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 initially features characters from the BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY franchises by Arc System Works, Atlus, French Bread, and Rooster Teeth respectively. Since release, characters from the Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf franchises, developed by 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 its visuals, music, online functionality, and game mechanics. However, it was criticised for its 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 the other chosen unseen universes. Members of those 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 their homes. But as the Keystone is divided into more than one fragments among the groups, it results in a battle to acquire them.
In Season 2 storyline, it continues from certain BlazBlue episode revolving around a critical situation accidentally caused by Hazama and the "Phantom Field", which is why they set up a stamp collecting contest for each selected participants from certain chosen universes as part of temporary truce, so one of them can solve the problems and stop a dangerous outcome that will end entire universes and beyond.
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. Cross Tag Battle features 2v2 battles and tag-ins similar to Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Cross Tag Battle initially started out with 40 characters, 20 in the base game and another 20 available as Season 1 DLC. On June 7, 2018, Arc System Works president Minoru Kidooka confirmed that Season 2 DLC has been planned, starting from Arcade Edition in late April, 2019 then released at mid-May, 2019. Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long were each scheduled to be downloadable content available for free, with the remaining 18 characters available for a premium. In the PC version's release, Blake was made available at launch as the 21st base character, while Yang was added via update patch at her release date, leaving only 18 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 start off the 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 and Yūki Terumi (Susano'o) from BlazBlue, Elizabeth and Tohru Adachi from Persona, Hilda the Paradox from Under Night In-Birth and Neo Politan from RWBY, as well as new franchises Senran Kagura and Akatsuki Blitzkampf, with respective characters so far including Yumi, Akatsuki and Blitztank respectively as part of the starting full roster on November 21, 2019.
|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
On July 16, 2017, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle 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 game director Toshimichi 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 Examu and Subtle Style respectively willingly since Heart's inclusion in Examu's licensed fighting game crossover Nitroplus Blasterz and Akatsuki's inclusion in French Bread's Under Night In-Birth series.
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.
Shortly after the game 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.
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle received mostly positive reviews, with praise directed towards its visuals, music, online functionality, and game mechanics. However, heavy criticism was directed towards its lack of overall content at launch, as well as 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, Cross Tag Battle 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.
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