I've posted about Melty Blood in the past before: it's a fighting game spinoff of the hugely popular doujin visual novel Tsukihime. Remember Tsukihime? The one about the creepy stalker with the knife and Blonde Vampire-chan? I was doing okay blogging it before I realized I wanted to post about other things, too, and so never touched it again.
Anyway, Melty Blood was successful enough already as a indie title: it got an upgrade and everything. That's exceedingly rare for doujin soft, which are usually disposable one-off "let's make an existing game but with moe characters" affairs. A lot of people were noting that-- especially at the time, when Capcom was abandoning the genre and nobody was left to pick up the pieces-- Melty Blood was a piece of work strong enough to hold its own among its professionally developed contemporaries. And it happened: Melty Blood Act Cadenza (AC for arcade) was a huge hit in Japanese arcades. Recently, the last and most improbably named Melty Blood, Actress Again, has come to Japanese arcades and, well, Chinatown Fair.
I am pleased to see it, but I am not pleased that Guilty Gear XX Accent Core was taken out in its favor. Come on, CF, take out the Soul Calibur II or something. It's not even turned on. The game has been in for a couple weeks: I've just had so many fighting games to play at home that I haven't bothered coming to CF in forever. On top of that, I only really played it when I had my ass handed to me in Street Fighter 4, which I haven't bothered learning at all. I didn't figure it was going to be anything too impressive. Thankfully, I was wrong.
What's cool about Actress Again is that each character has three different play modes, and the modes are actually different. Example: I play Arcueid, the aforementioned blonde. Arc has always been a rush-em-down character: that's just how MB is. You get in and you low jab the guy: that's like 75 percent of the game. When I put on Full Moon Mode, the "power" style, nearly all of Arc's moves changed. Some of the moves were completely new: others were pulled from back when MB was a doujin game.The end result was that Arc became pretty simple and pretty high damage. I did a lot better against the other two players (MB players who clearly actually knew the game, combos, and so on) than I expected to. If the two other modes play this differently, and especially if characters are a bit simplified in the alternate modes, I think MB is going to get a lot of new life in it. Mana restoration. Heh heh. Heh heh.
One dollar a play when SF4 is sitting across the room for the same price, on the other hand, is not so bright. Like SF4 and Arcana Heart 2, Actress Again will not be appearing on console for a while: probably a year or so in AA's case. But a buck for a game that isn't Street Fighter 4 in this place isn't such a great idea. Meanwhile, in another genre entirety the $1.50 Initial D Version 4 (down from $2) sits unplayed every single time I've seen it: they don't even have new cards for people to buy, invalidating, well, the entire point of playing Initial D. CF seriously missed the wave for that game: a couple of years ago kids were putting thousands of singles into Initial D in this area, and they didn't buy in until the extremely expensive version that nobody seems to like much came out.
Also, they already found two infinites and a freeze glitch in this game. Just sayin'. Patch that, guys.