BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (ブレイブルー コンティニュアム シフトBureiburū: Kontinyuamu Shifuto) is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works. The game is an official sequel to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. As with the previous game, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift first came to arcades before both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions as the game was currently released for the Taito Type X2 arcade system board, with a 16:9 ratio and 768p resolution. It was released in November 20, 2009 in Japan. A console version was released on July 1, 2010 in Japan and on July 27 in North America. In Australia, the game will be released on October 28.
Changes from the original version
The game has undergone several revamped gameplay mechanics; features at least four new characters: Tsubaki Yayoi and Hazama (from Arcade version), μ-12 (Console-exclusive), and Makoto Nanaya (to be released via DLC); replaces the character, ν-13, with Λ-11; and rebalances previous characters with new or tweaked moves. The game also features all-new character select art, new and returning gameplay modes, and continues the predecessor's story.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift retains the traditional 2D fighter gameplay of two characters participating in a duel on a two dimensional plane. A match can consist of one to five rounds known as "rebels". To win a round, one player must either incapacitate the other by inflicting enough damage through various attacks or by having more remaining health after the round's timer depletes.
During each rebel, players fill a Heat Gauge which can be used for advanced techniques such as Distortion Drives, Rapid Cancels, Counter Assaults, and certain characters' attacks (Jin/Hakumen). The Heat Gauge can be filled via dealing damage, taking damage, and perfectly blocking attacks.
However, some mechanics from the previous installment have been changed or completely replaced in the transition.
The Guard Libra system which utilizes a tug-of-war gauge has been replaced with the new Guard Primer point system. Each character has a certain amount of points (e.g. Tager has a maximum of 10 primer points while characters like Carl or Ragna have 4 and 5 respectively). These points are depleted whenever moves with "Guard Break" properties (e.g. Jin's "Gale" or Hakumen's "Forward C") are blocked. Upon depletion of all points, the character is immobilized for a certain period of time known as Guard Crush. Barrier blocking can be used at critical times to prevent a Guard Crush by consuming 50% of the Barrier gauge instead. Primer points regenerate over time or after all points are depleted.
Barrier Burst has been replaced with Break Burst, a similar ability but with different penalties. Break Burst can only be performed twice in a single match, and its second use can only become available if you lose a round. It no longer permanently drains your Barrier Gauge or gives you the "DANGER" penalty. A free unused burst is required for Astral Heats. Bursts have different properties depending on when they are used, as the offensive "Gold Burst" has high bounce and combo-ability and the combos initiated by it can kill while the defensive "Green Burst" will provide invincibility for the entire burst motion at the cost of permanently halving your maximum primer points. All lost primer points due to Green Bursts will never recover.
Astral Heat conditions have been changed. Instead of requiring it to be the final round and the opponent being within 20% health, it now only requires it to be your match point round and the opponent being within 35% health, in addition to the aforementioned requirement of one free burst.
The game is set after the events of Blazblue: Calamity Trigger. A few days have passed since the reported raid by Ragna the Bloodedge, The 13th Hierarchical City "Kagutsuchi" forgets to celebrate New Years, as his alleged involvement in the "Mysterious Bombing" and "Huge Pentacle Sightings" becomes the talk of the town. With the Novus Orbis Librarium offering no official explanation, the citizens voice their own theories, exaggerating and spreading rumors like wildfire. The name "Ragna the Bloodedge" is engraved in the minds of the people. Completely indifferent to the state of the city, the silver-haired Grim Reaper grips his massive sword and quietly bides his time—waiting for the chance to achieve his true objective. And then, the enormous "power" that has ensnared the "Grim Reaper" begins to activate...
The game introduces 7 new characters in the game, prior to the Console Version. 4 of them were in the game by default while 3 were DLC exclusives. The original characters from the previous game makes their return to the sequel except for ν -No. 13- (Nu), who is replaced by Λ -No. 11- (Lambda) in Continuum Shift as her palette swap. Nu is however still playable in the game, instead being Lambda's Unlimited form which can be unlocked in-game or purchased through DLC.
