BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
Following the events of Calamity Trigger, the static timeline has been thrown into a state of flux from which an infinite number of futures are possible. A number of shadowy factions intend to use this "continuum shift" to bend the future to their will, setting the cogs of an ancient conspiracy into motion.
Unaware of all this, Ragna the Bloodedge aggressively pursues his arch-nemesis Terumi within the walls of Kagutsuchi. Meanwhile, N.O.L. agent Tsubaki Yayoi is ordered to hunt down and execute her unrequited love Jin Kisaragi, and her best friend Noel Vermillion.
Released for arcades on November 20, 2009, exactly a year after the previous game, this update/sequel features two new playable characters: Tsubaki Yayoi, and Hazama (who acts as the Final Boss of the Arcade Mode). It implements several gameplay changes such as adding new moves to the already existing characters, and tweaking many of their existing features to add more balance. Nu-13 has been excised and replaced by an inferior clone called Lambda-11, who plays exactly like her predecessor but more balanced. The stages are also redone, featuring new graphics ala Champion Edition.
The console version was released July 1, 2010 in Japan, July 27 in America and December 3rd in Europe. It once again features Kotoko as the singer for the opening theme, Hekira no Sora e Izanaedo, as well as an insert song from an as-of-now unknown artist. There are three new modes: Legion, which is played like a strategy game, Challenge, which is similar to the challenge modes of other fighting games, and a Tutorial mode where Rachel shows new players how to work the game's mechanics, all while verbally abusing them in her own wonderful way. All of that and a new playable character: Mu-12, Final Boss of the Story Mode.
The game is mostly the same as it's predecessor. It uses a 4 button system: Weak Attack (A), Medium Attack (B), Strong Attack (C), and a Drive Attack, (D) unique to each character. The original arcade release had a total of 14 characters, with four new ones getting added in the console release and, eventually, Continuum Shift II. As of Continuum Shift Extend, the total of playable characters is 19.
Continuum Shift has two more incremental Updated Rereleases:
BlazBlue Continuum Shift II acted as a balance patch for the arcade and console versions, and featured a new theme song: Shinsou, sung by Asami Imai (Tsubaki's voice actress). A standalone version for the PSP and 3DS also included all three DLC characters, along with Story and Arcade modes for them and Mu-12.
BlazBlue Continuum Shift EXTEND, released as a standalone game for arcades, Play Station 3, Xbox 360 and the Play Station Vita, once again rebalanced the existing game. It includes all of the content from Continuum Shift II, and adds Mad Scientist Relius Clover as a new playable character along with his own Arcade and Story modes. It also features a compressed retelling of the Calamity Trigger Story Mode, bonus DLC scenarios, "Unlimited Mars" mode (a Harder Than Hard Boss Rush against Unlimited characters) and a new theme tune (Soukyu no Hikari, sung by Faylan).
- Arc Words: "One of the many possibilities...of the Continuum Shift."
- The Artifact: Tager and Noel still call out "Barrier Overload" and "Barrier Burst" when they break-burst, despite the burst system being changed to a new mechanic that doesn't have anything to do with the barrier mechanic.
- Exclusive to the English voice track option, this does not happen in the Japanese voice track equivalent, for more details see Stock Dialogue below.
- Battle Intro: Nearly every pair of characters has a unique one. This is taken to the point that several of the characters even have special sound clips that they only use against each other when fighting and unique animations/sounds when the fight is over.
- Hazama is possibly the best example here. If the character he's fighting is key to the story (Ragna, Jin, Noel, Rachel, and Hakumen for example) then he's got a special opening with them. Even if they're not key, some characters like Makoto have special voice sets to use when fighting him.
- Black Comedy Rape: Strongly implied during Jin's 'Help me, Professor Kokonoe!' segment. Poor Ragna...
- Bowdlerize: Relius' Astral Finish, in all non-Asian versions of the game his lab is "cleaned up", the blood splatters on the wall and silhouette of the hanging corpses on the ceiling are all gone, supposedly to avoid a M rating.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of Arcade Mode, Terumi thanks the player for revealing a new possibility in the Continuum shift, and claims that soon he will control all possibilities.
