BlazBlue Entropy Effect Review | PC

The underrated fighting series returns with a twist to the usual series’ direction with the BlazBlue Entropy Effect.

By AtillaTuran, Posted 30 Jan 2024

Undoubtedly, the roguelike, or in some cases rogue-lite, has infused with many other popular genres to create an immersive gameplay experience. Nowadays, giving players the freedom of choice seems to be the way to go, as people demand more gameplay with roguelike elements rather than ones with linear story and even progression systems. As a base, roguelike works exceptionally fine, with elements such as taking risks and playing around with the character you build being more rewarding.

While the Roguelike take on games is fine, other creators jump on the wagon when something becomes popular to create their take on the genre. A year ago or so, the roguelike shooters with bullet hell gameplay became so widely sought after that Vampire Survivor's success spawned at least a hundred more similar games. Same with the Deck-building and card-choosing aspects of roguelikes, we can see the emergence of games that give a shot. For example, Awakener: Forgotten Oath brought a soul-like experience with deck-building elements, too.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect, Action, Adventure, Deckbuilder, Roguelike, Anime, Roguelite, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed, PC, 91Act, Arc System Works

Now, as I said, the excessive number of similar games on the market can cause stress, and players can get overwhelmed by the same games over and over. However, if a solid company with an extensive background, like Arc System Works, could deliver that experience, it would be completely different. Fortunately, for people who'd ask for such a game, BlazBlue Entropy Effect can provide them with their desired request.

BlazBlue is a series known for its quality 2D fighting games and has a unique roster to provide a different match between contestants every time. One of the biggest parts that makes BlazBlue important is the distinct characters and their personalities. To be fair, every anime fighter is known for people's interest in every character, but BlazBlue is at least somewhat generous while designing them without being over the top too much. Evidently, a spinoff with roguelike elements would eventually catch on for that sole reason.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect, as you guessed it, is a mix between 2D platformer and hack-n-slash, mixed in with deck-building elements that allow your characters to do more damage, have more defense, and other status effects to stack. As you build your chosen character, you are creating a way to dish out the most damage effectively while returning some of the effects. Though some games straight out give you some cards, to begin with, progression on BlazBlue Entropy Effect is rather evenly out. In short, you are never stressed out while choosing the best for your build.

The game starts with a great tutorial showcasing the basic movements; it is a 2D precision platformer. Combat is more likely to be up in front as much as the cards you choose on leveling up your character. As usual, the combat you encounter in BlazBlue Entropy Effect depends on the difficulty level. In the beginning levels, enemies do not pose a threat, but as you keep adding cards to your character and progress further, they can become tough to deal with. It is up to the player to choose what's the best when it comes to dealing with enemies that pose bigger threats.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect, Action, Adventure, Deckbuilder, Roguelike, Anime, Roguelite, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed, PC, 91Act, Arc System Works

Although the skills you have and the effects you chose are important, the characters themselves can help you approach your fights in a different manner as well. As I mentioned earlier, Blazblue is a fighting game, and it's known for its vast selection of characters. Each character you unlock during your playthrough has a unique combat style, meaning there are other ways to play through the levels. The first character you are given to play has an average speed, damage, and health, giving you the best way to get a grip on the game.

Once you unlock enough Mind Upgrades, you are given a prototype coin, which allows you to unlock another character from the roster. BlazBlue Entropy Effect is quite generous when it comes to showcasing the characters; simply letting you watch a basic demo of the said Prototype is enough to give you a basic idea of what to expect. The professionalism again sticks out as every character can be easily spotted with pros and cons, such as the heavy character lacking in movement speed but dishing out high amounts of damage or the gun specialist having good mid-range damage but lacking in close-quarter combat.

So, what's the gameplay like if the characters are implemented well? This shouldn't surprise anyone, but it is quite solid for a spinoff title. If you haven't experienced roguelikes before, it can be tricky as choosing the best paths for your adventure or picking the cards for your build might become a tedious task, but once you get the hang of it, BlazBlue Entropy Effect can show its immaculate flow in terms of both combat and progression.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect, Action, Adventure, Deckbuilder, Roguelike, Anime, Roguelite, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed, PC, 91Act, Arc System Works

After choosing the Prototype for the run, you are dropped in a training area first. Not to be confused with tutorial sort of training, this is what BlazBlue named the levels with combat in them. Training levels let you fight for the exit and give you a certain amount of EXP after beating it. EXPs are filled in at a percentage; once it reaches 100 percent, you can choose a card. The game gives you three options, just like most of the roguelites out there, but they all can be great to choose from.

