Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax - Actually Tough For Me to get behind this one

This fighting game that has once again been out for quite awhile in Japan is another immediately dying fighter. Why? Well first off this game was out in Japan for quite awhile. At least a year. It had some playtime in the arcades then people moved on. Then it gained a Japanese console release. Much later on, this game finally see's what they call an international release.

Well now that's it's here. What ended up being announced not soon before this game's official release. This game got a sequel. Yep just like Blazblue, Arcana Heart, Guilty Gear, etc. These games ended up with a sequel/expansion in very little time. This apparently pissed off some consumers due to having bought the game at full price already only to find out that sequel is announced, thus wasting there money. Other players simply moved on to prepare for the next game either by paying that one in the arcades or just playing a completely different game altogether.

So this game is already in the dying category and to be honest this is a game that only appeals to a specific audience. I'd say this is an anime based fighter but my definition of an anime or Anime-based fighter is different from others.

My Definition of an Anime Fighter/Anime-Based Fighting Game
If a person was to say that an anime fighting game was basically any fighter from Japan. Well then that pretty much alienates 95% of fighters everywhere. There's not too many we can name that come from the US (this also makes silly arguments about which country makes better games a moot point).  What some people (not everyone) call an anime fighter is games that have characters that look like they belong in an anime with crazy moves that have a ton of animation along with some convuluted story plot. Well if that's the case then isn't that EVERY fighting game? Look at Street Fighter, Look at Mortal Kombat, take a look at Guilty Gear. All of these games fill that criteria rather perfectly. After all I don't see some dude in a silly outfit throwing ice and freezing people everywhere.  Guilty Gear's attacks are animated to the extent of being its only movie. Street Fighter's story is so confusing and convuluted pretty much nothing really happens. How many times has M.Bison (otherwise known as Vega) came back after being defeated? Has Ryu given in to the dark power or what?  These games fit the mold of an anime fighter pretty well.

Now my definition of an anime fighter goes something like this. The game is actually based off an anime. Containing characters from that anime and the moves are pretty much the signature attacks to represent that character in that very anime in some way. As an extra tidbit these games can be a bit unbalanced as certain characters are far more powerful than others due to the anime's plot. And there's certain moves that can be used pretty easily to generally gaurantee a win. Its also known that the Anime came first. Does that make sense? If it doesn't then just ignore this part cause I'm moving on to the actual game.

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, man that's a mouthfull. Is pretty much an anime fighting game mash-up. Sega also had a part in creating this game along with the company French Bread, which is well known for Melty Blood and the recent Under Night In-Birth.  This game uses various anime characters from Dengeki Bunko which a company that produced manga and various anime. Sword Art Online, Accel World, Durara, etc.  There's 2 or maybe I should say 4 characters that are from Sega being Akira, Selvaria, and 2 assist characters Pai and Alicia. If you don't know where they're from its more or less Sega's not too well known games Virtua Fighter and Valkyria Chronicles. They're not exactly well known cause when you say Sega you generally think of Sonic, Bayonetta, etc.

Well as for me. I barely know any of the characters aside from the 2...4 Sega ones. I've watched 1 1/2 episodes of Durara and about 15 minutes total of Sword Art Online (that's in the span of 2 episodes of 2 completely different seasons).  So I don't know these characters that well goes without saying. I've heard of Accel World by name but I'm likely thinking of a completely different anime when I say that I think of some Rabbit dude with a Red Vest. So yeah my anime knowledge at least of this current era is minimal to none at all.  I also have to say that one of main reasons I barely know of these anime's is one they come on at the absolute worst possible time (I know I can just Youtube, google whatever to see em).  Another is that the popular anime's oversaturate televisions everywhere. You know the ones.

But I don't have to know the characters to know the game right? Besides games like these to me seem to be more about getting these animes/characters known right? In all honesty the characters don't exactly appeal to me too much. They don't look too silly or extreme just not exactly appealing. I'm also bothered by the character chat portraits somewhat. Some of these characters look like they just want to die. And I'm not just talking about when they're sad or hurt either. Rentaro for example looks like some people I see early morning or late afternoon trying to get some rest before having to go to work. Seriously how bad was your day at work?

Gameplay

Ok this is what's important to me. Well what can I say. French Bread does know a bit how to appeal to me in a fighting game. Simplistic controls not insanely complicated commands. But the system is deep enough to actually show its not a button mash fest. I swear some fightings are one one extreme or the other in this category. Some are way too simplistic and end up just mash one button to win. Others have insanely complicated moves that only the chosen few are able to perform.  There are some games that have what appears to be simplified moves but in reality its insanely hard to perform...that's just the game being a dick.

