Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is both a mouthful of a title as well as a surprisingly fully featured fighting game. Featuring a traditional super gauge and assist system, it seeks to set itself apart from the other fighters by using its diverse cast of characters to change up gameplay greatly. Whether it achieves that is a different story entirely.
Nitroplus Blasterz can be purchased on Steam for $29.99 with a 10% discount on launch week, and an additional 25% off for owners of Skullgirls. Owners of Nitroplus Blasterz also receive a 75% discount on Skullgirls.
The story takes a backseat to the gameplay, as tends to be with most fighting games. It’s pretty unobtrusive and can be skipped extremely easy for those who want to get back into the action, however fans of the series can find comfort in every character having their own unique set of dialogue between fights in the game’s story mode. Unfortunately we couldn’t see for ourselves if there was any kind of full cutscene work for the story, as such a thing would likely be locked behind the final boss of the story mode, which proceeded to beat the snot out of us regardless of how many varied attempts we threw at it. Be prepared for a fight if one wants to beat the entire story mode.
Flashy effects and the Blast system, as well as an incredibly diverse set of absurd supers and assists go a long way towards making Nitroplus Blasterz feel very fun to play. Every impact feels like it has weight, and the amount of options at one’s disposal to move around the opponent also adds a frantic pace to the game, our matches rarely saw the counter drop below seventy seconds. It’s hard to gauge the depth of a fighting game with a limited amount of time and online play being an impossibility before launch, but regardless of how far the complexity goes, it’s definitely a fun and flashy fighter that feels great to play. The game modes offered are the basic necessities – a story mode, an alternative story mode that we failed to unlock, a versus mode for fighting against friends or CPU opponents, and lastly a score attack and online play support to round out the options.
Specifically of note, the Blast system is an interesting addition, as it can be triggered once per fight and causes the super bar to both generate quickly over time, as well as increase the amount of super gained through attacks. Activation also causes a burst animation around the user which takes priority over everything and knocks the opponent back if caught in it, no damage is dealt but it's an easy way to combo break if they're caught in a bad situation and the extra super given as a result helps make a comeback.
As far as the rest of the gameplay goes, it's similar to other fighting games with high, mid and low attacks for mixups, special moves with their own inputs as well as powered up versions that burn super to use, a grab and grab counter system as well as supporting air grabs, and a dash system similar to Skullgirls, where several characters can get some absurd aerial movement going with attacks and jumps/dashes. Movement feels appropriately fast and combat feels very weighty with most of the cast.
Also worth mentioning is pure content, as many modern fighters will charge for things like alternate costumes, and while the number of legitimately different costumes is pretty limited – usually just a swimsuit for select characters – the number of palette changes available on every character from the start can and often does break twenty, which adds a bit of variety and personalization, however slight it may be.
Flashy effects are a staple of fighting games, and Nitroplus Blasterz doesn’t disappoint in this regard, from most supers having short animated cutscenes if they land to the absurd screen effects on even the most basic of special attacks add a lot of flair and personality to the game. That of course just refers to the base characters, each assist has their own unique effect on the battlefield, one of our favorites was a girl who covered the field in ice pillars that knock up the enemy, setting them up for aerial combos or a quick air grab. There’s an absurd amount of variety in the visual effects department, and sound is no slouch either. Everything comes together to present the game as an incredibly fast paced fighter that ought to be fun for a bit with friends in showing off flashy effects.
Content wise, it appeared to be a bit lacking at first glance with a grand total of 14 fighters, something that’s even beaten by Street Fighter V without having to unlock any others, but this was quickly forgiven when after selecting the fighter, an assist menu was presented, allowing two choices out of a whopping twenty. While the fleshed out fighters may be lacking in count, the amount of legitimately varied assists that can be comboed in all sorts of ways by the skilled and creative mean even mirror matches can bring out extremely different play styles from both sides. The number of stages is a non issue as well, they provide some set dressing but no stage hazards of effects to worry about, and the original releases on the PS4 and Vita had post-launch DLC in the form of crossover characters from Senran Kagura and Arcana Heart. Both characters are included free of charge in this PC release.
Similar to other smaller fighting games in comparison to titans like Street Fighter or Dead or Alive, Nitroplus Blasterz exists in a unique space as a relatively inexpensive fighter that’s easy to pick up and play with others. It’s not something to dedicate months learning for EVO, but it’s definitely worth playing if not for the frantic pace and fun supers, then for the variety of fighters and enjoyable combat that feels weighty and flashy in all the right places. While content wise it could be a little better, it’s hard to argue when it’s just so fun to play, not to mention most of the fighting game fans on Steam will be receiving discounts for owning Skullgirls. Definitely worth a look for anyone who enjoys a bit of casual fighting with friends or just wants to experience the variety for themselves.
|+ Large number of assists adds variety||– Still a bit limited in number of fighters|
|+ Fast-paced and flashy style with weighty attacks||– Final boss is a bit broken, similar to older fighters|
|+ Some extra game modes and included DLC helps flesh out the game content-wise||– Alternate palette swaps, while numerous, don't add much variety to the characters|