Nitroplus is a studio popular for its visual novels—and the anime and manga it has collaborated on. Nitro+ Blasterz is what happens when you take the heroines from these works and make them duke it out in a crossover fighting game.
As a fighter, it’s a rather simple one. The face buttons on the controller correspond to weak, medium, heavy, and very heavy attacks. Combining these with ducking and jumping—or common fighting game motions like a down-to-forward roll on the D-pad—give you a large variety of attacks.
But while the inputs for each character are largely the same, the attacks produced are quite different across the game’s 14 playable characters. Characters move across the screen at different speeds and have vastly different ranges for their attacks. Some have a large amount of projectile attacks while others don’t have any at all.
In other words, the game does a great job of making each character feel unique—especially when you customize any given character with two of the 19 summonable partner characters that you can call into battle for a brief time.
Likewise Nitro+ Blasterz comes with the expected modes: local and online versus play, a score attack mode, and a story mode. So all in all, it is your standard fighting game. The big reason for playing it is the characters.
While Nitroplus is most well-known for its visual novels—most of which have not seen an official English release—anime fans still will likely recognize a few of the 33 characters. There is Saber from Fate/Zero, Akane from Psycho Pass, Yuki from School-Live!, and Angela Balzac from Expelled from Paradise. There are also a few characters from games released in the West like, Aino Heart from Arcana Heart, Saya from Song of Saya, and Homura from Senran Kagura. Each of the playable characters in turn comes complete with its own move set (including flashy special moves) straight from original source material.
The game does come with a story, though not much of one. The characters progress through eight fights, each bookended by a few dozen lines of voiced dialogue from one character to the other. There is also a secondary epilogue story mode with far more dialogue that unlocks when you finish the normal story mode once. However, even this mode clocks in at under 30 minutes. When it comes to plot, BlazBlue or Persona 4 Arena this game is not.
Nitro+ Blasterz is fanservice pure and simple (though not necessarily the sexual kind). It is a competent fighter, though with nothing to set it apart from the myriad of other 2D fighters out there—except for the cast. For fans of these characters, there is more than a little enjoyment to be had from this game. However, if you don’t know or care who these characters are, it’s largely forgettable.
Nitro+ Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel was released in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 on December 10, 2015. It is scheduled for a North American release sometime in 2016.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.