WHAT YEAR IS IT?
Melty Blood is a game with quite the history.
It’s a game that was originally released back in 2002.
Yep – 2002.
That seems like a lifetime ago at this point, and the series has seen numerous updated entries which also never saw the light of day here in the States.
So, when I heard that the series would finally see an official release on Steam, I thought to myself, “Really? Why now?”
Regardless of the timing, I’ve known about Melty Blood for a long time, and took this opportunity to see what all the fuss was about.
I’ll spare you the full history lesson on Melty Blood and its inspiration, “Tsukihime” and will just say that you can just look that stuff up on your own if you’re interested.
I have personally played Tsukihime ages ago and thought it was quite good, especially since it was one of the first visual novels I’ve played.
As for Melty Blood, it’s a typical four button 2D fighting game with a roster of over 30 characters.
However, just because the game came out so long ago doesn’t make it feel old or obsolete, as it features some unique mechanics.
The biggest is the three different styles available to the character in forms of Full, Half and Crescent Moon. Each style changes the character in question in numerous ways, including new moves and new mechanics like meter charging, counters, and charge moves.
The easiest and most relevant comparison to make is to point to something like MKX’s styles mechanic.
There’s also a big emphasis on movement, as MB can most certainly be classified as an “air-dasher”, where a character can be at one corner of the screen to the other in a matter of a second or two.
The fighters are a unique bunch, offering different play styles, and even though I wasn’t really sure what I was doing most of the time, I was able to glimpse the gimmicks and general win conditions I was suppose to aim for.
As for modes of play, there’s the standard arcade mode which serves as the story, but don’t expect elaborate cutscenes and high production values, as it’s fairly bare-bones.
There’s the typical training mode where you can practice some combos/setups on a dummy, but there’s no challenge or tutorial mode, which is unfortunate because this is quite the complex game with a lot to learn.
The character sprites show their age and even with the filters, it’s not a game that many will praise for its visuals. Fortunately, music is timeless and MB certainly hosts a rockin’ OST with some memorable tunes that I’ll be sure to listen to again.
Based on my experience with about 6 different opponents, the netcode seemed pretty solid with little lag, but I’ve heard reports of the contrary from others which I was unable to verify.
Despite its age, Melty Blood is a deep and engrossing fighter with a lot to offer. Whether it’ll have a lasting place in this ever shifting anime fighters market is unclear but I’m glad to see it finally released in the States all the same.
Fun Tidbit – So, when’s that new Tsukihime anime going to come out?
Review copy of game provided by publisher.