This NotBlazblue title is a Modern Rouge-like, and as a Modern game of this sty;e you’re not expected to beat it on your first or even your tenth go partly because you wouldn’t have most of your tools and upgrades available to make progress with. With that in mind, the game breaks up your progression tools into 3 key factors: Mind Upgrades, Phenomena, and Evotypes.
The first, and largest improvement towards a run you can make comes from Dor and his ability to take the Credits you earn after a run to give you perma-upgrades such as more uses of your heal, greater damage when keeping combos/kill counts going, and other very useful features that give you a lot more breathing room on each future attempt.
It’s a very simple system as well, where you have to buy at least 6 upgrades in a phase to then be able to purchase upgrades in higher ranks. Though, given how much each of these do to give you more tools to work with, it’s towards your best interest to grab them all, yet it might be worth it to rush key upgrades as well (Such as the Reserved Potion, and Chance Boosts).
This isn’t all that Dor does though, as he’ll give you objectives to use so many different ‘Tactics’ you choose, rewarding for your experimenting with things you haven’t yet with such useful boons like the rare chance of getting two sets of Tactics for the price of 1, and even the very valuable Prototype Analyzers, key items needed to unlock access towards other characters. So even if you don’t have the coins to grab new Mind Upgrades, still talk with him to see if you qualify for his next reward.
Phenomena Effects are the next upgrade element to cover, and is honestly the easiest of the bunch to understand. Whenever you defeat a boss, including if it was the first time you fought that boss, you might gain Phenomena Fragments. At the start simply 1 will do, but the farther you get the more and more of these you need to unlock the next cutscene attached to each, along with the passive improvements they give once seen.
Those improvements in turn don’t directly effect you, but the different room types you get to select from doing a run. Even still, these aren’t always active and instead just have an uncontrollable chance to activate. Yet given each one of these in turn helps you in some fashion (Yet it be HP recovery where there was none, or the ability to buy something far more expensive then you would have had the ability to doing a run) at least are potent enough to ensure to unlock these once you’ve gathered the needed bits to do such. Doing this also progresses the global storyline, that in turn leads towards other events and things becoming available.
The last thing to cover is chances are what lets this game pivot as it’s own thing, and makes it stand out from the crowd, the Evotype system. After each run you’ll be given a score grading on how many rooms you cleared and what objectives those rooms where in turn. Stronger rooms, and more room clears, higher score. This also saves two very key things about the run as well, the character you where playing as, and what was the most notable passive you took doing that run. This in turn populates a listing of up to 30 different ‘Evotypes’ being saved for the next step.
That when selecting your character for your next run, you may empower them with those previous runs in turn, with them giving you access towards their Skill (called a ‘Legacy Skill’), their two native passives, and 1 obtained passive from that run. There are a few rules and restrictions towards this though. First, you cannot pick Evotypes of the character you’re already playing, this in turn encouraging you to play a wide variety of the characters on offer. Second, there are score caps that run needed to reach to gain access towards said boons, and the order you select Evotypes matters (Case and point, your first one only needs to reach scores of 100, 300, 500, and 700 for each thing to unlock, while the second one needs 200, 400, 600, and 800 for theirs). Lastly, using a Evotype does not ‘use up’, in fact you can keep reusing your best scores over and over without a limit! So always take the highest you can for the most boons possible, allowing you to mix and match passives for the best results.