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Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a Japanese arcade fighting game that celebrates the 20th anniversary of ASCII Media Works featuring characters from light novel characters under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. The game was originally released in 2014 and received an Ignition update with more characters and reworked gameplay before it was localized and brought to the West. After a lengthy wait, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax has been released on both the PlayStation 3 and Vita for anime and gaming fans.

Dengeki Bunko is a 2D fighter filled to the brim with popular anime and video game characters with a few pleasant surprises around their NPCs in dialogue and on the battlefield. Much like typical fighting games, there are three modes of attack: weak, medium and strong and a support gauge that is gradually filled when you incur or receive damage from your enemies. Assist characters can be summoned once the gauge is filled to devastate your foes with a few characters that is sure to put a smile on the faces of anime fans and gamers alike. When completely filled, Climax gauges allow you to perform powerful Impact skills or Blast Attacks in the midst of a heated fight of a flurry of offensive attacks or combos. Playable characters in the roster include Asuna from Sword Art Online, Shana from Shakugan no Shana, Selvaria from Valkyria Chronicles, Shizuo from Durarara and Rentaro from Black Bullet and Kuroko from A Certain Scientific Railgun to name several notable characters. Characters who appear briefly for character specific special and super attacks include Alas Rumas from The Devil is a Part-Timer and Saki Nagatsuka from Ro-Kyu-Bu!

Versus mode is your standard one vs. one duel affair whereas challenge mode pits players against others to meet timed objectives. Fighting enthusiasts will feel right at home with Network mode that allows you to challenge and display your combat prowess across the globe. Ranked and unranked matches are available that should please fans looking to establish their ranks on the global leaderboards. One of the most exciting modes is the Dream Duel mode for fans who have ever envisioned a showdown between two select characters in a specific world. It is clear that Sega and developer French Bread have poured a great deal of heart into this game for fans who love not only their favorite characters but the anime and game-related worlds that they find themselves immersed in. To top it off, customizing characters outfits via earning game credits through different game modes gives players incentive to replay the game and to discover what Dengeki has to offer and then some. There is often an unexpected appearance or extras that are waiting to be unlocked for casual and dedicated fighting fans.

Fighting Climax is a unique game that appeals to casual fighting game fans with simple yet effective controls. Instead of relying on intricate button configurations, performing a simple button combination or maneuver yields the same results in battle for most characters. This opens up the game for fans to enjoy combat using their favorite characters without having to memorize complex fighting moves. While this may be considered a turn off for veteran fighting game fans or diehard veterans, the developer has polished the game to make it more accessible to gaming and anime fans worldwide. Dengeki is the perfect game to introduce newcomers to the fighting genre that otherwise has difficulty with more established titles like BlazBlue, Guilty Gear or Persona 4 Arena. Fans will be happy to learn that stringing combos together and unleashing special signature attacks for different characters play a big role in ensuring battles are strategic and engaging. Those searching for more of a challenge are able to utilize defensive tactics, guard breaks or cancel attacks to add more depth to the game. A training mode is available for fans who wish to hone their skills or to gradually familiarize themselves with their favorite characters.

On the visual front, Dengeki is a beautiful game with stylish characters design and artwork. Animations are smooth and fluid with virtually no noticeable drops or pauses in battle when multiple characters storm the screen. The soundtrack composed by Yui Isshiki is fast-paced and one of the best soundtracks to accompany a fighting game with popular anime and game characters. The special effects and aesthetics reminded me a lot of Persona and BlazBlue as those fighting titles were graphically impressive.

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is an entertaining title for fans who want a simple fighting game. The highlight of this game is its direct appeal to anime and gaming fans looking for a game that is accessible, easy to learn and fun to play with their favorite characters. Although the simplicity may turn off veteran fans craving a more competitive fighting game to be played in tournaments, Fighting Climax is at its heart a declaration of care and love from Sega to its fans of both a simple and enjoyable fighting title. Dengeki Bunko is not your typical fighting game but with Sega and French Bread’s efforts, the end result is a fast-paced, polished and charming game for everyone to enjoy.

 

SCORE – 80%

This game is based on a digital copy of Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax on the PlayStation 3 provided by Sega.

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