BlazBlue: Continuum Shift

A few days have passed since the reported raid by Ragna the Bloodedge, The 13th Hierarchical City "Kagutsuchi" forgets to celebrate New Years, as his alleged involvement in the "Mysterious Bombing" and "Huge Pentacle Sightings" becomes the talk of the town. With the Novus Orbis Librarium offering no official explanation, the citizens voice their own theories, exaggerating and spreading rumors like wildfire. The name "Ragna the Bloodedge" is engraved in the minds of the people. Completely indifferent to the state of the city, the silver-haired Grim Reaper grips his massive sword and quietly bides his time-waiting for the chance to achieve his true objective; and then, the enormous "power" that has ensnared the "Grim Reaper" begins to activate...

The wheel of fate turns once again.

The sequel to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger introduces three newcomers from the start: Hazama, Tsubaki Yayoi and Lamda-11 (whom is basically a "nerfed" ν-13). In the console version, "μ-12" (a sprite edit of ν-13) can also be unlocked by completing the "True End" section of the story mode, or she can be purchased from the online store if players just can't wait. Months down the round after the original release, three DLC characters found their way onto the roster, including: Makoto-Nanaya, Valkenhayn R. Hellsing, and Platinum The Trinity. The full cast of 18 characters is actually considered BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2... I know, it's confusing.

Continuum Shift
features a generous selection of new moves & animations for returning characters, new stages & music (along with remixed classic stages), and finally, gameplay & balance tweaks to even out the playing field. Over-powered "zoning" characters like Rachel, Arakune, and v-13 have been significantly toned down. Several gameplay mechanics from the prequel have also been changed or completely replaced in Continuum Shift. Break Burst replaces the Barrier Burst system from the prequel, with players now able to perform an offensive "Gold Burst" or a defensive "Green Burst".

Continuum Shift
expectedly retains a lot of content from the original title. The new characters round out the somewhat small roster, but no doubt each character still proudly presents his or her own defined fighting abilities. Along with the main attack buttons (A, B, & C) each character has his/her own "Drive" abilities/attacks, which really sets each character apart. For example, Rachael Alucard can control wind (and the movement of her opponents), Tager uses magnetism to draw his opponents closer to him, and Carl Clover can control his android-puppet sister to attack his opponent from both sides. Some would say the play styles of the characters are slightly "gimmicky," but nonetheless, they bring something "original" to the fighting game realm. They're also some of the coolest and most fleshed out character designs around!

Playing Blazblue on a non-HD TV is just a sin. 

Like I touched on in my review of the prequel, BlazBlue's line-up is not your everyday cast of fighting game personas. Much like the Guilty Gear X series, the designs imagined by Arc System Works are entirely original in every way imaginable... which seems to be their "drive" behind the overall design in this game. If you're looking for a straight-forward "Ryu-type character" or a good old roundhouse-toting Muay Thai fighter in BlazBlue... sorry, but you're shit out of luck. In BlazBlue, you'll have to say goodbye to most traditional 2D fighting game attacks & strategies and enter a world where everyone can perform extravagantly insane attacks, and can air-dash until their hearts content (except for the beastly Iron Tager). 

If you're an old school 2D fighting game enthusiast like myself, you'll probably have to open your mind to enjoy BlazBlue. The most advanced levels of the gameplay system are intimidating to say the least. Thus, Aksys Games included an incredibly in-depth Tutorial Mode within the console versions of the game! The Tutorial is fully narrated by none other than Rachel Alucard, whom blatantly insults your skill level and fighting game knowledge throughout the mode... some of the things she says are simply hilarious. Having a Tutorial Mode in a technical fighting game like BlazBlue is a godsend, although at times it becomes slightly monotonous and dare I say... boring? If you're not 110% "serious" about BlazBlue, it's likely that you'll start skipping much of the text/dialogue in the intermediate/advanced portions of the Tutorial... sorry Rachel.

Other modes featured in Continuum Shift (and wow are there a lot of them) include: Score Attack, Training, Challenge, Legion, Story and Gallery! The number of modes in this game are very impressive, and are sure to keep players busy when not playing the standard Arcade, Versus or Network modes. Like in the prequel, every character has his/her own unique path in Story Mode, where they'll meet up with other characters in order to... you guessed it... fight them (after small talk for about 7-10 minutes ). 

The pacing of the storytelling is decent overall, but at times, becomes exhaustingly slow and repetitive. My mind started to drift after the 117th time I pushed the "X" button to continue the waves and waves of character dialogue (and then I figured out there's an auto-scroll feature). The voiceovers and the vastness of the story is definitely remarkable for a fighting game... but geeeez, is this a JRPG or a fighting game? I definitely respect the efforts of Arc System Works to include such an elaborate story, but the story is a bit overly "anime-ish" for my personal tastes. And most of the time I have absolutely no idea what's going on... but I swear I'm paying attention.

