the post launch-patch, lag can soil competitions. If Examu is able to get the reduce sluggish matches, then the game’s fanbase should be decently sized, as the title offers cross-playing between the two PlayStation iterations.

Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel 5

Story modes are often subordinate in fighting games and Heroines Infinite Duel does little to upset this tradition. Jump into the game’s Arcade Mode and the developers do their best to explain the convergence of different properties. Although it’s a gallant attempt, the narrative never becomes compelling and will just slow the cadence of the eight round event for most players. However, beating the mode unlocks Another Story, which offers a better attempt at plot, as ten visual novel sequences occasionally get interrupted by in-game fisticuffs. While it’s hardly The Tale of Genji, the mode is a nice perk in an otherwise basic package.

Simplicity is also evident during battles, with Nitroplus Blasterz extending aesthetics of mixed quality. Undoubtedly, the fighters look great and are fluidly animated, while specials often illuminate the screen with a bit of visual spectacle. But the parallax-scrolling backgrounds are devoid of animation and pre-fight portraits divulge a perceptible amount of pixilation. Meanwhile the game’s aural accompaniment isn’t remarkable, with upbeat but commonplace melodies setting the tempo for each fight. Sound mixing is a bit questionable as well, with callouts occasionally buried in the background.

Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel 6

Although Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel has a few issues, a number of these transgressions might be forgivable, considering the game’s forty dollar MSRP and inclusion of free launch window DLC. These marketing maneuvers obviously aren’t going to lack of any tutorial or the austere backgrounds, but they do help make Heroines Infinite Duel enticing for fans of the game’s cast. If you care about Aino and Horura you might want to jump in now. Otherwise, wait to see if Blasterz’ netcode gets patched.

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel was played on
the PlayStation 4 with review code provided by the publisher.

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel 
Platform: 
PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
Developer: 
Examu
Publisher:
 XSEED
Release date: 
February 2nd, 2016
Price: 
$39.99 via retail or via PSN (PS4), $29.99 via PSN (PS3)
Back in 2006, Nintendo and Tommo teamed up to create Jump Ultimate Stars, a DS-based title which assembled dozens of beloved manga protagonists for a behemoth-sized battle royal. Understandably, obtaining licenses for Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Saint Seiya and a host of other properties would have been a contractual conundrum, with many speculating that there just wasn’t enough of an audience to justify the trouble. Now, a decade later, fighting games that cull from a variety of Japanese properties are starting to make their way stateside. From J-Stars Victory VS+ to Dengeki Bunko:…

Review Overview

Gameplay - 80%
Control - 80%
Aesthetics - 75%
Content - 75%
Accessibility - 75%

77%

GOOD

Summary : If you're not familiar with characters on Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel roster, then the game probably won’t offer enough to interest you. But for those familiar with VNs like Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa or Phantom of Inferno, the game offers a peerless matchup of adorable protags that’s great for local play.

User Rating: 4.53 ( 6 votes)

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert ‘DesertEagle’ Allen is Tech-Gaming’s resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

21 comments

  1. Two games reviewed on or before launch day?

    Keep it going, Robert!

  2. You’re too nice. Most sites are killing Nitro+, with review scores in the 4s and 5s (out of 10)

  3. You’re gradually becoming my number one source for Japanese game reviews.

  4. 62 on Metacritic. 15 points high seems like a lot but two 4/10 scores really brought the game down. Still one site scored it higher at 80%

  5. I wanted to play Jump Ultimate Stars so bad when I was younger. That basically introduced me the R4.

  6. The top pic looks a bit ssssttteeeeeettccchheedd.

  7. I always liked Arcana Heart, AquaPazza not as much. Still, I like the idea of anime fighters.

  8. Super Sonico always sounds like the Japanese version of Sonic the Hedgehog.

  9. 14 fighters seems a bit light. That’s probably another reason why it’s $40/$30.

  10. The 5th screen down has a bit on pantsu.

    Love it!

  11. Thanks for the the review Robert. I’ll probably get the game this week. We should play online!

  12. Vodka for Breakfast

    Is there tag-teaming in the game?

    • No it’s one on one but you have two assistant characters that you can call up but you don’t control them.

  13. I kind of wish I didn’t read the review after buying NB. Now I can’t help but notice how plain the backgrounds are. But the dust clouds when fighters jump are cool.

  14. Read al your previous reviews in the hyperlinks. Man, you’re the loli fighting game master!

  15. Good review. I’ll just got this for 20% through Amazon Prime, making it $31.99. Deal of the century.

  16. Bought the game yesterday and found your review to be pretty spot on. Good work, mate.

  17. I can wait for a PSN sale on this one.