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Blazblue has finally become one of those rarely designed fighting games. Actually adding new characters as paid content during the game's lifetime. For every fighting game, balance is paramount, and a lot is at stake for introducing a new character to the audience like this. It's a small secret that there are three in total planned, but one has already been released for 560 Microsoft points or roughly $7

 
 
Fans may remember Makoto Nanaya as Noel and Tsubaki's half-squirrel classmate during their academy days. Hyperactive and full of energy, she was the active one of the trio while Noel played the sympathetic sad one and Tsubaki reeled everyone in as the straightman. She was promised as a rushdown character to satisfy the fast and foolhardy who just don't get a rise out of the stronger characters in the cast who simply have rushdown options.
 
Her power (besides her outrageous costume and underboob) is her drive, Impact. Pressing the drive button makes Makoto go in for a punch with his tonfa inspired weapons. The kicker is that it can be charged for more power but the timing is very tricky. Too short and you get a level 2 hit, ok but not great. Too long and not only is it a long enough window to be countered but you've lost power in Impact as well. A charge meter appears above her heat bar to show you the timing as well as a corona affect that occurs around her. The speed of the charge is like a fast charging bar from playing an arcade style golf game, so don't worry about holding it for longer than even half a second.
 
Makoto also has the shortest range in the game. While Tager wants to be in super close to grab you, he at least has arms the size of Mini Coopers for ranged pokes. Makoto literally has to be at close range to do anything significant, especially since she doesn't have any good pokes. It makes sense for the flavor of her character though, considering she plays a lot like some sort of boxer but with iron tonfas instead of gloves.
 
Personally, I feel very positive the way she appears right now. She has a lot of feints and mix up potential to really make players second guess blocking high, low, and try risking a counter hit. In theory, you can mash out some jabs to strike her out of these feints like her asteroid vision trick, which causes three clones to appears at different altitudes that can either stop, cross over, or attack. But the threat of counter hit into a combo is too much for many human players to take chances like that.
 
She has a lot of high yield combos when she gets in range but I personally think her execution is very strict. In addition to charging her drive for a specific level 3 Impact, the window of opportunity to combo into things like asteroid vision from standing strong is very small. Thankfully it's not some sort of insane 1-frame link, but it's still plenty tight by Blazblue standards.
 
She's also becoming a threat to the higher tiers because of her loop, dubbed the space loop. As a friend of mine remarked as he spent a great deal of time playing her, she can do upwards of 4,000 damage in a midscreen combo with no meter. To put this in perspective, an ordinary combo at midscreen with a character like Jin can yield 2,500 damage and he needs meter and the corner to do damage that goes over 3,000, which is the mark that the top 3 characters can do consistently without meter.
 
Places like dustloop and shoryuken are throwing hissyfits discussing the theory fighter aspects of this but at the very least, Makoto is still a very well received addition to the Blazblue roster. She has a spunky personality and an utterly unique drive that makes her a blast to play with friends.
 
Now how long until we get an announcement on the incredibly cool looking butler, Valkenhayn?
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