Review: BlazBlue Central Fiction [PS4] [North American Version]

Release Date
PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Publisher / Developer
Aksys Games / Arc System Works
Single-player, multiplayer

BlazBlue Central Fiction looks to be my fighting game of the year. I’ve been following the series since Continuum Shift and I have grown to be very fond of it due to various factors such as its high replayability.

The abyss mode returns, which is just an insane mode where you level up your character and at some point have to fight boss types of the original cast. It’s quite hectic and a lot of fun. Score Attack Mode is for those that like a challenge. I don’t know exactly what kind of difficulty the mode is set to, but I remember having a lot of trouble beating it just because the A.I. will suddenly become sentient and punish you hard. The arcade mode is probably the longest one out of any BlazBlue. There are three acts in it. Each act consists up to eight enemies that you must face and near the end of each act, you will face the boss of it. Arcade mode is similar to how the Xrd series for Guilty Gear works. It is meant as an introduction to each individual character’s role in the main story. The player should play this mode before going to the actual story mode so that they can familiarize themselves with each playable character’s role. However, you are not required or forced to do that and you are free to choose to play whichever mode of your choosing.

There is no dub this time around, but I can assure you that it does not deteriorate the experience at all. The Japanese voice actors have a ton of emotion in all of their dialogue. All the characters sound like they have as of previous staying true to their personalities. Even without the dub, I was still touched immensely by the end of the story mode. The CG art itself is enough to get the player emotionally invested in what is going on. It was truly an experience.

The gameplay is by far the most refined part of Central Fiction. Being the latest and possibly the last game of the series, Arc System Works has given us a plethora of new and dynamic characters. Along with that, there have been tweaks to the mechanics from the previous games. There is a new system that rewards your aggressive play, which is called Active Flow. The main benefit is the increase in your overall damage. Say you’re doing a 2.8k damage combo, now with Active Flow that damage will increase to at least 3.2k instead. I found it to a very nice change of pace. I remember the discussion being that Arc System Works wanted to lower the set damage in the game overall as BlazBlue was always known for high damaging combos. The addition of Active Flow feels like a good incentive for players to play well and offensively in order to get that damage that was originally in the previous games. Active Flow also has another mechanic and a pretty big one at that. Now when you activate Overdrive, which is basically an awakening type of form for each character. All the characters have access to this certain new attack called Exceed Accel. It is best described as a meterless super. All that is required is for Overdrive to be pressed once more after it was already activated. Exceed Accel is essentially a free super with a high amount of invincibility. The original damage is small. Doing only about 2k on its own, but when done in Active Flow the animations change into stronger versions and the overall damage is increased by at least double. As a long time BlazBlue fan since the first Continuum Shift, I am very happy with how the game has turned out. With the addition of all the new characters, my personal favorites being Naoto Kurogane, Izanami, and Mai Natsume, this game is filled to the brim fun and unique to play as.

The netplay for this game has been very good for me as well. I rarely get matches so laggy that I can barely move. I’m very glad for this because I remember I would struggle just trying to have a match with a few of my friends without an immense amount of lag. To me, this is a huge improvement and a step in the right direction for Arc System Works. I honestly think that this game has the best netcode out of all the fighters I have played this year.

Overall, I love this new BlazBlue. This might be the last one and I could see how much effort Ark System Works has put into it. It’s a wonderful game that is worthy to be this franchise’s last. Any problems I had with the previous games have been fixed in this one and I couldn’t be any happier. I give Central Fiction a 9.1/10. It’s an amazing fighting game that any fan or fighting game player should get if they are looking for well-made fun.