- Button Mashing: The Beginner Mode lets you literally play using this method and look like a pro - simply hit the A and/or B buttons repeatedly to execute combos.
- Capcom Sequel Stagnation: With vanilla CS, II and Extend, some think this iteration of the series is becoming this.
- Cliff Hanger: Noel is saved, and Jin and Carl regain some of their sanity. But the bad guys achieve all their immediate objectives; Tsubaki is Brainwashed and Crazy; Litchi has defected to the NOL and is suffering early symptoms of Boundary corruption; Lambda/Nu is back in the hands of the bad guys; Arakune has been captured by Relius; Kokonoe has a stockpile of nuclear weapons and is running out of patience/sanity; and Ragna and Jin's Dead Little Sister is actually the Imperator of the NOL. Not to mention that Ragna had to lose his arm. Now wait until the next installment for conclusion.
- Continuity Lock Out: Even if you watch the "previously" that gives you a very rough version of the true ending of Calamity Trigger, you're going to have a very limited idea of what's going on in this one's story mode. Extend fixes this to some extent, including a reworked version of the aforementioned true ending path in its story mode.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: No matter how many times you activate Blood Kain in gameplay, it doesn't stick until that point in the True Ending. If you activate it yourself, as opposed to him doing so while still out of your control, you get a wimpier version.
- Deus Est Machina: Sort of; there are two that potentially fill this role. The first is the Amaterasu Unit which is responsible for the Stable Time Loop of the first game, the second is Takamagahara. The former was destroyed by Imperator Saya; the latter is locked down thanks to a virus crafted by Terumi and Phantom, with no obvious chance of being restored to functioning any time soon.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: At the very end of the story mode, it's revealed that the Imperator of the NOL is, in fact, Saya, "missing" younger sister of Ragna and Jin, who has been previously implied to be a Damsel in Distress or a Dead Little Sister.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The title of Bang's Story Mode this time around is called Bang Stories: Lost ARCH ENEMY, some might wonder what is this lost arch enemy, Jin or the NOL perhaps? Not exactly, it turns out that for some reason Bang's Story Mode was translated literally from the Japanese title, not adaptated as usual. In Japan the Nox Nyctores are called Arch Enemy, so making a connection to Bang Stories' title, Lost Arch Enemy refers to the Phoenix Rettenjou which was presumably lost since the Dark War, so to avoid confusion overseas Bang's Story Mode should have been named Bang Stories: Lost NOX NYCTORES.
- Effortless Amazonian Lift: In Carl Clover's story mode, we have Makoto demonstrates her strength by escaping from Carl with Tsubaki in tow. To emphasize, Makoto's roughly 49 kilos, Tsubaki is 47 kilos (possibly without Izayoi), and she still dead sprints away from Carl.
- Embedded Precursor: Continuum Shift Extend has an altered version of the story mode for Calamity Trigger.
- Emotions vs. Stoicism: These two factors eventually becomes a part of the Carl vs Relius conflict, respectively. In this case, Emotions are (generally) good, stoicism is evil.
- Guide Dang It: Some Unlimited characters have extra attacks, but none of the inputs show up in the command list. The only ways you'll know they exist are if you saw a guide or the computer used the attacks on you first. Many attacks have special (and very nice) properties that the in-game description doesn't even remotely hint at.
- A House Divided: Even though the Duodecim are supposed to be the central nobility in the NOL, not all of them are as wholeheartedly supportive of Library policy as House Yayoi if Makoto's commentary is to be trusted. During her mission, of course, she finds an answer to her own question, but it may only be her own and not Mutsugi's.
"I know House Mutsugi is the most powerful family of the Duodecim, but who in their right mind mouths off to the NOL...?"
