What happens when you mix popular light novel characters and popular SEGA franchises in one crossover fighting game? You get Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax,a crossover fighting game developed by Japanese game developers French Bread & Ecole Software who have worked on the Melty Blood series. The game is published by SEGA and features various light novel characters from ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki Bunko imprint as a celebration of the publication’s 20th anniversary. Not only does the game feature light novel characters, SEGA fans will be very pleased to see what this game has to offer when it comes to fan service. Be sure to hit the jump for my review of Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax!
Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a two-player 2D competitive fighting game featuring popular light novel Dengeki Bunko characters that people could easily recognize if they caught a couple of anime shows on television networks such as Toonami or read manga books ranging from Durarara! to Sword Art Online as well as other popular imprints from Japan. The game features several modes to choose from including Story Mode, Dream Duel, Versus, Challenge, and more.
The game is easy to pick up and play for both veterans and newcomers of modern day fighting games. When starting the game, players can select any playable character and a supporting character with their own unique attributes. Then, players have the option to select any of the stages based on various SEGA franchises. The controls are simple to learn as players only use three main attack buttons; weak (A) , medium (B), and strong (C), and a support button (S) used for summoning a player’s assist character. Pretty much like a watered-down version of another French Bread/Ecole Software fighting game, Under Night in Birth. A supporting character can be summoned to set up combos, and after being used in battle the support gauge has to recover in a timer located below the playable character’s poritrait before they can summoned again.
Players can also rapidly press the weak button (A) which allows you to perform combos a lot quicker, which is known as a Quick Combination. For air combo setups, you can launch the opponent by pressing Back and A+B simultaneously. Once they’re up in the air, you can perform an air combo similar to other fighting titles such as Marvel vs. Capcom and BlazBlue. Dashing attacks can be performed by pressing Forward and A+B. Below the fighters are Climax Gauges and Trump Cards. Players can build the Climax Gauge by using attacks, dashing forward and jumping. Players can then use the Climax Gauge to perform powerful Impact Skill attacks and Climax Arts which serves as flashy supers to deal a great amount of damage.
Trump Cards are little lighting bolt icons above the Climax Gauges, limited to two, which can be used for a single yet powerful attack. So powerful that it can be a bit broken. From my experience, certain character Trump Card attacks such as Taiga’s can K.O. you very quickly even if you have a quarter of health left, making the match end quickly. That makes the game a bit disappointing for me as I would like to have an option to turn off trump cards for a fair match. Luckily, they’re only limited to two and doesn’t recover unless you lose a round.
Another unique gameplay feature are the three types of Blast Icons: Powerup, Combo, and Escape. These perform Blast Attacks that allow you to meter, extend, and escape from combos. However once the blast is used, your blast icon may take awhile to recharge depending which blast is used. Armoured attacks are flashy counters which are executed by using the air combo launcher or down and A+B when your opponent attempts to attack you.
Several modes are featured in Degenki Bunko: Fighting Climax. One of them is Network Mode where players can play online with other people through Player & Ranked Matches around the world. What I like about Network Mode is that it allows players to use a chat feature to allow players to communicate with simple text messages and spectated matches. On the negative side, some online matches I’ve played can be a bit laggy to the point that I couldn’t perform half the combos I wanted to perform.
Challenge Mode features a variety of challenges such as score attack, time attack, and survival. Training Mode can be used to improve your skills in the game and has options to view frame data, and damage outputs – a staple in most 2D fighting games. Customize Mode is one of the game’s unique modes where players can customize online profiles using several Dengeki Bunko character based icons, plates, titles, and autographs for Network mode.
Players can also customize each of the fighters and assist characters color palettes by unlocking them using the CP points from matches. Another feature, Special Mode, has character artwork that can be unlocked in Dream Duel mode, Novel selection that features Dengeki Bunko’s light novel imprints which players can view the entire novels from start to finish, music that players can listen to featuring several tracks in the game, and replay mode where players can save replays and view the previous matches that they’ve played.
Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax‘s story begins when Denshin, a young female enity of dreams, summons one of the playable Dengeki Bunko light novel characters for to her aid in combating a malevolent entity from the organization Zetsumu, who takes the form of the captured playable characters. With enough practice, Arcade mode can be easy to blast through as the CPU is not as difficult to beat even in the highest difficulty.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
I must say that Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax has some very well drawn artwork. The sprites are drawn in 2D at high resolution and are very artistic when it comes to character animations. I also find the stages based on various SEGA franchises from Sonic the Hedgehog to 7th Dragon to be very well represented as each stage is very faithful to their respective titles which would please hardcore SEGA fans who pick up the game.
The list of levels goes on as familar franchises are represented as Shinobi (PS2), Phantasy Star Online 2, Valkyria Chronicles, Virtua Fighter, Cybertroopers Virtual On, 7th Dragon, and Border Break. Several voice actors reprise their respective roles from thier own anime series. As for the original soundtrack, some of composers from SEGA contributed to the game’s soundtrack; Jun Senuoe, Naofumi Hataya, and Tomoya Ohtani are a few good examples. Both opening vocal tracks, FIGHTING CLIMAX and belief, are very catchy tunes and have instrumental versions that are played when two players are in their final round giving it an ultimate climatic battle feel.
Personally, I am quite fond of this game and its fighting mechanics. I’ve been playing this game non-stop since the Japanese release and enjoyed every bit of it. The sprites are great and the music is amazing. I am happy to see my favorite light novel characters duke it out along with the two SEGA characters that can be unlocked. I highly recommend this game if you enjoy Dengeki Bunko line of light novels or anime series. Pick up a copy of Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, available now for Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita.
- Well drawn hi-res sprites and animation
- Music composed by various SEGA musicians
- SEGA fan service (Akira, Selveria, Stages)
- Unique Modes
- Certain Trump Card attacks can be a bit broken
- Online networking could use a little work
- CPU opponents are not as challenging
“I highly recommend this game if you enjoy Dengeki Bunko line of light novels or anime series”