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BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works and the sequel and also next episode to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. As with the previous game, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift will first come to arcades before both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was released in November 20, 2009 in Japan, the US version is planned for release Summer 2010. No word yet on a European release.
The game has undergone some changes from its predecessor and features three new characters, Tsubaki Yayoi, Hazama, and μ-12 (a console exclusive character) as well as a replacement for ν-13- (Nu-Thirteen) named Λ-11- (Lambda-Eleven). The game will also include balancing of previous characters, as well as adding, or removing, moves while balancing the whole gameplay.
The game is set after the Events of Blazblue. A few days have passed since the reported raid by Ragna the Bloodedge, The 13th Hierarchical City "Kagutsuchi" forgets to celebrate New Years, as his alleged involvement in the "Mysterious Bombing" and "Huge Pentacle Sightings" becomes the talk of the town. With the Novus Orbis Librarium offering no official explanation, the citizens voice their own theories, exaggerating and spreading rumors like wildfire. The name "Ragna the Bloodedge" is engraved in the minds of the people. Completely indifferent to the state of the city, the silver-haired Grim Reaper grips his massive sword and quietly bides his time—waiting for the chance to achieve his true objective. And then, the enormous "power" that has ensnared the "Grim Reaper" begins to activate...
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift still retains it's traditional 2D fighter feel where two characters participate in a duel on a two dimensional plane. A round is called a "rebel" and one match can consist of one to five "rebels". To win a round, one player must either incapacitate the other by inflicting damage through various attacks to reduce health or by having more remaining health after the clock runs out if the rules of the match has one.
However, some mechanics from the previous installment have been changed or completely replaced in the transition.
Barrier Burst has been replaced with Break Burst, a similar ability but with different penalties. Break Burst can only be performed twice in a single match, and its second use can only become available if you lose a round. It no longer permanently drains your Barrier Guage or gives you the "DANGER" penalty. A free unused burst is required for Astral Heats. Bursts have different properties depending on when they are used, as the offensive "Gold Burst" has high bounce and combo-ability and the combos initiated by it can kill while the defensive "Green Burst" will provide invincibility for the entire burst motion at the cost of permanently halving your maximum primer points. All lost primer points will never recover.
Guard Libra has been replaced with Guard Primer. Instead of a guage, Guard Primer relies on a point system where each character has a certain amount of points (e.g. Tager has a maximum of 10 primer points while characters like Carl or Rachel have 4) which are depleted whenever block is broken by specific "guard break" moves that every character has. Primer points regenerate over time. Upon depletion of all points, the character is "Guard Crushed." Barrier can be used to avoid being guard crushed.
Astral Heat conditions have been changed. Instead of requiring it to be the final round and the opponent being below 25% health, it now only requires it to be your match point round and your opponent being below 35% health. It still requires 100% heat and now has the additional requirement of a freely available unused Burst.