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Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel

Score: 75%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: XSEED Games
Developer: Examu
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Fighting

Graphics & Sound:

Hello and welcome to the next season of Nitroplus Heroine Duelists, where your favorite heroines from many of the works released by Nitroplus meet on the field of battle. Please, stay a while and hear all about Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel!

If youíve ever played any type of 2D fighting game, whether from the Street Fighter series or perhaps even Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, the graphics for Heroines Infinite Duel donít stray too far from that mark. All the characters are represented by adorable little sprites that can unleash their own flashy attacks. I always enjoy the animation work in 2D fighters because it has a different sort of charm than what youíll find in 3D fighters. As far as story is concerned, the progression happens in quick cutscenes featuring the participants' 2D renders, but who plays these types of games for story anyway?

Iím always a sucker for music youíd find in an anime, even more so when itís a fast-paced song, and youíll find plenty of tracks like that in Heroines Infinite Duel. As youíd expect, the tracks fit the game very nicely and I like to imagine Super Sonico playing them with her band. Hey, it gives me a little laugh. Anyway, the voice acting for characters are all in Japanese, which isnít a problem during cutscenes since youíll be able to read the text. It bothered the hell out of me whenever the characters would exchange dialogue prior to a fight though. I know, itís a minor thing, but Iím way too curious about what theyíre saying! Itís a bad pet peeve.


Gameplay:

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel plays like your standard 2D fighting game. Two characters will take the stage, each on one side, and battle until one falls or the time limit runs out, simple as that. Itís a pretty familiar formula, nothing fancy, except with a bunch of bloodthirsty girls or monsters posing as girls. Looking at you, Saya. The Story Mode also isnít anything too out of the ordinary. You pick a character, you go through about eight fights, and you view an ending cutscene. Standard stuff, really.

Heroines Infinite Duel doesnít have an incredibly steep learning curve, so newer players can jump right in and try out the game. Both players' Health Gauges are shown at the top, along with the timer for the match, as well as how many wins either player has. You can move your character using the Left Stick or the Directional Pad, whichever floats your boat. Most people probably opt for the D-pad so they can pull off some super awesome combo. That is not me, unfortunately. (Square), (Triangle), (Circle), and (X) serve as your main attack inputs, labeled as Weak, Medium, Strong, and Heavy, respectively. The game doesnít list out any specific combos, but you can create your own from stringing those buttons together properly. You can block by holding away on the Left Stick or Directional Pad from where your opponent is and pressing the (R1) button will let you perform an Escape Action to avoid attacks or reposition. If you hold back while holding the (R1) button, you can perform a Vanishing Guard which negates certain attacks completely. Fortunately, if youíre against someone who just sits there and blocks everything, you can throw them by pressing (Triangle) and (Circle) together. Letís face it: We all know someone who just blocks the entire match. We also know someone who spams one move, but I canít help you with those types of people.

If youíve been practicing your butt off against the CPU, perhaps you should venture out to bigger challenges. Whatís that? You donít have friends? Itís fine, thatís why we have online! Heroines Infinite Duel features a NETWORK Menu, which allows you to play online with other players. Youíre a super hardcore player and can destroy anyone you play against? You should be hitting those Ranked Matches, where your performance gains you points toward your overall rank and it even features strict rules that you can never change. You want more casual matches without feeling judged for your rank? Then Player Matches are the way to go! You can create a room and set up your own rules with six other people, 2 playing and the other 4 spectating. You actually have friends to play with? Then you should be doing a Friend Match. The NETWORK Menu also features a Replay Theater, where you can upload that replay of you laying the smack down. Hopefully, weíll be seeing some montages, right guys?


Difficulty:

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel handles difficulty similarly to many other fighting games. You can select what difficulty you want the CPU to be in the Options, ranging from one to eight. The difficulty only applies to Versus battles, however, and, naturally, the higher the number, the better the CPU will fight. As you improve, itís not a bad idea to bump the CPU difficulty up a bit so you can have a better challenge. Itís a pretty good way to practice on your own terms, if youíre looking to become the next best heroine, anyway. In Story Mode, the battles seem to get progressively more difficult as you advance through each battle. The first battle is laughable easy, but when you get to the final fightÖ. Itís like a whole other world, but maybe Iím just bad at the game. I will say that I donít think itís fair for a boss, or any boss, to have a single move that can take over half your Health Bar. Thatís just not right.

Game Mechanics:

Thereís only a few things youíll need to make sure you have a firm grasp on Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel. The first is your use of the Partner Blitz. After selecting your main fighter, youíll be able to select two other characters as your partners to take into battle. Theyíll be represented by icons underneath your characterís icon with a gauge underneath them. With the gauge full, you can summon that partner into battle to help you, whether it be damaging the opponent with an attack or impairing them in some way. You can even use them to set up combos with your character and unleash some devastating attacks. Partner Blitz is used by pressing either (L1) or (L2) for Partner 1 or 2, respectively. Proper use of your partners can really help shift a battle in your favor.

Everyone needs a lesson on unleashing their true power, and by true power, I mean super flashy moves that look amazing. At the bottom of the screen, youíll notice a segmented gauge called the Power Gauge that fills as you attack or take damage. With at least one bar, youíll be able to unleash a Super Move, which is basically a more powerful special move. You can find these from your characterís move list. Thereís also the Counter Raid, which allows you to guard and retaliate at the same time, but it also costs one Power Gauge unit. The real fun comes with the Variable Rush and Lethal Blaze. Variable Rush costs two Power Gauge units, but allows you to unleash a very powerful combo attack. To use it, you need to press (Circle) and (X) together, but you can extend the combo by mashing (Square), (Triangle), or (Circle). Finally, the Lethal Blaze. Thatís just a cool name in my opinion. Lethal Blaze can completely turn the tide of a fight due to how strong it is. To use it, you must have all three Power Gauge units filled and press the specific input found on your characterís command list. This attack is incredibly powerful, and when used wisely, can flip a battle on its head. Oh, and did I forget to mention it looks awesome? It does.

The last thing you need to know before diving into the battlefield is the Infinite Blast. No, itís not a combo that lasts until your opponent is defeated. The Infinite Blast delivers a quick knockback attack and then regenerates your Health and Power Gauge. Youíll know when you can use it thanks to the little Blast icon underneath your Health Gauge, too. You can perform this move at any time and it could really mean the difference between winning and losing. To use it, just press the (R2) button. The duration also changes based on whether you use the move while attacking, guarding, or taking damage. Donít be afraid to use it if you really need to!

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is certainly an interesting little game to pick up. It might not shine brightest amongst the 2D fighters, but those big Nitroplus fans will probably have a fun time playing the game. If youíre not into Nitroplus works, you may not appreciate the game as much and would probably be better off playing something else. I was very interested by the characters, however. Iíve never really checked out much of what Nitroplus has to offer, but their characters certainly sparked my interest and got me to research some of their backstories. Unfortunately, learning about Saya deeply scarred me because I was not prepared for that tale of woe. The rest are cool, though!


-SS-54, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ren Plummer

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