Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel on PC
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel. Say it three times fast and it may begin to make some sense. It sounds like a bunch of random words were pulled out of a hat and strung together to form a title, and sadly, that same senseless direction may very well have been applied to its overall presentation. Under a thick layer of generic mechanics, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel can be a solid fighting game, but overall poor execution and general lack of direction make it a fighter that’s tough to enjoy to the fullest.
In case you’re wondering: yes, there is some sort of story in Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel, but in typical fighting game fashion, it’s a rather forgettable one at that. A mysterious entity caused these various worlds to collide, which ultimately serves as a vessel for this crossover. It’s likely you’ll be playing it for its rich amount of characters more so than anything else, with various heroines from Nitroplus visual novels and games coming together to make for a massive roster of 32 available fighters. Before that number excites you, however, let me explain a bit about how the game handles its characters.
While every fighter is designed in a unique retro fashion with bright color and over-the-top outfits, not every one of those fighters is controlled directly. Out of all characters, about two-thirds of them are merely support characters. You pick one of the fourteen fighters, followed by the ability to select two of these support heroines. These can be called in whenever the corresponding meter is charged, triggering a special attack that’s different for every chosen character.
These supporting abilities can be quite useful and add a tactical layer to Nitroplus Blaster that grants its gameplay a unique edge. Experimenting with possible combinations and seeing which fighter combos suit your style best can be a blast, and it occasionally even reminded me of those awesome tag-team combos from Marvel versus Capcom. It’s quite a bummer, then, that there is no real reason to indulge yourself a bit deeper in its shallow mechanics.
What hurts Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel most is its severe lack of content. The game’s general style and features take cues from classic fighting games, from its hand-drawn, colorful visuals to the easy-to-execute combos and split-second frame-freezes following successful hits. It reminded me of old arcade X-Men games and the more recent Skullgirls a handful of times, providing a fun sense of nostalgia that faded far too quickly.
In seemingly targeting that nostalgia, it seems as if Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel created some sort of tunnel vision and forgot to keep an eye on its competitors. It all looks great and the first few matches you play are quite a bit of fun, but it quickly begins to feel less like a full-blown game and more like the fighter you’d play at the local arcade every so often, as was originally intended.
There may be a story mode and some light online multiplayer, but without any sense of progression or depth, there’s seldom reason to keep playing. There are no leveling systems, interactive maps or vastly different character variations, aside from the purely cosmetic character skins that merely slap another color filter over the same outfit. Whereas most fighting games focus on the player mastering its mechanics, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel attempts to provide a casual experience that’s easy to get into.
In that respect, it most certainly succeeds, because fans of the source material don’t have to fear about its gameplay being too difficult to enjoy. In the long run, however, there simply isn’t much that will keep you coming back to this one. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel could have done with a few challenges, unlocks, different game modes or even mini-games, but that’s largely absent from the game. There is one mode that can be unlocked by beating the story, yet that one’s far from different enough to warrant another playthrough.
When you boil it down to its very core, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel struggles to find its footing in the vast ocean of available fighting titles. There’s a fast-paced, casual title to be found here, with a wide roster of uniquely designed, beautifully stylized characters and supporting abilities. However, this game of fisticuffs quickly falls flat due to its lack of expected depth and content most modern fighting games can offer. It strays away from the innovation and improvements made by other entries in the genre, which turns it into an experience that feels overly familiar and generic, providing no real reason to come back to it after you’ve experimented around for a bit.
Score: 2.5/5 – Poor