MBAA Needs a Release Date Already
People keen on the 2D fighting game scene will easily recall the Melty Blood series which started back in 2002 as a PC doujin title and blew up on the scene thanks to a 2005 release in Japanese arcades. Aside from the trademark Type-Moon engrish that comes standard with all of their projects, Melty Blood is known for both drawing its roster from the breakthrough erogame Tsukihime as well as having smoothly animated sprites.
With a fourth entry in the series on the way sometime late this year or early next, developers Type-Moon, French Bread, and ECOLE have done little to alter the presentation of the game. The sprites are still presumably rendered in low resolution and the HUD presents information in largely the same way. So really, one asks him/herself what is there to get excited about Actress Again?
Well to be honest, to the gamer that merely dabbles in fighting games or for anyone less than the hardcore Type-Moon fan there really isn’t anything that distinguishes this sequel from its excellent predecessor, Act Cadenza. However, those that really got into Act Cadenza either through PC netplay or on the arcade circuit will definitely appreciate the small additions that have been packed into the game. For starters, the character portraits at the select screen have been completely redone, a nice step up from the all-too familiar lineup seen through the original, ReACT, and Act Cadenza. Next, the roster welcomes two additional characters: Michael Roa Valdamjong (or simply, Roa), the main antagonist behind the events in Tsukihime and Riesbyfe Stridberg, an old comrade-in-arms of series leading lady Sion Eltnam Atlasia. Thirdly, the game also expands the size of each levels both new and old, which could alter cornering strategy and the like. Lastly, the game features subtle tweaks to the gameplay by giving everyone a new move or two to play with, guard break meters, and even different fighting styles which don’t alter movelists per se but instead give you power or speed bonuses as well as different ways to build and use your super meter.
Anyway, here are a few clips of the gameplay at a Hong Kong location test:
- 0:00 – You’ll notice the CPU playing series newcomer, Riesbyfe Stridberg.
- 0:00 – A new stage; some kind of airport.
- 0:15 – Looks like Len gains a new mine trap maneuver.
- 0:54 – The intermission screen has also redesigned with a computerized theme.
- 0:00 – Another new stage; some kind of city plaza (at dawn?).
- 0:19 – Never seen Kouma use this chain-ender before.
- 0:27 – Kick reminiscent of Street Fighter‘s Akuma/Gouki’s Tenma Kyuujin Kyaku
- 1:18 – Never seen that airdash before; Kouma’s just upped his aerial game.
- 0:00 – Check out the eyes on their character portraits!
- 0:07 – A new spin on the outskirts of Misaki stage; is that rotating sigil new?
- 0:10 – Something funky with Red Arcueid’s jumping animation (Arcueid’s 4B?).
- 0:12 – Akiha’s new downward claw strike.
- 0:13 – Did Akiha always have that upward aerial kick?
- 0:40 – That new skill looks quite meaty! No Kakuyaku Momiji in Full Moon style?
- 0:41 – The old Tsuki wo Ugatsu gets a facelift in Full Moon style.
- 0:45 – Prettier air recovery animation.
- 0:50 – Huge flash! Some kind of clashing mechanism?
- 1:19 – As the narrator notes, the match timer does seem to be faster by default.
- 1:55 – New burning sprite animation looks a little dodgy…
- 2:42 – That’s a HUGE BLOODRING!
- 0:00 – There’s the new full-body character illustrations for Ciel and Sion TATARI.
- 0:04 – Again, the highlighting of the eyes is a cool effect.
- 0:33 – Sion TATARI can now summon from afar!
- 1:48 – Ciel’s scrubby launcher now seems to have more vertical clearance.
- 0:00 – Another new stage; the front gates of some kind of compound?
- 0:01 – Warakia’s new ability seems to be some kind of mine…
- 0:03 – Wow, they really changed the way Warakia’s 2C looks! (for Full Moon style)
- 0:05 – Seems as if Warakia’s gained a diagonal airdash similar to Guilty Gear‘s I-no.
- 0:09 – Warakia’s new aerial projectile looks like good in a defensive air game.
- 0:19 – Is it me or does Warakia’s Creature Channel come out faster now?
- 0:35 – Warakia’s 5B’s been redone as well.
- 0:37 – Holy crap! New cape smash, and it’s not a charge move! (Full Moon style?)
- 0:00 – Another new stage; the interior of some cathedral.
- 0:05 – Okay it’s settled, that air dash HAS to be new.
- 0:27 – Looks like Kouma’s learned a new counter…
- 0:57 – Wait, if it’s not a mine, what the hell does that thing do?
- 1:20 – Seems as if Warakia’s new projectiles can be made into an EX move.
- 0:00 – An alternate version (nighttime) of the new stage in the second video.
- 0:48 – Seems as if Warakia’s Bad News techniques can be used mid-air.
- 0:10 – Seems as if you can charge Akiha’s Tsuki wo Ugatsu in Half Moon style.
- 0:24 – Seems as if Sion’s gained a new uppercut…
- 0:26 – …and a new overhead smash!
- 0:41 – Jesus, the Black Barrel Replica looks like a machine gun now.
- 2:00 – Okay it’s clear now you can charge your Magic Circuit in Full Moon style.
- 2:26 – Haha, finally a full-ranged EX shot!
- 2:35 – A subtle change: a cancellable Etherlight Air, into an EX Slide Air!
- 2:09 – The EX Tsuki wo Ugatsu traded in multiple hits for increased height.
- 2:49 – Good lord, the new EX Kakuyaku Momiji lands a crap load more hits.
More on Actress Again as we approach its release date in the coming months!