BlazBlue Entropy Effect Review

BlazBlue Entropy Effect Review

You may be familiar with BlazBlue as a fighting game, but how well do you know it as a roguelike?

For those not in the loop, BlazBlue was originally created as a way for Arc System Works to continue developing fighting games while they sorted out licensing issues with Guilty Gear. BlazBlue may live in Guilty Gear‘s shadow as a backup franchise, especially with Strive bringing in so many new players to the fighting game genre, but that doesn’t mean BlazBlue is dead and gone.

Arc System Works has lent the BlazBlue IP to quite a few studios who worked to develop spin-offs and other minor titles, most of them being turn-based gacha, card games, and crossover battlers, but 91Act broke the mold with a full-on roguelike, something completely new for the franchise.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect
Developer: 91Act
Publisher: 91Act
Platforms: Microsoft Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: February 14, 2024
Players: 1
Price: $19.99

BlazBlue Entropy Effect is a rare occurrence as far as spin-offs go, managing to be completely different from any past entries in the popular fighting game franchise while still standing on its own quite well. The weirdest part is that the game only takes the characters from BlazBlue, and absolutely nothing else.

Despite using a good chunk of the franchise’s roster, Entropy Effect is completely detached from BlazBlue in pretty much every way. It almost feels like the game is stuck in a perpetual collab event and the BlazBlue cast are skins for the actual characters.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that BlazBlue‘s cast is mischaracterized in Entropy Effect, quite the contrary, actually, the developers have managed to adapt these different characters alongside their playstyle and move list quite well into a 2D roguelike.

Combat in Entropy Effect is the strongest part of the game. Every character feels fluid, responsive, fast-paced, and their upgrades work in a really unique way as far as roguelikes go. Characters start with a small part of their moveset unlocked, and slowly acquire different skills, combos, and extra effects to their moves as you progress through a run.

There are also five different elemental upgrades that players can acquire, which trigger when using various abilities. These upgrades may sound like a standard thing for a roguelike to have, but it’s really interesting to see just how much a character can change as you unlock their potential upgrades during a run.

Characters like Kokonoe and Es start out with reasonable moves and end the run doing crazy attacks that damage almost everything on screen, while others like Noel and Lambda-11 gain a lot of combo potential that allows them to continuously juggle enemies with precise attacks. There’s a fantastic sense of progression through each run, even if it’s somewhat temporary.

To slightly correct things, BlazBlue Entropy Effect is a roguelite, rather than a roguelike, because it does give the player a few layers of permanent progression. Players can use the currency they earn by defeating enemies and bosses to increase the HP of all characters, as well as unlock different upgrade chips that boost character stats in other small ways.

The most interesting piece of permanent progression, however, comes from the Evotype system, which essentially work as a summary of your past runs. Each Evotype carries two elemental perks you picked during gameplay, as well as legacy skills depending on which character was used to create it.

It can’t be overstated just how cool the Evotype mechanic is, as it gives you an incentive to play around with the game’s entire roster, letting you unlock perks to support your main character. Trying out other skills and passives to make the perfect build is incredibly fun, and greatly rewards those who manage to master the entire cast of characters.

The game also has a reasonably high amount of quality-of-life features, like being able to test what each upgrade does inside of a training room before you pick them mid-run. Players also have access to an extensive move list with the character’s potential upgrades and current skills, as well as detailed info about their current build, all of which can be accessed just by pausing the game at any point in time.

Entropy Effect also features a reasonably big list of adaptive difficulty settings, which players can tweak before embarking on a run. The difficulty settings on normal mode allow players to make the game easier, while the difficulty settings on hard mode unlock rewards for creating elite enemies that will show up during gameplay.

By default, Entropy Effect sits in a nice spot difficulty-wise, managing to strike a balance between fun and difficulty very well. The game’s tough encounters are a big part of its charm, and being able to customize the game’s difficulty while being rewarded for it in hard mode is quite nice.

The only real issue with Entropy Effect is how detached it feels from the franchise that it carries as part of its title. Believe it or not, the game is contextualized as a cyberspace mind training exercise, which are the runs you go through. Progressing through the story has you uncovering memories of the past so you can figure out the secret behind humanity’s disappearance.

The game’s hub world is a futuristic earth inhabited only by machines, and the game’s “main story” has you talking to robots about mind training and other nonsensical things that have little to do with BlazBlue or any of its characters. It’s interesting that the developers felt like adding a complex cyberpunk plot to the game, but it feels completely detached from what you play through.

You only really have to spend 10 seconds in the hub area before you can fire up a quick run, so it’s not that big of a deal, but it would be really weird to leave this out. Almost as weird as trying to recontextualize BlazBlue‘s characters into a futuristic setting where humanity died to a virus and machines took control of the planet.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect manages to deliver a really fun and fast-paced hack-and-slash experience while still respecting the characters and how they originally played in their fighting game appreances. It feels fantastic to upgrade your character as you progress through runs, and the Evotype system lets players constantly get stronger in a really interesting way.

Its themes may be all over the place, but that doesn’t stop Entropy Effect from being a very competent and fun roguelike experience, as well as an incredible debut for 91Act outside of mobile platforms.

BlazBlue Entropy Effect was reviewed on Microsoft Windows using a game code provided by 91Act. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. BlazBlue Entropy Effect is available on Microsoft Windows (through Steam).


The Verdict: 9.5

The Good

  • Entropies are a fantastic mechanic that make it so every run matters
  • The gameplay is extremely fluid and fun, and the potential upgrades make for some really cool gameplay changes
  • The characters have been adapted quite well from the original fighting games, and some of their most iconic moves are present

The Bad

  • Anything that happens outside of runs borders on nonsense and has nothing to do with BlazBlue


Fan of skeletons, plays too many video games, MMO addict, soul-like and character action enthusiast.

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