I have a great love for 2D sprite based fighters. I loved the Arcana Heart series, Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, King of Fighters and pretty much every one I could get my hands on. At $39.99 on the PSN store, I took a chance on Nitro+ Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel and it paid off. Aside from a few issues with the story, I really enjoyed this game.
While not as visually stunning as Guilty Gear: Xrd Sign, which is another PS4 exclusive brawler, the 2D sprites on display here do not disappoint. The game is incredibly striking with its bright, vibrant colors and flashy special attacks. Each character has been given some fantastic care and attention to them both in the story sequences, which play out like a visual novel, and their in-action fighting forms.
Going into this game, much of the cast were complete unknowns to me, except for Saber and Super Sonico, the rest were great surprises. I found a few characters like Ignis, Muramasa the 3rd and Kibanohara Ethica to be really fun to cut loose and just unleash some devastating combos with. I’m still warming up to a few characters that don’t quite fit well with my playing style, but so far the entire cast has been fun to at least try out. Super Sonico, I might add, fights with her legion of cats, so of course I tried her first.
Joining the main cast of the 14 fighters are 20 support characters. While not playable, you can summon them when available and they’ll do a flashy attack or buff. Super Sonico has the pleasure as being both a playable fighter and support character. I found my favorites in Franco Nero, Hogyo Iria, Angela Balzac and Yoguruma Mugen.
While some of the characters in the game may have different names as pertaining to the region they are known from, and the same goes for the name of the anime they are from, this is what the guide included states:
Playable characters: 14
- Ein (Phantom of Inferno)
- Mora (Vampirdzhija Vjedogonia)
- Ruili (Kikokugai)
- Al Azif (Deus Machina Demonbane)
- Saya (Song of Saya)
- Ignis (Zingai Makyou)
- Anna (Carnevale Della Luce Della Luna)
- Muramasa the 3rd (Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa)
- Kibanohara Ethica (Tokyo Necro)
- Saber (Fate/Zero)
- Ouka (OKStyle)
- Super Sonico (Super Sonico) (console only)
- Homura (Senran Kagura) (DLC console only)
- Heart Aino (Arcana Heart) (DLC console only)
Support characters: 20
- Aibara Natsumi (Hello, world.)
- Henri (Tenshi no Nichō Kenjō -Angelos Armas-)
- Ishima Kaigen (Hanachirasu)
- Dragon (Dra†KoI)
- Another Blood (Kishin Hishou Demonbane)
- Franco Nero (Zoku Satsuriku no Django -Jigoku no Shoukinkubi-)
- Spica (Sumaga)
- Sakura (Axanael)
- Super Sonico (Super Sonico)
- Carol (Guilty Crown: Lost Xmas)
- Sone Miyuki (Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi)
- Mukou Aoi (Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi)
- Hogyo Iria (Tokyo Necro)
- Althea (Hakubōu no Dendōushi)
- Mitsurugi Yoishi (Phenomeno)
- Takeya Yuki (School-Live!)
- Amy (Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet)
- Tsunemori Akane (Psycho-Pass)
- Angela Balzac (Expelled from Paradise)
- Yoguruma Mugen (D.Y.N.Freaks)
The story itself is still a bit of a mystery to me, despite clearing over half of the fighters’ arcade mode endings and the secondary storey mode. The arcade mode is mainly about several anime girls from other worlds coming into contact with each other to then battle a dark and mysterious entity. This other story mode that unlocks during play deals with what happens after the events of the arcade mode. This secondary mode is mostly a visual novel series with some fights thrown in when the story calls for it. Overall, any form of story in this game is a complete let down and unless you are up to speed on Nitro+ lore, it’s a bit hard to follow.
Control wise the game plays it fairly safe. You have your basic light, medium and heavy attacks as well as escape moves and heavy actions. You have special moves, super moves and lethal blazes. I did find that the characters that have distance attacks have a huge advantage to characters that fight mostly with close range strikes. The last fight in the game is horribly unbalanced as she will just keep firing off her special attacks that are incredibly hard to dodge, and constantly throws out her special which is an instant kill and nearly impossible to get away from. Balance issue aside, Nitro+ is a solid fighting experience that even a button masher like myself can get a few solid rounds in.
Nitro+ Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is a great time at a fairly low budget price to that of other new release titles. At $39.99 on the PSN store, or $49.99 at retail, you can have a great time with this robust and gorgeous 2D fighter. While not all the characters are well balanced, there is a fairly decent sized cast to find your favorite, and come on.. Super Sonico fights with her cats!