Fans of Anime-styled fighting games have been frothing at the mouth for a Blazblue crossover game for quite a while. Arc System Works, the developers behind Blazblue Crosstag Battle have a multitude of other games that they’ve developed and Crosstag Battle is a fan’s dream come true.
Arc System Works have created a game where the world’s of Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth EXE and surprisingly, RWBY, have collided. Ragna the Bloodedge from the Blazblue universe is mysteriously teleported into an alternate world along with numerous others from their respective games. In this alternate world, a computer voice calls all the shots and enforces a tag tournament battle rule, pitting 2 characters from each franchise against 2 from another for each encounter. This does get mixed up along the way though and often there’s battles involving Blazblue characters along with Persona characters or Under Night In-Birth characters teaming up and vice versa.
The game’s storyline may be about as generic as they come with a crossover world “Tournament” taking place in the alternate world with a mysterious Keystone being the plot device to drive things forward. However, since this is an Arc System Works title, things are never as they seem at first. The visual novel-esque episodic storyline is incredibly enjoyable and there are genuinely funny crossover conversations and interactions between characters. This isn’t limited to the story mode. Even in battles themselves, characters can have conversations with each other at the start of battles or while pulling off tag team combos with each other. Small things like this shows that a lot of effort has been put into making this title as enjoyable as it can be for fans of these franchises.
The actual gameplay is just about what you’d expect from an Arc System Work’s title. If you’ve played a previous Blazblue game, you’d understand the mechanics behind the combo system used. Combos are fast and frantic and the game still makes use of a Distortion “Drive”-esque special attack system. Characters each have a unique Astral Finish much like in previous Blazblue games and while being near impossible to pull off without having enough skill to do so, they are immensely satisfying to see in action. The game’s combat system feels familiar enough to keep fans satisfied yet also introduces its own unique mechanics to keep things fresh. Blazblue Crosstag Battle will keep even the most hardcore of fighting game fans happy with it’s gameplay. Newcomers however will have to spend some time in the tutorials and practice mode to get to grips with how to pull off specific combos and attacks.
Outside of the battles, the character roster is somewhat lacklustre. Blazblue characters feature en-masse at first but the other franchises have their characters locked out. When players eventually do unlock everyone, there still seems to be a somewhat lacking roster in the end and this is an obvious ploy to sell more characters as DLC at a later stage. What makes things worse is the fact that some characters seen in the Story Mode at the time of writing this review, have not been released for use by players in the game as of yet. This makes their inclusion in their unfinished unfinalized and unbalanced form rather questionable.
Graphically, Blazblue Crosstag Battle is about as beautiful as it gets. The visual novel background segments are not as gorgeous as a full Blazblue or Persona title but the character portraits and the in-game graphics are a visual feast for the eyes. Combo attacks and tag team specials are fantastically flashy and the special attacks are just as good. Additionally, Arc System Works have opted for a chibi lobby system that seems very similar to DragonBall Xenoverse’s lobby world. While this isn’t annoying or a hindrance, it’s a break away from the usual easy to access Blazblue menus and some people may find this slightly gimmicky. Thankfully though, you can just as easily open up the menus and access everything necessary from one screen should you not want to run around aimlessly in a lobby world.
The soundtrack for the game makes uses of music from all 4 titles it features along with remixes which are specific for the crossover battles. The OST is outstanding to be quite honest and fighting game fans are in for an auditory treat. Blazblue Crosstag Battle has done an exceptional job in the voice acting department too with both English and Japanese voice acting being top notch.
Overall, Blazblue Crosstag Battle is a game that serves as pure fanservice to fans of the franchises it features as well as pure unadulterated fighting game fun. Even if you’re only familiar with one franchise in the title, the game will still be an absolute treat to play if you’re into fighting games. Arc System Works may have dropped the ball a bit with regards to the full character roster but even as it currently stands, the game is so enjoyable that there isn’t much to complain about apart from this. If you want a fun, fast paced, visually stunning fighting game, Blazblue Crosstag Battle will keep you busy for hours on end.