Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a 2D fighting game centered around the characters from some of Dengeki’s most popular anime and manga series such as Sword Art Online and Oreimo. Also joining the fray is a few of SEGA’s characters for a total of 14 playable characters. Starting up the game you’ll have several modes to choose from including Arcade, Dream Duel, Versus and Challenges. Arcade mode will focus on Zetsuma, an eater of dreams that has conquered many worlds and can take the form of those he has conquered. Dream Duel focuses more on your character and his/her interactions with the rest of the roster while Challenges include stuff like Survival and Time Attack. There is quite a bit to choose from though if you are looking to play online it should be noted that the community is dead.
Alongside the playable characters you will also have a large cast of support characters to choose from each with their own quirks to them. One may simply attack and others may boost your stats or play a more defensive role, only attacking when they have been attacked directly. Some are quite simply better than others but it is fun to experiment with all of them nonetheless. If you are not familiar with the Dengeki brand or SEGA then you are simply out of luck since they only tell you the absolute bare minimum about their characters and you will learn near nothing in Arcade (story) or Dream Duel. Arcade mode has a very sub-par and strangely far too serious tone to its story that does it no favors. In addition, there is no unique ending for each character and most of the text remains the same on each one, so replaying as each one quickly gets mind numbing.
Dream Duel is more interesting as it is often times comical and makes reading the interactions between the cast interesting. Each character can only interact with 6 preset fighters, so while that is quite a bit of content overall, it is over for each character quickly. Whatever mode you choose you will be given “CP” after a match which can be used to unlock a few pictures of your character of choice and can also be used to buy different color palettes for their costume. While I have been rather negative on the story aspect which is poor even by fighting game standards, it can be skipped with the press of a button and not an important aspect to a fighting game. Thankfully it has it where it counts, in the gameplay. It is fast paced and each character is significantly different to play as.
You have a fast, medium and heavy attack to combo with and one to call in your support character. Each character has their own special moves and two unique “Climax Arts” which are an ultimate attack of sorts. Controls schemes are not complex at all so even a casual of the fighting genre will be able to pull them off easily. It is by no means a walk in the park to win a fight however, it poses quite a challenge on higher difficulty levels. You will have a combo breaking move that can be used once and then has to recharge for some time that lets you escape from a brutal beating and pushes back the aggressor gaining you some distance. It’s by no means a unique fighting system but it is smooth, flashy and most importantly fun. Sadly, it cannot be played on the PS TV even if there are no touch controls whatsoever.
All of the music is really catchy and gets you pumped. Artwork is amazing as well. I really love the look of this game’s 2D artstyle. Backgrounds have 3D objects in them and all stages are strangely SEGA themed. It is an odd experience watching two anime girls beating each other senseless in Sonic’s Green Hill Zone. This mashup feels severely disconnected even if it is cool to see backgrounds from some of your favorite SEGA games. With most of the modes feeling identical, even the Arcade mode whose terrible story will likely have you skipping all the cutscenes after you completed it once, causes this game to be one you’ll play every once in a while and change to something else not long after. Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is best suited for people that have experienced quite a bit of Dengeki’s anime/mangas but for those that haven’t and are just looking for a simple to pick up & play Fighting game it is still a solid but short lived choice.