I'd talk more on the controls but because of the controller I'm forced to use I don't wanna give too much of my opinion on this. Let me explain. I use a specific controller for fighting games and certain other games. I use what's called the "Stormchaser Gamepad". You might end up saying something like, "But Brad_Ry that controller has programmable buttons you're obviously cheating in your fighting games." Hate to tell you but it doesn't work that way. I actually did try to program buttons before for fighting games. But I find that my inputs are much slower if I program a button. Also whatever I programmed into it doesn't neccessarily come out correctly if at all. I didn't buy this controller for that. I originally got it for the rumble feature cause this used 2 rumble motors instead of one. But later I found that was destroying my hands than giving me good force feedback. I got it for the comfort of the analog sticks and the D-Pad.

Most D-Pad's suck for fighting games its almost like fighting games deliberately made there command list the way they did so you would go out and buy an arcade stick...I don't really like Arcade Sticks. I feel like I'm much slower and today's sticks seem to use parts I don't like. Like this stupid little ball thing and the octagon gate. Also today's are way too expensive.  Anyway this D-Pad is comforatble. My fingers are scratching along edges of each direction. I actually feel like I'm inputing a move. Even the analog sticks are great. As a bonus you can play non Analog-Function games with an Analog stick. I love this gamepad...but sadly after well over 12 years mine has had enough. Due to years of wear and tear like all gamepads things start to breakdown.  I've been trying to find a replacement but since this is an old controller its very rare to come across. I thought I was buying one from Amazon new. But instead I was sent a completely different one that was a total piece of crap. I complained to the seller about it. But he hid behind Amazon and said that if I send back the controller my money will be refunded. However the amount I spend shipping will not be reimbursed.  So yeah I've been hunting down this gamepad for quite awhile but unable to find a working one. I'd check game stores but most game stores just literally garbage there old stuff or they take it home and keep it for thereselves. What a waste.....So until I get a replacement My time in fighting games will be limited.

What separates this game is its combat system. At first when you play this game it feels like the combat is stale and there's no much to it. Like playing Street Fighter 2 for the first time back in the old days. But then after you call an assist or use what's called your trump card. You're trump card is generally different for every character but once you use it it allows for longer combo strings to be made. That's assuming you know what you're doing. That combined with assist allows for some crazy stuff to happen. I have yet to see 100% combo or an infinite which I am thankful for cause that means players actually have a chance at well "playing the game" and the game doesn't instantly transform into only learn this character and this combo.  I swear too many fighting games do this and while its amazing to look at. It gets boring after awhile and pretty much means you just drop the controller and go make a sandwich.

What I favor most is the burst and assist system. Typically burst were on the lines of what Blazblue and Guilty Gear could do with. Either tell the opponent to get off me. Or use it to be fancy in a combo. Well this game does that and a lot more. There's 3 kinds of burst. The first one is an escape burst which gets the opponent off you. Its downside is generally obvious to most people. It takes forever to recharge, if its read it can be blocked and you're pretty much screwed. You know that common stuff. The 2nd is a combo burst. Which when you use it during one of your combos, the opponent is knocked away from you but in a way that allows you continue your combo. Also you gain meter. The 3rd one is a Power Up Burst. Which is exactly as it sounds. If you just use it for no reason whatsoever its not a bad thing. Instead you get a temporary damage boost to your attacks.
Then you have assist. Honestly there's A lot of assist characters but if you're familiar with fighting games you know what they do. They assist you by either attacking the opponent. Defending you against attacks. Or assist you by giving you meter. Every character has a different assist and its up to you to pick which one works for you. From what I've seen in my opinion there's no OP godlike assist that everyone has to use. No this isn't like Marvel vs Capcom where there's only 3 to 5 specific characters you use as assist cause everyone else is apparently useless. You find out which one you like and works best for you. Its like they want you to have fun and let you do what you want.
(Side note: I'm pretty sure someone will say otherwise by pointing me to some tier list that may or may not be official. But I don't care. I'm sticking to my point.)

 So now on to the single player.  There's Arcade Story Mode, an extended story mode that apparently has more stages and deeper storyline. I've yet to play this. Your standard vs. mode. Online Play, Score attack and Time Attack. Then you have Customize which is really just buying stuff with points you earned to make yourself an online card and preset character colors. This already goes beyond the basic barebones of what most fighters have these days. I'm actually glad there's no silly Tutorial mode or a Challenge Mode which I like to rename "Do this combo" mode. Those modes are annoying. Anyway most fighters these days just have the basic bare minimum to be called a fighting game.

