Title: Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Platform: PS3, PSVita

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Fighting

Players: Single player, VS Online and local 1-2

Written by Dragoon 7th November 2015

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a 2D fighting game developed by Ecole Software and French Bread which pits various characters from the Dengeki Bunko light novel universe against each other, with a few guests from publisher Sega as well. If you’ve ever played any of the other games from the developers, such as Melty Blood and Under Night In Birth, you’ll feel right at home with DB:FC. Whilst it’s a dream come true for fans of the Dengeki Bunko franchises, does it offer enough depth to be of interest to diehard fighting gamers whilst being accessible enough for newcomers?


As previously mentioned there are a lot of similarities between DB:FC and other titles from these developers. A lot of systems such as one-button auto combos are mirrored here but that’s the biggest issue with this game. It doesn’t really bring anything new or exciting to the genre, it’s all stuff we’ve seen before and there isn’t a great amount of depth for hardcore players. The biggest thing being the assist system which has you choose a character who can jump in and do a quick ability at the press of a button. This offers a massive amount of combinations but most of the assists are pretty terrible so you’ll probably just end up using the first good one you find.

Balance is also a massive problem, there is a huge gap between the worst characters and the ones who are undoubtedly the strongest. In a game like this which is so focused on fan favourites it’s a huge shame that your favourite character might be terrible (I’m sorry Aisaka and Mikoto), the focus should have been on balance so everyone could enjoy using their favourites. This questionable design choice also hurts any chance of a competitive scene if only a handful of characters are viable.


An all-star brawl game like this is only as strong as its roster and DB:FC definitely delivers in this area. There are plenty of big name series in there which range from modern hits like Sword Art Online and A Certain Scientific Railgun to beloved classics such as Toradora! and Shakugan-no-Shana. A lot of care and detail was put into making sure these characters were faithful and it really shines through. As for which characters were chosen from each of the series it seems they went for popularity over who’s the main characters which does make sense but the roster is a tad small, coming in at a miniscule 14. If your favourite didn’t make the cut for the main roster it’s likely you’ll find them, as well as many other characters from other light novels, in the huge assist character list.


The game offers the usual mix of game modes such as versus and arcade and has a rather generic online mode. The story mode has you pick a character and go through a series of fights against an evil entity who has devoured all of the other worlds and makes you fight against clones of the other characters. It’s all substandard and doesn’t really change depending on who you pick which is a letdown. The best mode lets you read through some interactions between characters, one of my favourites was Kirito and Shana which consisted of Kirito gushing over her sword and fighting her so he can get it. These kind of interactions are what the focus should have been on but there are only a few for each character.


Graphically the game falls flat, the character sprites aren’t particularly impressive compared to the likes of Blazblue and are pretty low resolution. They are faithful to the source material though, I particularly liked Aisaka Taiga because they perfectly caught her trademark fiery attitude in the way she moves and looks. The 3D rendered stages are decent enough but weirdly they seem more focused on Sega games than the title universes with stages from Sonic and Valkyria Chronicles in the mix. The effects for the various moves are quite pretty which only makes the bad character sprites look worse in comparison. Sound wise the game has a fairly standard soundtrack with your usual assortment of generic rock tracks and vocal pieces and the Japanese voice acting is decent enough but there are no real standouts.


Overall unless you’re a fan of various series represented in this game there is likely to be little to keep your interest. While it’s easy enough to get into and learn the skill ceiling is pretty low which means there is little to work towards, fighting game veterans will likely give it a passing glance before going back to the tried and tested staples of the genre. It’s too by the books and the terrible balance hurts it for the fans who actually care about these characters, unless your favourite character is one of the overpowered choices it’s unlikely you’ll have a good time. A new version called Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Ignition is out in Japan but it’s unlikely they’ll have fixed the issues this version has. I’d say add on another point of you’re a fan of the series on offer but sadly it’s hard to recommend this.




Faithful roster,

Nice effects.



Low skill ceiling,

Poor balance,

Sub-standard sprites,

By the books gameplay.


Final verdict,

An all-star cast with no-star gameplay leaves us with a middling 5/10.


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