BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle[a] is a 2D crossover fighting game developed and published by Arc System Works, released on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows. The game features characters from different franchises, including BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY, by Arc System Works, Atlus, French Bread and Rooster Teeth respectively. After the game was released, characters from Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura and Akatsuki Blitzkampf, developed by Team Arcana (formerly co-owned with its parent company Examu), Marvelous and SUBTLE STYLE respectively, have been added to the game as downloadable content (DLC). An arcade version was released in 2019.
|BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle|
Limited edition boxart, featuring (clockwise from top) Ruby, Yu, Ragna and Hyde
|Developer(s)||Arc System Works|
The game received mostly positive reviews, with praise for the visuals, music, online functionality and mechanics. However, it was criticised for lack of overall content at launch, as well as its DLC practices.
A singularity called the "Phantom Field" is mixing the reality of BlazBlue with other four universes. Members of these worlds are abruptly summoned while instructed by a "Phantom Field", the mysterious voice itself, that they must protect the "Keystone" in order to return to home separately. When the Keystone divides into four fragments for each group, it results in a battle to acquire them. In the second storyline, it continues from certain episodes revolving around a critical situation accidentally caused by Hazama, which unintentionally causes the "Phantom Field" to not hold up the unexpected situation, which is why they set up a stamp collecting contest for every participant in different universes (including three) and as part of a temporary truce. They need to solve the problem and stop a dangerous outcome from ending the multiverse by finding primary candidates.
The gameplay in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle differs from previous entries of BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, Arcana Heart and Akatsuki Blitzkampf, including the crossover game Nitroplus Blasterz due to the inclusion of both Arcana Heart and Senran Kagura’s representatives. Cross Tag Battle features 2v2 battles and tag-ins similar to Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
The game started out with forty characters, the first twenty in the base game and the second ones available as Season 1 DLC. On June 7, 2018, Minoru Kidooka confirmed that Season 2 DLC has been planned, starting from Arcade Edition in April 2019, and released in May 2019. Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long were each scheduled to be downloadable content available for free, with other remaining characters available for premium. In the PC version's release, Blake was available at launch as the 21st base character, while Yang was added via update patch at her release date, leaving only eighteen characters of Season 1 DLC. The first set of Season 2 DLC was announced during Evo Japan 2019, with Arcana Heart being added as a fifth franchise that were foreshadowed in Evo 2018, as well as a sixth fate being announced. Naoto Kurogane, Teddie, Seth the Assassin and Heart Aino, were added to Season 2 DLC for free at the launch of the arcade version and as paid content during the release of the console version's 1.5 patch (or for free if consumers have the All-in-One pass). At Evo 2019, the full version of Season 2, the Special Edition, would be announced to include battle changes, new story content, and the inclusion of new characters, Celica A. Mercury, Susano'o , Elizabeth, Tohru Adachi, Hilda the Paradox and Neo Politan. On November 21, 2019, Yumi from Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki and Blitztank from Akatsuki Blitzkampf were added as playable characters.
|BlazBlue||Persona 4 Arena||Under Night In-Birth||RWBY||Arcana Heart||Senran Kagura||Akatsuki Blitzkampf|
- †(number) Downloadable content character + which Season they first appear
- ‡ Free downloadable content character
In a 2016 interview with Forbes, Toshimichi Mori revealed his interest in making a RWBY fighting game, which attracted Rooster Teeth. Before the game was released, Rooster Teeth teased the possibility of a RWBY fighting game being revealed at Evo 2017 on their Twitter account.
On July 16, 2017, the game was announced at the Evo 2017 championships following Ryusei Ito's victory in BlazBlue: Central Fiction. Ragna the Bloodedge, Jin Kisaragi, Yu Narukami, Hyde Kido and Ruby Rose were revealed to be in the game via the announcement trailer. Later, it was announced that Konomi Higuchi would be the game's lead character designer. According to Mori, Cross Tag Battle was designed for home consoles, though an arcade version was later announced.
The sprites of Under Night In-Birth cast were slightly redrawn for Cross Tag Battle to match the visual style of BlazBlue. As the BlazBlue, Persona and Under Night characters mostly reuse the pre-existing sprites, resized to mesh well with the 1080p resolution gameplay, Arcana Heart and Akatsuki Blitzkampf are the only older fighting game series to have their sprites visibly redrawn by their home company Team Arcana (formerly co-owned with Examu) and SUBTLE STYLE (under collaboration with French Bread) respectively willingly since Heart's inclusion in a licensed fighting game crossover Nitroplus Blasterz and Akatsuki's inclusion for Under Night In-Birth, excluding Blitztank, whose art-style drawn differently by Arc System Works as RWBY and Senran Kagura casts.
According to the producer, the game's targeted userbase is non-Japanese players. Accordingly, Cross Tag Battle is the first BlazBlue game since Chrono Phantasma to be dubbed into English, with an option to toggle between English and Japanese voices on a by-character basis. The arcade port features support for USB controllers.
After the game was launched, Arc System Works revealed a teaser trailer for a fifth franchise to be included, later revealed to be Arcana Heart at EVO Japan 2019. The sixth and seventh franchises, Senran Kagura and Akatsuki Blitzkampf, were revealed at EVO 2019.
The game received mostly positive reviews, with praise for visuals, music, online functionality and game mechanics, but criticism of its lack of overall content at launch and its downloadable content (DLC) practices. Famitsu awarded it a score of 35/40.
Before release, Arc System Works announced that there would be twenty paid downloadable content (DLC) characters for the game for its first season, resulting in Cross Tag Battle launching with only half of its planned roster at 20. This caused backlash from fans, with the arguments that the game mostly reuses assets from earlier Arc System Works fighting games, and that half of Team RWBY would be sold separately. In response, Mori announced that Blake and Yang would be released free of charge. In addition, he stated that costs for the DLC characters would not exceed that of the game's base retail cost.
In the first week, the game sold around 16,000 copies, between the PS4 and Switch platforms.
The game was nominated for "Best Fighting Game" at The Game Awards 2018, for "Fan Favorite Fighting Game" at the Gamers' Choice Awards, for "Best Fighting Game" at the Titanium Awards, for the Raging Bull Award for Best Fighting Game at the New York Game Awards, and for "Fighting Game of the Year" at the D.I.C.E. Awards.
- BureiBurū Kurosu Taggu Batoru (Japanese: ブレイブルー クロスタッグバトル) in Japanese
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