Worlds Collide in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

Capcom and Marvel might be the most well known crossover in tournament fighters but they’re far from being the only game in town. Arc System Works has proven themselves to be more than competent in the fighting game arena and their upcoming BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle will have four worlds collide. Characters from BlazBlue will find themselves paired up against pugilists from Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY, with the RWBY characters making their fighting game debut. The combination of different franchises coming together in this title was enough to capture our attention so we were pleased that we have the opportunity to spend some time with BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle prior to its launch next month.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle will eventually have a roster of forty characters thanks to the magic of DLC, but at launch the number will be a respectable twenty. The break of characters will be ten from Blazblue, four from Persona 4 Arena and Under Night In-Birth with just two characters from RWBY. As people who are familiar with titles from the various franchises are already aware, each of these different worlds falls under a different set of rules. How the different powers fit together will be interesting to be seen, but we may now finally get an answer to the burning question of whether someone using a Persona is powerful enough to defeat an In-Birth.

How exactly all the different worlds collided and why they can’t seem to get along is explained in Episode Mode. Early on the story seems a bit convoluted and not exactly the deepest narrative, but that’s not the reason most people would be interested in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle to begin with. The story serves mainly as an excuse to provide some sort of context for why the characters are teaming up to fight one another, but it does provide some entertainment in watching the characters react with great confusion to their current predicament.

Going beyond Episode Mode is the usual assortment of play options one would expect from a fighting game. There’s some training modes to get the hang of things, survival mode to see how long you can last against an endless stream of fights and online and offline multiplayer. The game mode selection and online lobby use the similar lobby format with chibi characters Arc System Works has used in some other games. To give some sense of individuality, there will be items for purchase in the offline library such as avatars and title plates among other cosmetic goodies.

As hinted at by the name, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is a two-on-two tag battle fighter that proudly displays the stunning 2D anime style visuals that we have come to expect from past titles in the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear franchise. Based on BlazBlue’s track record and the pedigree of franchises that are joining the fray, there are some high expectations set for this title. From the time that we’ve spent so far we are pleased to say that optimism is not unwarranted. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle will be released in Japan on May 31, the US on June 5 and Europe on June 22 for Switch, PC and PlayStation 4. More details about this title will be revealed in our upcoming review.