Effects like thunderbolts, afterburn, and ice strikes are in the cards, and once you choose a themed card, like fire, building your character upon that theme can multiply the damage you output against your enemies. There are miscellaneous effects like being able to do more damage when your health is low or shadow entities doing damage after you dash, which complement your building process.

Although BlazBlue Entropy Effect tends to be more welcoming, it is built on a roguelike's regular fundamentals. One of the many signs is letting the player choose the next room they want to enter after finishing a stage. These range from gacha rooms where you can randomly earn in-game cash or EXP after spending your in-game cash to resting places to regain your health. Instead of naming them clearly, they opted for different names, making it difficult to remember which room provides which option. At least resting is named resting; that is a relief.

In later levels, you can find alternative rooms, such as the Black Market, to buy extremely helpful items but at the cost of losing a basic trait. For a person who wants a little bit of spice in their playthrough, it is nice to see them in hardened conditions. If you are not interested in these extra spaces, you always have the ability to dismiss them and opt for the training rooms instead. What's better is, if you feel like training rooms are better, sometimes the option of Extensive Training shows up, meaning it is a harder and longer training level with a higher payout with both cash and EXP.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect, Action, Adventure, Deckbuilder, Roguelike, Anime, Roguelite, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed, PC, 91Act, Arc System Works

And just like any other roguelike, BlazBlue Entropy Effect has boss fights at the end of every end of the level. After passing ten rooms of your choice, you come across the boss of the set of levels. Luckily, they do not have all the same boss fights; if you have beaten that boss before, you can come across different characters in other runs as well. Bosses themselves aren't tough the read. By read, I meant taking a look at their attack patterns and dodging them properly. Bosses usually have an indicator for an upcoming attack, and when their health drops below their designated HP, they initiate their second phase, which is understandably harder.

Once you defeat the boss, you get a rundown of the paths you have taken and the overall status of what you have gone through, then drop to the next set of levels. As I mentioned before, these are usually harder as new enemies are thrown at your path. Not to mention, they seem to be rather aggressive than ever, as they do not give you enough time to scratch your head. But no matter, you keep building your character towards being more aggressive, too, which then becomes level with the HP of the enemies you come across in the upcoming levels.

One gripe I do not like with BlazBlue Entropy Effect- or in any other roguelike there is- is the limited amount of health replenishment or the lack thereof. It does not matter which character you are given; you only get one single time to heal yourself during the whole run, creating guilt over taking unnecessary damage. I know it is supposed to be a roguelike, and the game punishes for your incompetency, but getting some sort of an HP-related power-up should at least be enforced for better gameplay. However, I cannot complain that one of the first Mind Upgrades options you get to unlock is the second chance of trying, which is reviving the player after death during a run.

Roguelikes always employs the no-story-unless-needed trope whenever possible, but BlazBlue Entropy Effect surprisingly has an ongoing plot in the background with its small and cute robots and their problems. Although you are training your prototypes and in the field, the overworld is filled with robots with seemingly slow life. Since you barely get to explore outside the training area, you might miss events during the World Hub. It is highly suggested that you do happen to take a look around once you have the time because doing so might just lead to finding out the Challenge Area.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect, Action, Adventure, Deckbuilder, Roguelike, Anime, Roguelite, Hack and Slash, NoobFeed, PC, 91Act, Arc System Works

Mind Challenges are areas that test your capabilities, as it says on the tin. Every character is welcomed in, and you can re-use the playstyle you created for your profile. Be aware that the Challenge Areas are quite tough, even for someone who knows how to handle precision platformers. Since the challenges are usually fighting with a roster of tough bosses, it is suggested that you tackle the Challenge Areas later on in the game.

Visually, the BlazBlue Entropy Effect employs the edgy- but not negative type of edgy- anime style where it is blended with a quite fluid set of animations. Although the art style is quite great, it still has problems on its own, such as the inability to find your character. It probably has to do with me, as I usually have issues finding the entity I control in a video game, but with more than five or six enemies on the screen, finding the character you are controlling becomes a chore.

The not-so-vibrant color scheme also does not seem to help; however, unlocking other characters you feel comfortable controlling becomes more bearable. Songs and the sound design, on the other hand, unfortunately, do not play a huge role; you can barely see the connection between the songs and sound effects being emphasized during a run.



BlazBlue Entropy Effect is quite a solid entry for the Roguelike genre. With a large number of characters to master, lots of skills to unlock, and properly generated runs every time, it plays like any other roguelike out there, but at least the quality you come across in this title is properly polished. I must remind you that the game is currently in Early Access, meaning the developers are still working on implementing new stuff and improving the game further, so you can expect it to become even more polished.

Atilla Turan (@burningarrow)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Arc System Works
Developer(s): 91Act
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Roguelite, 2D Platfomer
Release Date: 2023-08-16

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