Basic Bare Bones Fighting Game Options
Arcade (even that can be removed sometimes)
Vs.
Training
Online Play
Options

There's a lot of fighting games out there that just only have this. Then there's some that will include stuff like Tutorial, and Do This Combo.  I know the aspect of fighting games is to play against other people. But I am not big on socializing 24/7. When I'm around people it gets hard to focus on what I'm doing, I have to make sure not to unneccessarily bite someone's head off. Not turn into a beast on at the sight of a full moon.

The point is that fighting games need a lot more these days instead of just the basics. At least for me. Most people only care about whether or not the game will be in a tournament and getting in as much practice as humanly possible before the tournament happens. But I'm not that guy. I just want to play the game and enjoy myself.

Okay I'm going on a tangent agent I better stop before I kill the rest of my imaginary audience.
I need to mention the story.  Ok well do to the arcade being smashed in with the story Arcade mode takes quite a bit of time to finish. I don't really like when games do this. Just make a Story Mode that doesn't suck sheesh.  Every story is pretty much the same thing. Some evil entity is destroying worlds ironically anime worlds and now its set its sights on the world of Sega. So this girl transports whatever character you're playing as over to that world to try and save it. Then as you progress onward the story starts talking about Dreams, hope, and despair. The guy goes on and on about how because you have a dream you're making someone else feel despair to try and make you feel bad. Its somehow my fault that someone else is feeling bad cause I have a dream.  Then in classic anime cliche fashion the girl that transported you over gives you a confidence boosting speech about how its not wrong to have hope.  The character you're playing as breaks the 4th wall and says he/she needs your help to defeat this guy and then final boss. The game ends on a happy note. And everyone lived happily ever after.  Yeah the story is common. Nothing really special. But its a fighting you don't need some insanely deep storyline.

Music and sound

The music in this game is kinda a mixed bag for me. There's some songs I like. And some I don't. What I will say that this is one of best character select theme's I've heard in a long time.  Also a quirk I like is that if its the final round of a match the music changes to the title theme. And the title theme isn't annoying. Its also not full specific character vs themes like other fighting game. That's not to say I don't like that. I just get annoyed when I want to hear a certain character theme but instead I hear something completely different cause of the character I'm playing.
Sound effects aren't annoying either. And they actually help. A lot of sound effects in games are either drowned out by the music or somehow muted for whatever reason making it a bit harder to play fighting games in some situations. So I'm glad the sound effects are great in this game.

Online Play 11/1/2015

Well I jumped online to see what its like. Usually games like these are pretty decent with netcode. Well I was half right.

First off. There's no one playing ranked matches...I sat in the search room for at least 2 minutes. Nothing. So I jumped into player matches.  Well its apparently too late to jump into the community for this one. I got kicked from rooms multiple times inbetween matches. But that's not what bothers me.

What bothers me is the input delay. There's no sign of lag and my claims of Input delay will likely fall on deaf ears. But there was a lot. I figure most of the players adjusted to the input delay while I was trying to. I couldn't do any of the combos I was doing offline. Moves came out late or never at all. I didn't know what to do but to play the slow character. I wasn't going to play the others for one I don't really like them. Another is I feel that victory with them is too easy. I probably should've just stuck with mashing A.

The etiquette of this online area. I feel its pretty much if you're not good then get out. You will get kicked for losing. You'll get kicked for the rank you have too. I saw these lightning bolts next to most of the rooms in different colors while one for me at the bottom screen was Red and marked I just want to have fun. Well that's true. Almost everyone else was something on the lines of skilled players only. But I honestly didn't find anyone truly exceptional unlike when I watched my friend's stream of this game. I was too busy getting kicked from rooms after one loss. I honestly didn't have time to adjust to online play since everyone playing pretty much left and all had different connections.

A 1 bar I pretty much get to do nothing but watch my opponent's assist and impact attacks always work. My grabs never came out. My supers came out at the wrong time. Any combos I had offline never showed up.

A 3 Bar connection was slightly better. But again I had no chance to adjust to the input delay. Like I said before I was either getting kicked or the connection levels changed. Eventually I just gave up trying to fight online.  Losing the way I did just honestly wasn't fun when I know my combos should come out but don't. But again. This is from my point of view. I can claim input delay all I want but whether someone believes me or not is up to that person.

Overall

I like this game...I'm not exactly fond of the characters. And the fact that this game is already dying out is a dissapointment. So I'm going to try and get as much playtime as possible before I end up having to send this back to gamefly.

Its decent but needs some serious polishing.