We recently got a look at BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma’s new characters, Kokonoe, Terumi and Kagura in action, shown in a series of Famitsu videos. Director Ryohei Endo, planner Kyohei Kato, and programmer Shunsuke Yuguchi also talked about how they balanced the new characters.
In an earlier interview, BlazBlue director Toshimichi Mori mentioned that Kagura Mutsuki will have many special attacks that are performed by holding commands. Famitsu asks the developers to share a little more information regarding Kagura.
“Just as Mori said, Kagura will specialize in using special attacks that are done by holding commands,” says programmer Shunsuke Yuguchi. “He has two varieties; a projectile move called Ryubakusen, and an anti-air move called Ryuhasho.”
Yuguchi explains that Kagura will have a defense-breaking fighting style, which will make it easy for even novice players to pull off his special moves, and his commands will share similarities to those of Noel’s.
Planner Kyohei Kato jokes that Kagura might even be a little too powerful, but as long as Hakumen and his overpowered combos are around, everything will work out fine.
One of the aspects of Kagura that Arc System Works had trouble balancing was his special attack damage, as Yuguchi mentions that the Ryuhasho originally only had half the damage output as it does now. Since it will be one of his two main special attacks, they decided to make it a little stronger.
Next, Famitsu asks the developers to share a little more on Yuki Terumi, a separate persona of Hazama, who’ll have his own move set and play style.
“Mori’s orders were to make him into a boss character, so we decided to have him packed with super special moves,” says Kato. “If we were to have his gauge automatically fill up, he’d be the same as Hakumen, and simply making his super special attacks into regular special attacks would only create more problems, so we just decided to make it easier for his gauge to fill up.”
Famitsu asks if he’ll be able to absorb his opponent’s gauge.
Answers Kato, “Actually, when he lands D-Attacks, his own gauge will increase by a lot, while his opponent’s gauge doesn’t at all. If he were to absorb his opponent’s gauges, it’d be a little too stressful.”
When you consider Terumi’s ability to fill up his gauge, you might wonder if that gives him an unfair advantage in versus mode. Famitsu asks if Arc System Works also struggled finding a balance for him in that regard.
“Actually, he hasn’t changed much from the way we had him at first,” replies Kato. “However, we did adjust the amount of gauge increase from some of his special attacks. At first, there was a throw attack that filled up his gauge by 50% simply by using it. That meant that you’d be able to go from a throw to super special attack as a combo, which felt a little too strong.”
Even after the changes, Terumi will still be a character who’ll be able to pull off many super special attacks. One of his special attacks involves a multiple-stomp combo that increases its hits by mashing on the button.
Finally, Famitsu ask the developers to share a few details on Kokonoe.
“Kokonoe has a style that combines science and martial arts,” says Kato. “While her scientific side stands out the most, she is also Litchi’s master, and can use martial arts. She is a genius, so she can learn anything simply by watching. For this, she’ll have a lot of moves that mimic martial arts, and will also have some comical scientific stuff thrown in there, as well.”
“Her drive involves pulling in her opponents, and she can also follow up with projectiles to put herself in an advantageous position, and from there she can continue going on the offense,” explains Kato. “Her projectiles are also affected by the drive’s pulling force, so it could create some trouble for opponents when used as part of combos.”
Kokonoe’s drive is similar to Rachel’s, as it gives the player plenty of freedom and possibilities; however, Arc System Works didn’t want her to be a popular character who is only used by advanced players, so they’ve also balanced her to have several easy-to-use moves and make her more beginner-friendly.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is slated for release in early 2014 for PlayStation 3 in North America.