- Tsubaki Yayoi
- Character voice: Asami Imai (JP), Julie Ann Taylor (ENG)
Jin's childhood friend/relative and Noel's former roommate from the Military Academy and a member of the NOL's 0 Division. She's described as a straight A student, and has a rather no-nonsense personality. She's very serious and reserved, and is a member of the dignified Yayoi family.
- Makoto Nanaya (console versions only)
- Character voice: Tomomi Isomura (JP), Lara Jill Miller (ENG)
Another Military Academy classmate and one of Noel's best friends. She possesses some squirrel-like features, and is said to be quite hyperactive with a short attention span. This is a DLC character that was released on PSN and Xbox live marketplace on August 3, 2010.
A young girl with three personalities named Luna, Sena, and Trinity. Luna is a rude, unkind girl; Sena is an polite, young boy; and Trinity is the spirit of the Sixth Hero, but cannot come out often and has to fade quickly. This is a DLC character and has not been released yet.
One of the Six Heroes and Rachel's elderly butler and trusted adviser who has served the Alucard family line for generations. He possesses a sharp wit and is concerned for Rachel's well-being. This is a DLC character and will be released sometime in September according to Famitsu Magazine.
The main villain of BlazBlue and one of the Six Heroes. Terumi is actually a ghost who taken alias as Hazama, a captain of the NOL's Intelligence Division. At first, he appears to be supervising Noel's actions to keep her in line, but he has a sinister hidden agenda.
- Λ -No. 11- (Lambda)
- Character voice: Kanako Kondou (JP), Cristina Valenzuela (ENG)
An imitation Murakumo Unit created by Kokonoe by combining the body of the 11th experimental replica of Saya with the soul of ν-13, recovered after falling into the Gates of Sheol. Kokonoe completely erased her memory and as a result, Λ-11 is only interested in carrying out Kokonoe's orders. Despite Kokonoe's efforts, Λ-11 still possesses feelings for Ragna.
- μ -No. 12- (Mu) (console versions only)
- Character voice: Kanako Kondou (JP), Cristina Valenzuela (ENG)
Noel, upon having her true powers awoken. She's a perfect Murakumo Unit who possesses Kusanagi and has a goal Terumi wished for: Destruction of the Sankishin Unit: Amaterasu and the world.
On February 8, 2010, it was revealed through Famitsu that Continuum Shift would be getting a port to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This port includes a brand-new, console-exclusive character: μ-12 (Mu-Twelve), the true form of Noel Vermillion, as a new secret boss character and unlockable fighter.
In their June 24, 2010 issue, Famitsu revealed that newcomer Makoto will be featured in Continuum Shift as downloadable content. She was released on August 3, 2010.
The port is arcade perfect and includes new stages, the Legion Mode from the PSP version of Calamity Trigger, and revamped versions of the original stages. There is also new Tutorial and Challenge modes similar to Street Fighter IV that help teach players the basics of the game's system. Additionally, the game will be patchable for character balance, with the first patch expected to be released within six months of the initial release date.
The Japanese version was released on July 1 with Japanese voice acting only. The standard edition was released in the US on July 27, 2010 and will include English and Japanese voice acting. A Limited Edition was released in Japan which includes a petit Nendoroid of Noel, a mini-script replica of the story, a visual book and a super picture label. European publishers Zen United have confirmed in an interview with Neo Empire that Europe will be getting a Limited Edition version of Continuum Shift, however in the US, American publisher Aksys decided to not release a Limited Edition of the game due to time constraints and production lead times. The game's theme song is Hekira no Sora e Izanaedo (碧羅の天へ誘えど lit. "Calling Out to the Sky's Blue Expanse" ), performed by KOTOKO.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II
The first arcade revision of Continuum Shift, entitled "BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II", has been announced for release in arcades come Winter 2010. It will feature all the console exclusive characters and numerous balance changes.
- ↑ 『ブレイブルー コンティニュアムシフト』美しすぎる2D格闘ゲーム最新作見参. Famitsu.com (February 11, 2010). Retrieved on July 15, 2010.
- ↑ BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Announced! (Scans) *UPDATE. Moetron (September 23, 2009). Retrieved on July 15, 2010.
- ↑ アーケード版 「BLAZBLUE CONTINUUM SHIFT II 」登場!!. Arc System Works Official BLAZBLUE Website (August 26, 2010). Retrieved on August 26, 2010.