BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle (or BureiBuru Kurosu Tagu Batoru in Japanese - which I think sounds rather swag) is a crossover 2D fighting game introducing a brand new 2-VS-2 gameplay engine. The game features characters from Arc System Works's BlazBlue series, Atlus's Persona 4 Arena, French Bread's Under Night In-Birth, and Rooster Teeth's anime-style web animation, RWBY.

Umm... this select screen is hideous, unbalanced, vomit-inducing, and hurts my OCD.

The character art for BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is drawn by Higuchi Konomi who previously worked as a character designer for the XBlaze series. Due to RWBY's original series first airing in North America, RWBY characters speak in English as their default language voice. The game features a full English dub for all characters, which is nice to see for a fan service title such as this. According to director Toshimichi Mori, Under Night In-Birth character sprites were "redrawn" to match BlazBlue's high-res graphics. Cross Tag Battle features an "Episode" mode which tells a separate story for each franchise.

4 franchises of great anime characters in one tag team fighting game.

The gameplay of BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle feels very differently from that of BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, and Under Night In-Birth. The game has 5 button inputs: A and B normal attacks, Crash Assault/Sweep (C button), Tag (a D button) and Partner Skill (Assist button). Throws are done with B+C. Standing C is a Crash Assault, which is an unblockable overhead attack against crouching opponents.

Auto-Combos return (dubbed Smart Combo) which can be activated with either tapping A or B normals. The Heat Gauge is renamed Skill Gauge. A new system called Cross Gauge is used mainly for tag-based combos. Cross Burst is a technique that has the secondary character enter the fight while attacking their opponents, as the main character retreats. ”Overdrive" super moves from BlazBlue are now known as Resonance Blaze, and can only be activated after the player's teammate is down. The Resonance Blaze activation grants the player to refills the meter quickly, makes all Distortion Drives stronger, regenerates health, and can cancel Skills to Distortion Skills. However, Resonance Blaze can only be activated once.

Wow, good use of primary colors. They even sprung for some secondary colors.

Arc System Works has confirmed 20 post launch DLC characters for BBCTB, which will "double" the initial roster. Individual character DLC packs retail for $4.99 each and there will be a total of six. The complete DLC bundle will also be sold separately for $19.99. Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiao Long, Platinum the Trinity, Kanji Tatsumi, and Orie were free DLC at launch.

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Page Updated: December 9th, 2018
Developer(s): Arc System Works
Publisher(s): Arc System Works
Designer(s): Toshimichi Mori     (Director)
Artwork By: Higuchi Konomi
Platform(s): Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Steam
Release Date(s): May 29th, 2018        ()
June 5th, 2018
June 22nd, 2018       ( PS4/Switch)
Characters Ragna, Jin, Yu, Hyde, Ruby Rose, Yosuke, Linne, Weiss Schnee, Rachel, Hazama, Noel, Chie, Waldstein, Yukiko, Gordeau, Azrael, Iron Tager, Makoto, v-13, Es, Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiao Long, Platinum, Kanji, Orie, Jubei, Aigis, Carmine, Hakumen, Naoto, Vatista, Mika, Yuzuriha, Merkava, Nine, Mai Natsume, Izayoi, Mitsuru, Akihiko, Labrys
Featured Video:
Related Games: BlazBlue: Central Fiction, Guilty Gear Xrd REV2, Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, Under Night In-Birth, Under Night In-Birth: EXE Late[st], Dragon Ball FighterZ, Street Fighter 5, Injustice 2, Soul Calibur 6, Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite, Fighting EX Layer

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First Impression:

I was wondering if the BlazBlue series would truly take a "break" after the story concluding in BlazBlue: Central Fiction. Somehow I knew the series wouldn't be gone for long... a crossover fighting game is the perfect way to keep BlazBlue active in the ultra-competitive fighting game climate of 2018. Personally, I'm happy to see the return of Persona 4 Arena characters and pretty hype for UNIEL's unique combatants to mix things up as well. However, I know nothing about RWBY... so those characters are 100% new to me.

On the topic of paid DLC, Arc System Works confirmed 20 post-launch characters... which will double the initial roster. Of course this will bring controversy (and get people talking about the game, which is actually a good thing), but h
opefully Arc System Works keeps the DLC fair and affordable. Could you imagine being a tournament organizer and having to make sure 10-20 systems have all the DLC characters? Things could get expensive. 

On a side note... it would be natural for Arc System Works fans to want Guilty Gear characters to be represented in the "first ever Arc System Works cross-over fighting game," as well. But since GGXrd uses a completely different (3D) graphics engine, Arc System Works would probably have to redraw brand new 2D Guilty Gear character sprites for them to appear in the game. I could actually see them doing that for a couple GG characters... that alone would be "attractive DLC". In any case, even as a casual fan of 2D anime fighting games, BBCTB looks pretty exciting.

Since MVC: Infinite mostly flopped, it was pretty clear that BBTAG ended up being a sort of "rebound fling" for certain FGC players in need of a shiny new high-flying / air-dash happy 2D fighting game. (Maybe because some of them don't know how to play a more honest fighting game?) Low blow... I kid. I joke. But it's probably true in some special cases. It's also true that BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle a bit mashy, clashy, floaty, and loud for my personal fighting game tastes... but it's got some heart, and I want to like the "idea" of such a cool crossover. Unfortunately, it seems like Arc System Works took some shortcuts to make this game, and it doesn't live up to the heart that all the original games had. Full TFG review coming later this year. 
~TFG Webmaster

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