Blazblue Entropy Effect

Review: Blazblue Entropy Effect

To my surprise, while playing through BlazBlue Entropy EffectI learned that it wasn’t an official title within the series, but Arc System Works licensed it to another developer.

The BlazBlue series is a fighter series that’s been around for a decade. I have memories of playing the first entry on the Xbox 360 and had a lot of fun with it despite not being the best at it.

Dive Into Your Mind

I’ve bounced around with subsequent entries but felt the shift to a roguelike for the series was odd. Thankfully, what turned out to be happening was I enjoyed Entropy Effect a lot more than I anticipated, and it’s become a fun little revisit to the series.

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This roguelike game is much more approachable than most others, thanks to its effective presentation of complex information to players and generous opportunities to experiment with mechanics. Unlike other games in the genre, it does not solely rely on trial and error for players to learn and progress.

There isn’t a lot of narrative cohesion going on, and despite that issue, the roguelike excels at what it attempts to do – be fun and keep you coming back for more.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect is a spinoff of the fighting series that’s a ton of fun to play

BlazBlue Entropy Effect is set in ACE, a digital world where your characters reside. You’re an ACER, a user who can train their mind to stop and overcome the Entropy Effect. An ACER can take on the forms of several characters from the BlazBlue series and work with the SkysEyes Mind Training program.

You get a lot of exposition as you progress through the campaign, and while it is sci-fi heavy, it also comes a bit convoluted. If you struggle to understand the situation and the ongoing problem, you can revisit story scenes to make sense of the story. Each level offers items you discover that reveal the bigger picture at hand, and they do generally flesh out the narrative, but it still comes across as disjointed.

Once you enter the ACE, you can choose from a roster of characters with more added as you press further into the campaign. The best thing about Entropy Effect is the combat. Each character plays differently and is customizable, with loads of moves to unlock and figure out. Every character also has a hidden Potential ability that showcases a character’s true skills and abilities by enhancing how they play.

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The game progression in Entropy Effect follows a relatively standard path, comprising various training areas and boss rooms. Along the way, you’ll encounter particular areas where you can spend currencies to unlock buffs. These buffs include bonuses to your abilities, modifiers for existing skills, and even elemental effects to your attacks. Some buffs conjure blade projectiles when you dash, while others add permanent upgrades to your skills, making you stronger as you survive longer. Additionally, AP unlocks buffs that apply to all characters, such as health regeneration or improved cooldowns. You’ll also find stackable resurrections that act like extra lives if you die.

Being a roguelike, you know what to expect on the run – in the cast of BlazBlue Entropy Effect, you begin by selecting your character and then heading off into the Mind Training program. You’ll take some time to adjust to the gameplay loop, so expect to see the early stages often before finding the rhythm needed to progress into later stages.

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Speaking of later stages, these offer new areas called Omega – larger exploration territories that feel more like a proper Metroidvania than anything else you’ll come across. Of course, these areas are to discover new upgrades and take on a few bosses that will take you to task when engaging with them. Sure, the earlier stages can be a bit monotonous, but as you get further in, the excitement of completing a stage pays off in spades.

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Verdict

If BlazBlue Entropy Effect is anything, it’s an excellent roguelike that will test players in many exciting ways. The focus on varying character builds is a highlight, and it’s a great way to add some variety to a crowded space. However, stage variety isn’t the best, and it quickly becomes a chore to continue. Thankfully, there are some significant challenges once you get past these minor gripes. The best thing is you won’t need any previous experience with the BlazBlue series to find something to love here either. Still, you’ll more than likely be curious about checking out the main series after playing Entropy Effect.

Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PC

Blazblue Entropy Effect
Review: Blazblue Entropy Effect
Summary
If BlazBlue Entropy Effect is anything, it's an excellent roguelike that will test players in many exciting ways. The focus on varying character builds is a highlight, and it's a great way to add some variety to a crowded space.
Liked
Great roster to use
Great progression system
Combat is thrilling and responsive with the depth to keep you invested
Didn't Like
Story is a bit confusing and doesn't really help explain much