I feel like I've written this review before.
Nitroplus Blasterz is a crossover fighting game that brings together characters from various light novels published by Nitroplus, in addition to various anime and manga that have involved Nitroplus creators. It shares that concept with Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, another crossover fighting game that was more about bringing fans favorite character together than providing a deep, technical fighting experience.
Unlike Dengeki Bunko, Nitroplus Blasters is aiming at an even smaller audience here in the West. DB was able to draw on characters from Sword Art Online, Oreimo, A Certain Magical Index, Durarara!!, and The Irregular at Magic High School. Those are all visual novels that haven't made it West in many cases, but all of them have fairly popular anime adaptations you can watch online through streaming services. A obscure support character from Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu or The Pet Girl of Sakurasou adds to the strong core cast.
Nitroplus Blasterz does not benefit from the same visibility. Despite a decent cast - 14 playable and 20 support characters - a number of these characters are characters of visual novels that have seen a limited release in the US or are simply mascots from Japanese companies. Saber from Fate/Zero and Super Sonico are largest characters here, and the next two in line, Aino Heart from Arcana Heart and Homura from Senran Kagura, are DLC only fighters. (Free for a limited time.) There are some support characters who are from more visible and recent series - Amy from Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Akane from Psycho Pass, or Yuki from School-Live! come to mind - but if you're not hip deep in imported Japanese culture, this game will fall short for you.
On the bright side, Nitroplus Blasterz is still a solid fighting game. The game is rather easy to pick up, with three attack buttons, an evade, and the Heavy Action button, which acts as a launcher or pushback move. Most of the command inputs for special moves are quarter-circle motions, the super moves require quarter-circle motions and two buttons, and the game's super-combo-style Lethal Blazes are performed with double quarter-circle motions and two buttons.
The barrier to entry is pretty low and the game is heavily predicated on setups and big combos. Once you get the ins-and-out of the game's systems, like the easy combo Variable Rush system, it's simple to built decent combos. Adding in Lethal Blazes and the support system means that 30-40 hits aren't far out of reach.
There's also the Vanishing Guard system, which has you tapping the evade button while guarding. If timed right, you can counterattack. It's a lot like the invincible frame of the Focus Attack in Street Fighter IV, eating up chip damage in the process. It's fairly simple, but the balancing aspect is you're trapped while doing a Vanishing Guard and it only blocks high or low; choose wrong and your opponent can exploit the opening.
Nitroplus Blasterz does have the most fun when it comes to its characters. there's basic, straightforward fighters like Saber (Fate/Zero), but there's also Echika (Tokyo Necro), a rather mobiler grappler; Sansei Muramasa, who uses spider webs to pull herself and her opponent around the battlefield; Super Sonico, who actually never attacks on her own; or Saya (Saya no Uta) who attacks with cancerous flesh and leaves bits of herself floating to set up combos.
This effort extends to the support characters. Some characters have small attacks that set you up for combos. Others, like Angela from Expelled from Paradise, call down a bunch of targeting reticles and lasers from above. Then there's odd ones like Aoi from Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi, who gives you one stock on the power meter. The game recommends some to you in the beginning, but eventually, you'll choose your favorite supports, who are all balanced via recharge times.
Nitroplus Blasterz features the normal slate of game modes. The basic eight-stage Story Mode, Versus, a Score Attack, Training, a barebones Online mode, and a Gallery featuring art from the various series. There's also the visual novel-like Another Story Mode that you unlock by beating the Story Mode at least once.
In the end, Nitroplus Blasterz isn't a bad fighting game, it's just not a great one. In fact, I'd probably stick with Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax over it, given my personal preferences. If you have a love for these characters, have been waiting for another Arcana Heart, or are just biding your time until Street Fighter V, Nitroplus Blasterz will keep you satisfied. I'm not sure the game has the legs to stand on its own long-term, but at least you'll get some immediate fun out of it.
Like Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, Nitroplus Blasterz brings together various characters from Nitroplus properties. Unfortunately, fans may not know these characters, many of whom have never been published in the West. That leaves a solid, but rather basic fighting game to draw players in.