Game Info:

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax
Developed by: Ecole Software, French Bread
Published by: Sega
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Available on: PS3, Vita
Genre: Fighting
Number of players: Up to four
ESRB Rating: Teen for mild language, suggestive themes, tobacco use
Price: $29.99
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Thank you Sega for sending us this game to review!

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax was released in celebration of Dengeki Bunko's 20th anniversary.  Dengeki Bunko is a light novel publisher, and this game features various characters that have been popular over the years.  Many have also been available in anime form.  Unfortunately, I have not watched any of the anime listed in this game at the time of this writing.  Perhaps sometime in the future.

This game is a 2D fighting game, much in the vein of Street Fighter, where two characters battle it out in a best of three bout.  There are four attack buttons, along with the direction buttons, which are used in combination to perform various attacks.  These include punches and kicks, as well as jumps and ranged attacks, which can often be strung together to make powerful combos to defeat their opponents.

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Strong Points: Characters with humorous abilities from many popular anime shows; nice looking character art; fully voice acted (in Japanese); Sonic and Valkyrie Chronicles stages, as well as other Sega cameos
Weak Points: Shallow story; localization is fairly basic; short story mode that encourages replays to unlock more characters
Moral Warnings: Combat violence; skimpy outfits on females; fan service, including girls comparing bra sizes; characters shown smoking; the words bad*ss and hell are used; at least one assist has pentagrams

There are also assist characters, which can be chosen along with the main fighter. These assists can make a big difference, as each one performs a significantly different ability, and when used together with other attacks can really injure the opponent.  Once their life meter is down to zero, the round is over.

For those who have played other arcade-style fighting games before, the core of this one is pretty similar.  Before and after the fight, the characters have a small thing to say before battle.  All are unique, each with their own complete moveset, and are fun to play in their own way.  I think it's awesome that one of the character's attacks include throwing vending machines and various appliances at their enemies. 

There is also a 'Dream Duel', which has a bit more character interaction than 'Arcade' mode.  This has each person engage in a small conversation with each person they battle, rather than the impersonal enemy that the arcade mode offers. Some of them are humorous; I laughed when the Sword Art Online character asked if they could get their opponent's nice weapon as loot if they win.

There are local and online multiplayer matches.  For the Vita version, there is unfortunately no PS TV support, so if you want to battle your friends locally on the big screen, you will need the PS3 version.  It does support ad-hoc mode though, so you can play locally with multiple Vitas.  Online play is also supported, and worked as expected when I tried it.

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 71%
Gameplay - 612/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 71%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 6/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 6/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

There are also other challenge modes, training modes, and you can customize your fighters by continuing to play, which unlocks credits, which are spent customizing. You can also see the cover of the source novels and learn more about the characters as you play the game more and unlock it.  You can also listen to the music.

There is typical fighting violence.  There is no blood or gore.  Some female characters have somewhat skimpy outfits, but I have seen much worse (not to excuse it) in much more popular fighting games, like Street Fighter.  There is occasional 'fan service'; one case I noticed was where two girls are comparing their bra sizes.  There is also an assist that can trigger a pentagram.  Thankfully the last two cases are very rare; the pentagram is in only one of at least twenty assist character available.  The word bad*ss is rarely used, and hell is used as well.

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a fun, if not particularly spectacular 2D fighting game.  If you are familiar with the characters, I'm sure you would enjoy it more than I did.  Having not watched any of them yet (but Sword Art Online is on my list eventually), they meant less to me.  Nevertheless, the content is a bit shallow.  Certainly worth it to fighting game fans, as the mechanics are definitely pretty solid.

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