BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (ブレイブルー コンティニュアム シフト BureiBurū: Kontinyuamu Shifuto) is a 2009 fighting game developed by Arc System Works as an official sequel to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. As with the previous game, the game first came to arcades before both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions as the game was currently released for the Taito Type X2 arcade system board, with a 16:9 ratio and 768p resolution.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift retains the traditional 2D fighter gameplay of two characters participating in a duel on a two dimensional plane. A match can consist of one to five rounds known as "rebels". To win a round, one player must either deplete the other one's life gauge to 0 by inflicting enough damage through various attacks or by having more remaining health after the round's timer depletes.
During each rebel, players fill a Heat Gauge which can be used for advanced techniques such as Distortion Drives, Rapid Cancels, Counter Assaults, and certain characters' attacks (Jin/Hakumen). The Heat Gauge can be filled via dealing damage, taking damage, and perfectly blocking attacks. However, some mechanics from the previous installment have been changed or completely replaced in the transition.
The Guard Libra system which utilizes a tug-of-war gauge has been replaced with the new Guard Primer point system. Each character has a certain amount of points (e.g. Tager has a maximum of 10 primer points while characters like Carl or Ragna have 4 and 5 respectively). These points are depleted whenever moves with "Guard Break" properties (e.g. Jin's "Gale" or Hakumen's "Forward C") are blocked. Upon depletion of all points, the character is immobilized for a certain period of time known as Guard Crush. Barrier blocking can be used at critical times to prevent a Guard Crush by consuming 50% of the Barrier gauge instead. Primer points regenerate over time or after all points are depleted.
Barrier Burst has been replaced with Break Burst, a similar ability but with different penalties. Break Burst can only be performed twice in a single match, and its second use only becomes available if the player lose a round. It no longer permanently drains the character's Barrier Gauge or gives the player the "DANGER" penalty. A free unused burst is required for Astral Heats. Bursts have different properties depending on when they are used, as the offensive "Gold Burst" has high bounce and combo-ability, while the defensive "Green Burst" will provide invincibility for the entire burst motion, at the cost of permanently halving the character's maximum primer points. All lost primer points due to Green Bursts will not recover until the next round.
The conditions to use an Astral Heat, a flashy finishing move, have also been changed. Instead of requiring it to be the final round, having 100% Heat, and an opponent having 20% health or less, it now only requires it to be the player's match point round and an opponent being within 35% health, in addition to the aforementioned requirement of one free burst.
The game has undergone several gameplay mechanic from its predecessor. Continuum Shift features at least eight new characters: Tsubaki Yayoi and Hazama (from the Arcade version), Mu-12 (Console-exclusive), Makoto Nanaya, Valkenhayn R. Hellsing, Platinum the Trinity and Relius Clover (the later four released via DLC); Lambda-11 replaces the character Nu-13; and rebalances previous characters with new or tweaked moves. The game also features all-new character select art, new and returning gameplay modes, and continues the story.