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. In February of 2019, the Arcana Heart series joined the crossover as the fifth "fate".

This selection screen looks like fruity pebbles... It also really, really 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.

Page Updated: October 7th, 2019
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)
Nov. 21st, 2019         (Version 2.0 Update)
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 Shirogane, Vatista, Mika, Yuzuriha, Merkava, Nine, Mai Natsume, Izayoi, Mitsuru, Akihiko, Labrys, Heart Aino, Teddie, Seth, Naoto Kurogane, Akatsuki, Blitztank, Yumi, Neo Politan, Celica, Elizabeth, Adachi, Hilda, Susanoo
Featured Video:
Related Games: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Guilty Gear Xrd REV2, Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, Under Night In-Birth, Under Night In-Birth: EXE Late[st], Dragon Ball FighterZ, Street Fighter 5, Injustice 2, Tekken 7, Soul Calibur 6, MVC Infinite, Fighting EX Layer, Blade Strangers, Granblue Fantasy Versus, Akatsuki Blitzkampf

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First Impression:

BlazBlue Cross Tag strikes me as a game that asks: "Hey, did you not play this earlier 2D fighting game and see what these characters do? Welly welly welly well, then why not try playing this new game! Also, buy all dis DLC!" 

After the story concluding in BlazBlue: Central Fiction, I was wondering if the BlazBlue series would "truly" teak a break. Somehow, I knew these spiky-haired anime dudes & dudettes wouldn't be gone for long. A crossover fighting game seems like the perfect way to keep BlazBlue relevant in a very very ultra-competitive fighting game climate.

I'm happy to see the return of Persona 4 Arena's cast along with UNIEL's... since I possibly enjoyed those games more than BlazBlue. On the flipside, I know nothing about RWBY (because it seems like a series I'm waaay too old for), so those characters are 100% new to me, along with Senran Kagura and... Arcana Hearts? What's that? :/ This game has so many girl characters now.

On the topic of paid DLC, Arc System Works confirmed 20 post-launch characters... which doubles the initial roster. This announcement only got tons of people raging, shitposting, and overreacting to DLC in video form for money, but the interesting thing is... they were talking about BBTAG. Isn't this what Arc System Works initially wanted? They're actually talking about the game. This is a competitive genre. Good strategy. Hopefully, fans find ASW's DLC prices to be fair and affordable. Could you imagine being a tournament organizer and having to make sure 10-20 systems have all the DLC characters? -_- 

On a side note... I'd like to see Guilty Gear characters is this to make it the ultimate ArcSys crossover. But since Xrd uses a completely different (3D) graphics engine, ArcSys would likely have to redraw brand new 2D Guilty Gear character sprites for GG characters to appear in the game. I must say, that kind of effort alone would be "attractive DLC". Otherwise, hardcore ASW fans will have to be happy purchasing existing characters years from now. In any case, the new 2D sprites for characters like Blitztank, the RWBY cast, etc. is cool to see... and easily the main reason to play this game.

Since MVC: Infinite flopped... I found it funny that BBTAG ended up being a sort of "rebound fling" for certain FGC players in need of their "anime high-flying / air-dash happy 2D fighter" fix. (Maybe because some of them don't know how to enjoy a more honest competitive 2D/3D fighting game?) Low blow... I kid. It's a joke. But it's probably true in some special cases.

It's also true that BBTAG is a bit mashy, clashy, floaty, loud, and "too anime" for my usual fighting game tastes... I like the sprites and the art, but where's the "oomph" and ouch factor? I don't want to mess up all their pretty anime hair. lol. I'll admit the game's got some heart, and I like the "idea" of an ArcSys crossover as a fan since GGX. Aesthetically, this game's box art / color scheme and menu visuals seems like it comes from a coloring book for 6-7 year olds. What's up with all these primary colors and boring menu screens? Why does this 2D fighting game hurt my eyes so much? This is not normal for an ArcSys game... that said, BBTag would greatly benefit from a visual UI overhaul. Unless it is trying to be a game for kids. 

Early Review? It seems like ArcSys took some shortcuts on this game's overall content, gameplay, and presentation... but the new 2019 DLC characters give the game more potential. I can see ArcSys continuing to evolve and add to this game into 2020 and beyond. BBTag might not have the "heart" shown in the original titles, but it's an entertaining dream match of sorts. Stay tuned for my eventual full review when 26 more DLC characters are added. ;) 
~TFG Webmaster

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