When I first heard about DengekiBunko: Fighting Climax, I couldn’t help but chuckle a little. The Japanese name sounds a little silly, but it is the name of a publishing imprint that publishes the manga that these (most of) characters appear in. This fighting game, which is published by Sega, looked very crisp in the trailers and showed quite a bit of promise. I ending up finding my PS Vita, charging that bad boy up and taking it out to try DengekiBunko: Fighting Climax.
The game starts with 12 playable characters, each of which come from Dengeki Bunko’s manga titles, along with 2 extra characters from Sega’s own in-house titles. Surprisingly, most characters handle differently. Rentarō Satomi, for example, has a medium ranged pistol attack but also has some melee attacks that can be charged to deal out much more damage. Kirito, on the other hand, is a much more close ranged fighter that depends on combos and supers to make up for range. On top of the initial 12 character that you can play as, there are also 18 support character that can help you chain combos or launch surprise attacks. There are also unlockable characters, namely Sega’s own Akira Yuki from Virtua Fighter 5 and Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles.
“The simplicity of the combat is probably the single thing I like best about Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax.”
Interestingly enough, each character’s move-set is essentially the same. All special moves are performed with quarter-circle or half-circle commands. While this doesn’t sound like much variety, it keeps things simple enough to have fun and competitive play on the PS Vita, without fumbling around with controls like you would with more complex commands. The simplicity of the combat is probably the single thing I like best about Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax. This isn’t to say that everything is exactly the same, as there are many different types of moves and varying tiers of special attacks that will keep you on your toes no matter who you are playing. Characters are easy to master and different enough that the same tactics won’t work as you play across the 12 available characters.
“I really enjoyed Dream Duel after a few rounds of Arcade, as it provided a much needed change of pace.”
DengekiBunko: Fighting Climax features 2 different story modes, Arcade Mode, which follows each character in their own slightly personalized story that deals with how the worlds have somehow been merged. The other is Dream Duel, which is a far more character-centric version of the game which focuses on your chosen character and their own motivations. I really enjoyed Dream Duel after a few rounds of Arcade, as it provided a much-needed change of pace. Online play provided to be a difficult to launch mode, but once I was able to get into a room without network errors, I was able to get my ass beat by everyone that seemed to play as the little girl who likes to play basketball. Online worked well, when it worked.
Presentation-wise, the games graphics were quite decent and crisp for a fighting game I knew nothing about until recently. Levels seemed to be taken from the original source material, although my favorite levels happened to be the nighttime Valkyria Chronicles one and the Sonic the Hedgehog one. The Sonic level looks awesome, with loop the loops and rings in the background, while the Valkyria Chronicles one is a ravaged battlefield with awesome music. On the topic of audio, the game’s sound effects and music are fitting for the title, altogether the overall presentation is quite good.
If you were looking out for a cheap fighting game (or any game at all) to get some play on your PS Vita, at $29.99 DengekiBunko: Fighting Climax is a really solid choice. If you do pick the game up, I’d love to challenge you to some fights online!