A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Thanks to some of the unsavory themes in this game, there's no positive message.
Ease of Play
As with most fighting games, BlazBlue is easy to pick up but difficult to master. There's a stunning level of detail in the finer points of combat, such as linking attacks, performing combos, and getting the timing down just perfectly to inflict the maximum damage possible. But it's not necessary to fully grasp the intricacies of the control system to play the game. Players with modest skills should have no issues making their way through single-player mode. The real challenge comes in multiplayer, where you challenge your skills against your friends.
Violence & Scariness
Virtually all the content is based around violence and combat, though no blood is shown. Players engage in one-on-one matches against opponents, many of whom have character designs that are so over the top that it's hard to take them seriously. Fights involve hand-to-hand combat as well as colorful magic spells and other ethereal attacks, but none of the violence has any lingering impact.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The game highlights the characters' sexual nature. Most female characters wear very revealing outfits, including one that leaves buttocks partially exposed. These large-breasted fighters frequently make suggestive poses and are the subject of openly sexual comments such as, "I haven't played with those boobies in forever" and "I'm in fetish paradise." The game also features an extensive gallery of still images of its characters, and most images of the female characters are in suggestive poses.
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Swearing is common in cut scenes. Some of the stronger words players may hear include "s--t," "a--hole," and "c--k blocking."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is a fighting game in which players compete in aggressive one-on-one battles with a variety of stylized, animated characters. Fights consist of hand-to-hand combat as well as colorful magic spells. Violence, though intense and frequent, isn't overly affecting or bloody. The more eyebrow-raising content comes from the game's scantily clad, large-breasted, suggestively posed female characters. Most of their outfits leave little to the imagination, with partially exposed breasts and buttocks. Players also are treated to bonus content in the form of extensive photo galleries, with many still images of the female characters posed suggestively. Language is sexually charged as well, with references to playing with "boobies," one character being labeled a "pedophile," and "c--k-blocking" a male character. There also are swear words, including "a--hole" and "s--t." Players can connect to other players online, although there's no moderation of chats during matches, so kids can be exposed to unsavory language or players speaking in other languages.
Is It Any Good?
The BlazBlue franchise has gained something of a cult following, particularly because of the deep and compelling strategy involved with its many combo attacks and varying abilities of each character. If you rated BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma on its technical merits alone, it would shine bright. But its other elements -- including the sexually suggestive fighters and outfits, the rough tone of the dialogue in story mode, and the provocative banter -- feel out of place. Those parts feel gratuitous and designed solely to give the game an edge that will make it stand out more -- which is unfortunate, since the gameplay itself is well crafted and should be able to stand on its own.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.