Parents' Guide to

Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Formulaic fighter that's lacking some depth, punch.

Game Windows 2016
Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Some games offer something original that strikes a chord and makes for a unique fan experience, but this is a cookie-cutter game that borrows liberally from its peers and lacks real substance. On paper, it should be a great fighter. The game takes many of the elements of popular fighters and tosses everything into the mix. There are Force gauges for charged-up special moves, Support gauges allowing players to call in for help from the sidelines, a variety of fighters using different styles and weapons to stand out from one another, and a Story mode meant to tie everything together into a cohesive narrative. While it has all the pieces to make for a pretty strong fighting game, those pieces never quite fit together right and leave lots of empty holes.

The problems start with those Force and Support gauges. Despite being used to charge up and add extra damage to special moves, even the heaviest-hitting Force attacks feel underwhelming in power. And as far as Support is concerned, the run-in attacks barely scratch the opponent and, at best, provide a sort of human shield to absorb one of the enemy's hits. Although there's a bit of diversity among the fighters and their styles, the problem here is that each character only has a couple of special moves. Most of the combos just involve basic attacks. There's simply not a deep moveset available. And as far as that Story mode is concerned, it's little more than a couple of dialogue bits interspersed between a couple of the matches. Making matters worse, the endings are weak, with many leaving players more confused than fulfilled. If there's one shining point in Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena, it's that the artwork is gorgeous. Everything looks like it was ripped straight from an anime. Even this falls short, though, as the minute the characters start to move, it looks more like a flip book than fluid animation. Ultimately, this ends up being a case where the whole of the game is not greater than the sum of its parts.

Game Details

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