Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle
Publisher: Arc System Works
Developer: Arc System Works
Platforms: Switch, PC, PS4
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle is the latest 2D fighter from Arc System Works, following on from their work on Dragonball FighterZ. Cross Tag Battle is a crossover between a wide variety of series that Arc System Works has handled or had a part in with past projects such as Blazblue itself and Persona 4 Arena, as well as completely new IP to fighting games, RWBY. Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle is coming to PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch in the west on June 5, 2018.
Presumably beginning development about the same time as Dragonball FighterZ, Arc System Works brought Toshimichi Mori on board to direct the game and Konomi Higuchi as the character designer. Though many assets for the game were able to be reused, such as character sprites for Blazblue, and Persona 4 Arena, there was tweaking to be done to make the game look cohesive, such as altering the Under Night In-Birth fighters slightly, as well as the addition of the four core RWBY fighters. There are no plans under consideration to introduce more series, such as Guilty Gear or Dragonball FighterZ. Likely because those visuals would be harder to implement and basically be like creating a whole new character.
According to the producer of the game and revealed during a livestream later on, Blazeblue: Cross Tag Battle is being targeted to a more worldwide audience. This decision had two major impacts on the title, first it influenced Arc System Works to implement an English dub in the game for the first time in the Blazblue series since Chrono Phantasma. While it was originally planned to be just for the American native RWBY characters, it was eventually expanded to the entire roster. Players will have the option to toggle characters between English and Japanese on a character by character basis. Secondly, the game would be launching on consoles and PCs exclusively, skipping the usual arcade testing period that many Japanese fighting games see while they tweak the balance. This was done to make the playing field even worldwide, and not offer Japanese players a huge head start.
Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle was revealed to the world during Evo 2017 following the finals to Blazblue: Central Fiction, where Ryusei Ito secured victory. The reveal trailer showed off the central series that would make up the crossover, with Ragna the Bloodedge and Jin Kisaragi representing Blazblue, Hyde Kido bringing Under Night In-Birth to the table, Yu Narukami for Persona 4 Arena and lastly, Ruby Rose brought Rooster Teeth’s RWBY to the game. These would just be the first of many introductory trailers that brought more characters from these central series to the game.
In January 2018, there was a controversy surrounding the game when Arc System Works announced that roughly half the total roster of fighters would be paid DLC. The base game only including half of the planned fighters at launch earned the ire of the fighting game community, who reasoned that much of the assets were simply lifted from previous games and that Arc System Works was getting greedy. Of particular distain was that RWBY fighters Blake and Yang were a part of those DLC plans, keeping players from uniting the entire team RWBY in game without paying.
In response to the backlash, Mori announced during the EVO 2018 Lineup announcement stream that Blake and Yang would be downloadable free of charge, completing team RWBY for all players. Furthermore, it was stated that the entire roster could be completed for no more than the cost of a regular retail title, which seemed to calm the fanbase.
Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle includes an episode mode which was announced on March 30 2018 through a Japanese trailer. The original story is split into four episodes, one for each of the properties attached to the game.
Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle features a tag team 2 V 2 style, with the player tagging each of their characters in and out to adapt to the match and continue combos, similar to DragonBall FighterZ. The mechanics of the title are heavily based on Blazblue, but mix in new functions relating to the different series and alter them slightly to fit into the tag based gameplay. There are five button inputs that lead to attacks, with auto-combos activated through the usual buttons.
Episode Mode puts players through an original story, where the universe of their selected character will take centre stage. These episodes intersect with each other and tell a complete story once finished. The characters are all brought into the Phantom Field and forced to compete within a survival tag battle to win their freedom.
Other modes besides the Episode Mode include the standard modes to be expected from a fighting game, and are mostly similar to Arc System Works efforts on Dragonball FighterZ. Training and Tactics modes offer players the chance to practice their skills on a dummy foe, learn the ropes of the game and practice specific combo challenges. Survival mode pits the player against harder and harder CPU opponents for as long as the player can manage.
Online mode is most directly modelled after DragonBall FighterZ, with players dropped into a lobby as chibi sized and stylized avatars, where they can then decide to hang out, engage in casual or ranked lobbies, or set up room matches. This could almost be considered the central mode of the game, since the Episode Mode isn’t exactly a canon story, and is more there for some single player content.
Gallery mode allows players to view unlocked scenes and character art, while replay theatre allows for the viewing and playback of past matches if saved.
Of the four properties represented in Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle, Blazblue itself obviously has the most representatives. Ten Blazblue characters are included in the base game, making up half of the base roster, comprising of Ragna the Bloodedge, Jin Kisaragi, Rachel Alucard, Noel Vermillion, Azrael, Iron Tager, Makoto Nanaya, Nu-13, and Es. Two more have already been announced as DLC, Platinum the Trinity and Jubei.
The core of the Persona 4 Investigation Team is sucked into the Phantom Field during the events of the game, and all maintain the dual character mechanics central to Persona 4 Arena and battle with their matching Persona as seen in that game. Yu Narukami and Izanagi, Yosuke Hanamura and Jiriya, Chie Satonaka and Tomoe, and Yukiko Amagi and Konohana Sakuya all fill out the base roster, while Kanji Tatsumi and Take-Mikazuchi and Persona 3’s Aigis and Athena will join as DLC.
Representing Under Night In-Birth, Hyde, Linne, Waldstein, and Gordeau are on the main roster and Orie and Carmine join as DLC. They bring their tactical stylings with them from their original game. Finally, from Rooster Teeth’s RWBY, team RWBY brings the four Huntresses to their first fighting game in Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle. Ruby Rose and Weiss Schnee are included in the base roster, while Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long are offered as free DLC for the game.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.