Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax (PS3) Review

Anime the fighting game: the fighting anime.

I’ve played all manner of fighting games over the years.

To that end, I’ve picked up a knack for being able to adjust to the new mechanics and systems each series has to offer. More importantly, I’ve also learned to appraise the competence of the most important building blocks that makes a fighting game great.

While Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax falls in the typical pitfall of a first iteration fighter with a limited budget, it ultimately reveals itself as an accessible fighter with depth to spare.

The first thing that popped into my head when I got into the character select was, “I’ve not seen any of these anime.”

Hey kids, do you like anime?

Do you like Sword Arts Online? Durarara? Oreimo? The Irregular at Magic Highschool?

How about DokiDoki Megapon Lobsterfest Deluxe Battle?

Ok, I may have made up that last one but you probably wouldn’t have noticed unless I mentioned it.

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax takes characters from the popular series published by, you guessed it- “Dengeki Bunko” and makes up an excuse for them to fight each other because really, why not?

The modes presented in the game were limited, missing challenge modes and what little “story” there was to be had in the title felt tacked on and wholly inconsequential.

Oddly enough, those are complaints I probably wouldn’t have made only a short few years ago when that was a norm but fighting games have come far in their presentation and offering of modes that to see them absent here was a disappointment.

The character roster is also a rather short list twelve characters initially with two extra characters that are unlockable by playing through the arcade mode.

While the limited modes and small roster is disappointing, the actual combat engine is not.

Hey, I know Valkyria Chronicles!

DB:FC is a four-button fighter that emphasizes a fluid combo system with a variety of ways to cancel into other moves.

There’s also an assist system with a large pool of characters that provide support when called upon in the form of helping continue a combo or even lay down some pressure so the player can get in on the opponent.

There are also the beginner friendly auto combos which can be activated by repeated pressing the one button like in Persona 4 Arena and a burst system that can be used in numerous ways to turn the tides of battle.

It didn’t take long for me to waltz into training mode with a character that seemed interesting and start pairing up assists that worked well with them. In an hour’s time, I was crafting combos left and right and the mechanics in place felt intuitive and fun to utilize.

I would say that I had just as much fun trying out new characters and making new combos up in training mode as much as I did battling other people and to me, that’s a sign of a good combat engine.

The online multiplayer also seemed to work well with connections three and above showing no signs of slowing down and very little input lag.

The combat engine seemed overly simple at first but there are a lot of unique mechanics tied to the oddball cast of characters

DB:FC falls short in being able to compete with the big boys in the anime fighting game scene as an overall package but when viewed strictly from the accessibility and depth of its combat engine, it’s most definitely a contender.

Fun Tidbit: I mostly used Shana/Pai pairing with good results and some of these outlandish characters have me wanting to watch their respective anime.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Easy to get into, hard to master
  • Assist characters add much needed diversity in strategy
  • Barebones package with limited modes/characters
Written by
Jae has been a gamer ever since he got a Nintendo when he was just a child. He has a passion for games and enjoys writing. While he worries about the direction gaming as a medium might be headed, he's too busy playing games to do anything about it.