Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend PS Vita review – Perfectly balanced portable fighter counters control issues

BLAZBLUE Continuum Shift Extend ps vita review

This is one of PS Vita’s strongest launch games in so many ways – a feast for the eyes and the thumbs, crammed with so many features that the main menu alone has 20 options. At its core it’s an immaculately engineered fighter, buffed up with six new characters and more story material – including all of prequel Calamity Trigger’s unfathomable narrative.

Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend PS Vita review

Fights are engaging, tactical affairs that reward committing to one play style and getting to know each character’s ‘revolver actions’ – attack chains that you can pull off quicker by hitting in the right order and cutting each attack animation short. It’s deep stuff.

Arc System Works is keen to embrace Vita’s new features, too – the rear touchpanel can be used as a ‘hitbox’, allowing you to play like an angry Mozart at a piano as you enter commands by caressing Vita’s chassis. It takes insane practice, but it’s a welcome inclusion.

But there’s one counter to CSE’s barrage of positives – Vita’s mini analogue sticks make it tough to pull off quick quartercircle and half-circle moves like Ragna’s Hell’s Fang reliably. The same goes for dashes and long combos, with quick stick-rolls often registering incorrectly. As such, it’s only Vita’s portability that’ll make you plump for this over its upcoming big bro.

If you are looking for that on-the-go scrapper, this is absolutely worth playing for its clean and crisp animé looks, and play-style variety that few rivals can look square in the eye. Grapplers are minimal, but for defensive, offensive and ranged attack play types there’s a wealth of neatly animated characters with which to take on score attack, online team battles and the Unlimited Mars mode that pits you against near-unbeatable AI.

This does so much right, in fact, that if the controls didn’t make our thumbs sad that score would be higher – as it is, this fighter comes oh-so close to a flawless victory.

Our Score

Score: 8