Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Game Poster Image
Anime fighter is violent, fun but visually unimpressive.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Diverse cast of characters brought together to battle against an evil force planning to take away people's dreams. Running theme is not only good vs. evil but that dreams, even unfulfilled ones, are worth fighting for.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters range from sweet, innocent to antihero. Whatever their usual personality, characters still fight for a greater good.

Ease of Play

Fighting broken down into three basic buttons (light, medium, heavy attacks); other complex moves require combinations of movement, simultaneous button presses. Fighting-game fans should pick things up relatively quickly, but newcomers may find things complicated at first.

Violence

Combat is the key element. Fighters use everything short of kitchen sink in battles, including swords, guns. Though violent, animated style doesn't spotlight any blood, gore.

Sex

Some female characters wear revealing clothing, presented in more risqué outfits in the art gallery.

Language

Suggestive taunts, "ass" peppered throughout dialogue.

Consumerism

Features numerous characters from Dengeki Bunko publishing imprint, which includes various manga, anime series, other various merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character regularly shown lighting, smoking cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is an arcade-style fighting game starring characters from multiple manga and anime series produced under Japan's Dengeki Bunko publishing line. As it's a fighting game, the focal point of the gameplay is violence, with characters of apparently different ages (including some children) fighting with magic, swords, guns, and even small appliances, though very little in the way of any blood is ever shown. Some characters are presented in revealing outfits and costumes and taunt each other throughout matches, including the occasional use of some suggestive language. One character frequently lights and smokes cigarettes, and parents should be aware that multiplayer is unmoderated, potentially exposing players to inappropriate language.

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What's it about?

In DENGEKI BUNKO: FIGHTING CLIMAX, characters from many different worlds are pulled together by a mysterious woman, chosen by her to be Avatars of Hope in a battle against a powerful, malevolent creature who believes that dreams, particularly unfulfilled dreams, are a source of suffering and therefore must be eliminated. Players must fight against this creature as it takes on the forms of other Dengeki Bunko characters it has already defeated. Overall, though, the story is just a way to explain why so many diverse manga and anime characters have ended up together to duke it out in a massive fighting battle royal.

Is it any good?

There's something innately fun about crossovers and characters you'd never expect to see in the same place coming together for one big mash-up. In Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, fans can finally answer who would win in a fight between many of their favorite anime/manga series. Of course, the actual outcome depends more on how much experience the player has with fighting games, rather than how much love they have for their character. That's because the game does a surprisingly good job of balancing out the abilities of the fighters and their support characters. You can mix and match to your heart's content, but you'll be hard-pressed to find any overpowered (or underpowered) combination. Win or lose, it's always going to be a matter of how you play, not whom you play.

The game's presentation is a bit of a mixed bag. The characters have crisp, colorful 2-D models that look like they've been pulled straight from their respective anime shows. Unfortunately, the movements look more like they were pulled from a flip-book. There's no real fluidity in the characters' motion. This is made more jarring because of the smooth CGI 3-D backgrounds. Despite this, Fighting Climax is still a solid fighting game. The controls are responsive, and the gameplay doesn't really suffer from the animation. It's just a distraction players will have to adjust to.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. How does fighting in video games make you feel about violence in real life? Does the cartoonish, over-the-top style take away from its impact?

  • How important is it to have dreams and goals, even those that go unfulfilled? Why is it good to dream and to work toward achieving that dream?

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