By: Jeff Cater
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is a 2D fighting game that draws characters from several different offshoots of the anime genre and throws them together in a visceral brawl. While it’s incredibly thin on the storyline, Infinite Duel is a highly accessible but still highly technical fighting game.
Being a fighting game, the face buttons will produce a variety of attacks. Square is assigned to a weak attack, triangle is medium, and circle is heavy. Pressing “X” is generally some sort of knock-back or anti-air move, it all really depends on which character you pick. Super moves rarely get more complicated than inputting a semi-circular motion on your d-pad or thumbstick and pressing the corresponding button.
For some reason, however, the game is really damn picky when it comes to busting out your ultimate moves. These generally require two semi-circular inputs rather than one, so in a pinch it can be very frustrating to see your character whiff a super with a regular kick — and it seems to happen about 75 percent of the time.
Other than the super moves, the controls are very tight and immediately responsive. I just don’t get the curious input detection for supers. Pulling the left trigger or left bumper will call in one of your two support characters, which can really help you jolt combos from a measly 40 hits to an immense 150.
While the in-game cinematics are plain old single-frame dialogue sequences, the fights are much more visually pleasing. Not only are the movement and attack animations varied and fluid, but each character has an often screen-filling incredibly visually impressive super move.
For instance, the character Ein can trigger her super and then disappears from the screen. A crosshair overlay appears, controlled by the player. If that player manages to set the crosshairs on their opponent and press square at the correct moment, a short animation plays of Ein miles away with a sniper rifle, giving a brief taunt before pulling the trigger and decimating her foe.
That’s just one example, and there are several characters with special moves worth mentioning, but many of them are simply too cool to give away (Like Saber’s special). Being that the game is rooted in the anime culture, you can definitely expect a bevy of mostly nude women, exposing all sorts of fleshy bits during a special move or victory sequence.
I didn’t see an option for English audio, and there weren’t subtitles for the pre-fight “tale of the tape” jabber, so it’s anybody’s guess as to what’s being said between these ladies. Plenty of high, squeeky voices getting knocked around and tortured, so someone in the room over from you wouldn’t take much convincing that you were watching some violent hentai (which is, of course, the best hentai).
With most fighters these days, there’s an assortment of gameplay avenues, such as story mode or VS. Since the story is very thin, I’ll expose the “first act” of the game. Any character you choose has their own motivation to track down a menacing power source, which, of course, takes on the form of a petite, scantily-clad, ass-kicking 15-year-old girl.
This girl turns out to be none other than an embodied form of The Necronomicon. So you take your own 15-to-23-year-old girl and solicit some ass kickings on pure evil. After you complete your mission, a new mode — aptly called “Another Story” — is unlocked. This follows the events of your chosen character after the defeat of The Necronomicon.
The fights are fast, attractive and sometimes humorous (getting an opponent locked into a 200-hit combo will make anyone let out a devious laugh). There’s also versus, off and online, where you can slap a pal around in as well, though it sometimes took me more than a few minutes to find a match. That was surprising, considering the game has cross-platform compatibility between PS4 and PS3 users.
While the single-player difficulty can quickly ramp unexpectedly, and the storyline is almost nonexistent, Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel is chock full of fun and attitude. Not only can a noobie jump in and bust out an impressive, ego-boosting combo, but a pro can find a deep technical experience and study frame data for weeks.