Makoto and other DLC characters will set you back about $7... each.

Visually, BlazBlue is still a spectacle for the eyes. It is hands down one of the most original, colorful and downright flashy 2D fighting games out there. The intricately designed, fully 3D backgrounds are a perfect setting for BlazBlue's high resolution, well-animated 2D sprites, which just steal the show. It matters not whether it's a skilled player or a button masher playing this game... BlazBlue always looks awesome and sharp (definitely not the case in most fighting games).

Another aspect that sets BlazBlue: Continuum Shift apart from other fighters is its metal/guitar-driven soundtrack, which has evolved considerably from the Guilty Gear X series. Depending on your taste in music, either all of the tracks will sound vaguely similar or you'll find something to like about many of the tracks in this game. BlazBlue's BGM's are intricate little tunes and mesh perfectly with the fast-paced action. Most tracks from the prequel are reused, but their are some new ones.

Page Updated: August 12th, 2021
Developer(s): Arc System Works
Publisher(s): Arc System Works, Aksys Games , Zen United
Designer(s): Toshimichi Mori, Yuuki Katou, Daisuke Ishiwatari (composer)
Artwork by: Toshimichi Mori, Yuuki Katou
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo 3DS
Release Date(s): Nov. 20th, 2009             Arcade
July 1st, 2010                  PS3 / 360
July 27th, 2010               PS3 / 360
Oct. 28th, 2010              PS3 / 360
Dec. 9th, 2010                Arcade - BlazBlue: CS2
June 1st, 2011                3DS - BlazBlue: CS2
Characters Ragna The Bloodedge, Jin Kisaragi, Noel Vermillion, Bang Shishigami, Iron Tager, Arakune, Rachel Alucard, Litchi Faye Ling, Carl Clover, Taokaka, Hakumen, Hazama, Tsubaki-Yayoi, Lamda-11, μ-12, Makoto-Nanaya (DLC), Valkenhayn R. Hellsing (DLC), Platinum the Trinity (DLC)

Featured Video:

Related Games: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Guilty Gear X: Accent Core Plus, Battle Fantasia, Sengoku Basara X, The King of Fighters XIII, Hokuto No Ken, Skullgirls, Arcana Heart 3, AquaPazza, Persona 4, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Under Night In-Birth

Gameplay Engine

 8.5 / 10

Story / Theme

 8.5 / 10

Overall Graphics

 9.5 / 10


 9.5 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 8.5 / 10


 8.0 / 10

Art Direction

 9.0 / 10


 9.5 / 10

Options / Extras

 9.0 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 9.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 7.0 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 7.5 / 10


 8.5 / 10


 8.8 / 10

 Review based on PS3 version    


Final Words: Continuum Shift is definitely an improvement over the original, and thankfully does justice to the word sequel (after you purchase all the DLC). DLC characters like Platinum & Valkenhayn R. Hellsing are cool and all, but charging $7 per character and slowly "adding chess pieces" to a game that's already out is kinda... sketchy? I think a product should be "finished" when it's released, but the more the merrier I guess.

I didn't play the first installment of BlazBlue on a "competitive level" but I did put in a solid 200+ matches online. As a Street Fighter and Marvel VS series player, I can find something to like about BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. There are many familiar gameplay mechanics, but the characters definitely take some getting used to... and some real dedication to master. That said, BlazBlue's characters still aren't "my cup of tea" at the end of the day, but they are respectable character designs for sure.

In all honestly, I enjoy how this game looks and sounds more than how it plays. I'd consider myself "mediocre at best" at BlazBlue and probably always will be... something about it just doesn't appeal to me the way other fighting games do, but obviously I haven't let that deter my rating. I can respect Continuum Shift as a tournament-worthy 2D fighter and I'd recommend it to any gamer looking for something "different" out of a 2D fighting game, or to anyone who missed out on the first installment.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

makoto-cs1.jpg (42024 bytes)            hazama-cs.jpg (34980 bytes)            jin-cs.jpeg (226462 bytes)            noel-cs.jpeg (197003 bytes)

ragna-cs.jpeg (210802 bytes)            rachel-cs.jpeg (217670 bytes)            tao-cs.jpeg (226558 bytes)            litchi-cs.jpeg (224177 bytes)

Click Here for all character artwork!


Click Here for all backgrounds!


blazbluecs18.jpg (72154 bytes)blaz-cs6.jpg (1095358 bytes)makoto-cs3.jpg (108825 bytes)blaz-cs4.jpg (1262944 bytes)blazbluecs14.jpg (76328 bytes)

Click Here for all screenshots!

FOLLOW    ON: