"BlazBlue: Revolution Reburning" - The Definitive Mobile "BlazBlue" Experience?
Hit anime fighting game series BlazBlue has just received a genuine mobile treatment. (Thou shalt not speak of the awful rhythm game that was EatBeat DeadSpike-san.) Revolution Reburning, now released worldwide on both Android and iOS, manages to successfully capture both the aesthetic and blitz-paced action of previous entries in the franchise remarkably well, while implementing a control scheme and gameplay system that make it mobile friendly.
But it's important that we get two major things straight here: both what BlazBlue RR is, and perhaps more importantly, what it is not.
Travesty. Nothing short of a travesty. What were you thinking, ArcSys?
What It Is
BlazBlue RR is a well polished game, that does justice to both the beautiful art and tight mechanics of the mainstay entries in the series, with an intuitive combo system that manages to do more with simple taps and swipes than most other games on the mobile market. Several characters animations are largely taken directly from their previous incarnations, and fans already familiar with a certain character's playstyle will have a relatively easy time learning how to pull off combo attacks either very similar, or even completely identical to the ones they already know.
Like the previous BlazBlue games, Revolution Reburning manages to pack an incredible amount of depth into the simple act of beating things up. Directional attacks, charge attacks, dash cancel attacks and more all serve to grant players a virtually limitless pool of ways to style on every enemy that crosses their path, in true anime fashion. And all of this is tied neatly into the basic tap and swipe functions that are available on a touchscreen.
What It Isn't
First and foremost, and perhaps the most surprising, Revolution Reburning is not a fighting game. Instead, the gameplay hews closer to the side-scroller RPG formula. Characters are unlocked through progression, (or optional IAPs, if skipping the grind is your thing) and have XP Levels, Skills, and Gear. The Story Mode plays out in a very "dungeon-esque" fashion, with each node taking you into a multi-screen encounter, each with several "mob" enemies and at least one Boss at the end.
Secondly, I would argue that the game isn't exactly immediately intuitive, even to experienced players of the BlazBlue franchise. There are a LOT of underlying game systems going on at once, and their inner workings aren't exactly entirely laid bare. To a hardcore fighting game player, who's used to being able to pick apart the frame data and other properties of every individual move in the game, this could serve as a turn-off. That being said, even with the slightly murky delivery of information, I found the core of the game both enjoyable, and easy enough to understand to at least progress forward.
This is MUCH better!
While I would also lean toward saying that Revolution Reburning isn't pay to win, as the game is largely single-player based, it does instate quite a bit of unavoidable grind for those players refusing to drop any money. I went so far as to purchase the $11 Diamond Package that grants you a little over 100 diamonds every day, just to allow myself a progression rate that felt satisfying to me. And based on my experience so far, I'd say that if you're going to make any purchase in-game, you should make it that one, especially if you're planning to play the game frequently.
Pass or Play?
When it comes to the final verdict on this newest entry in the BlazBlue franchise, overall, I would definitely say it's worth giving a chance. If you're a fan of BB, its art, characters, and storytelling, it's a no-brainer. 9/10, would download again. The same sentiment goes for those who are fans of the sidescroller RPG genre. The combat is satisfying, the progression is nuanced and varied, and its sure to give you plenty of gameplay hours, even if you do drop money on it.
On the flipside, if none of those things strike your fancy, this game probably isn't for you.