- How Dare You Die on Me!, This Is Unforgivable!, Prepare to Die: All in quick succession in Continuum Shift's True Ending
- Irony: Terumi is a master Troll who almost always win. There was one character in particular who managed to willfully get the best of him; Bang Shishigami.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In addition to the above, one cannot help but get the feeling that if Makoto Nanaya knew about her status as an extracontinuual anomaly, Hazama's plot in Slight Hope (and, by extension, Wheel of Fortune) might have gone off a bit more smoothly than it had. That's The Power of Friendship for ya.
- Mind Screwdriver: Hakumen's story explains particular plot points that were hinted at, but never really explained in the other character's story paths. They make the plot MUCH easier to understand.
- More Than Mind Control: What Terumi's using to control Tsubaki, artificially exacerbating her existing sense of duty and feelings of jealousy towards Noel, and spicing things up with some juicy Jedi Truths.
- Nice Job Breaking Yourself, Noel: "One last thing. Try to stay away from Captain Hazama, OK?" Sure, Hazama would have found his way to her sooner or later, but Makoto was trying to warn Noel that the guy was bad news. If only she paid attention...
- No Fourth Wall: The "Help Me! Professor Kokonoe" segments.
- Nuclear Option: Kokonoe has an entire nuclear arsenal stowed away, just in case she needs a quick and permanent solution to anything Terumi cooks up in Kagutsuchi.
- Off-Model: The numerous story mode cutscenes are an extreme example of off model-ness. New scenes from Extend avert this by being made by a competent animation studio.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
- There are two major offscreen fights involving non-playable characters during the story mode of Continuum Shift - Jin vs. Phantom and Jubei vs. Relius Clover.
- We leave Hazama's story just before he faces off with Phantom. Jin's own story is already over at this point, so it's not covered there either.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Takamagahara.
- Opposites Attract: Non-romantic example - the Kisaragi and Yayoi families of the Duodecem are exact ideological opposites (a flourishing, modernist meritocracy and a dwindling, inbred bunch of traditionalists respectively), as well as being the staunchest allies of any of the great families.
- Punny Name: Mu-12 isn't just continuing the Greek-alphabet theme the Murakomo units have going on. "Mu" is also a Japanese word that can mean "none," "null" or "without meaning." Now, consider that Terumi wants to use Mu-12 to erase the world from existence...
- Revised Ending: The original Continuum Shift ended with the characters preparing to leave to Ikaruga, Extend adds an animated cutscene with Ragna and Taokaka already getting into the city's grounds.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: All the unlocks are now based on Score Attack rather than Arcade mode. On the other hand, story mode completion is much easier. Fewer paths require Distortion/Astral Heat Finishes, you don't have to lose every fight on purpose for 100% completion, (Ragna's "Help Me! Professor Kokonoe!" segment even mentions that this pissed people off last time) and using "Taunt" the first time in battle will set your Heat Gauge to 100%. Score Attack is still ridiculously hard.
- Snakes Are Evil: Terumi Yuuki uses snakes as his motif: his drive is called "Ouroboros" and for the most part, is a set of snake-like chains that are thrown around to drastically increase his mobility which is also capable of inducing Mind Rape. His finishing move involves summoning a giant snake to consume the opponent.
- SNK Boss: Score Attack is SNK Boss Mode.
- Stock Dialogue: While both Japanese and English voice tracks shares its amounts of reused dialogue, the English version has the most out of the two, as seen even the in-battle voice tracks are reused from Calamity Trigger in contrast with the Japanese in-battle voice track which is all new.
- That Came Out Wrong: At one point in Ragna's story mode, a waitress accuses him of lusting after Jin. When he tries to correct her, he ends up telling her that he's into little girls instead. He almost immediately recognizes his mistake, but never gets the chance to correct himself.
- Theme Music Power-Up: The battle track changes to the game's opening theme when an Astral Heat is performed, though this can be turned off in the options.
- The battle track also changes in the battle between Unlimited Ragna and Unlimited Hazama in the True Ending of II.
- Unwanted Harem: Brutally inflicted on Ragna in Rachel's joke ending. Even Jin shows up!
- Makoto's story mode in Extend
- Hekira no Sora e Izanaedo in vanilla CS, Shinsou in II and Extend