Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Review – Familiar Faces

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Anime fans are going to want to check out our full review for Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

When it comes to fandom there are very few genres that have as dedicated of a fanbase as anime or fighting games. While I may be familiar with both to a certain degree, I would still consider myself more of a tourist than a fan simply because of this. So, while playing the new Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, I couldn’t help but feel that part of the appeal of the game was lost on me simply due to how much the title is designed around servicing anime fans in particular.

Starring a cast of around a dozen playable characters and almost twice that in support characters that range from a number of novels from the Japanese publishing studio Dengeki Bunko. Known for their “light novel” style, which is akin to young adult content in the States, many of the characters portrayed in Fighting Climax have a similar style that is hard to not describe as generic. The visuals themselves are very clean and quite beautiful at staying true to its anime or manga roots, but rarely stray away from looking like they weren’t created from the same paint by number anime character design chart.

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One of the best parts of any fighting game series is how it offers a complex design and enough varied content and characters to keep players wanting to learn and adapt to the chaos of the match-up, but Fighting Climax fails to achieve just about any of these concepts. One of the biggest issues comes from its almost pandering design that makes almost every move done under the same motion, while making it a great start for beginners to the genre, it takes a massive hit in depth as players can easily spam quarter-circle motions to execute every move in the game.

This doesn’t mean that attempts are not made to integrate a complex system, but that no matter what options are available, every fight feels like it breaks down to the same moves or juggles that can be execute with the same motion. Some moves, such as the Armored Attacks, which require two buttons to be pressed add a bit of complexity, especially when mixed up with assists, which call in your support character for a specific attack, but the accessibility really spoils the sensation of learning a new character’s moves. Juggles and combos also feel half-hearted as smashing the controls can easily achieve the same result as someone with experience.

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Fans of Dengeki titles will find a great deal more to love in Fighting Climax, as there are unique interactions between characters that throw back to their IPs. As well as a number of moves that they may be more familiar with, as well as finding more interest in playing the various combination of characters or taking each one through its story mode. Players are also able to play through the Dream Duel mode, which pits one character (and their assist) against six others in a bout with unique interactions that are fairly interesting, even for someone with little understanding of who each character is.

This is where I think the heart of Fighting Climax lays, as it is designed really for fans of the series regardless of how much experience you have in the fighting genre, and by all accounts, the less probably the better. Unlocking music, costume colors and art are far from unique to any fighting game, but for this one, it feels a bit more at home due to its specific target audience. Sadly, this only adds to its fan service theme and fails to really add much for gamers looking for solid content.

In general, if you are a fan of Dengeki Bunko characters, you probably don’t need a review to see if you would be interested in Fighting Climax, but if you have no idea what that is, or who any these characters are, you are going to find a shallow experience with content that is going to easily fly over your head with little information to bring you up to speed.

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