New Game Review

Review – BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle (PS4)

Cross Greed Battle

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is one of the most niche-oriented fighting games I’ve played in years. Despite having a little bit of a track record with the BlazBlue franchise on both PC and Vita, as well as having played Persona 4 back in the day, it truly is a game that makes people feel like fish out of water if they have little to no knowledge about the fighting franchises included in the disc. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t have their fair share of fun with its easy controls and fun gameplay.

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Go, Sensei!!!!

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is a mashup of four different game rosters in one: ten fighters from the BlazBlue series, the four main characters from Persona 4 in their Arena iterations, four characters from Under Night In-Birth, and two characters from RWBY, as well as a crapton of DLC characters from all of these franchises (more about that later). Unlike other fighting games from Arc System Works, Cross Tag Battle can be easily seen as a game catered at a less experienced fighting audience, due to its extremely simplified combat system. Gone are complicated special moves, gone are complex combos: Cross Tag Battle utilizes very few buttons as well as simple and standardized prompts for special attacks, not unlike a Super Smash Bros game when you think about it.

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I have no idea what’s going on

The battles are simple, fast-paced and very energetic. Despite the clearly inferior visuals when you compare it to Guilty Gear or Dragon Ball FighterZ, Cross Tag Battle retains the signature high-octane feel from other Arc System Works games. The fact the soundtrack is awesome clearly helps, especially when you choose to play a match to the sound of Persona 4‘s fantastic soundtrack. I wasn’t much a fan of that game back when I played it on the Vita, but I’d be a tremendous hypocrite if I said I didn’t like that phenomenal soundtrack.

I’ve praised the game quite a lot so far, but BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is far from a perfect fighting game. In fact, when comparing it to Arc’s other fighting games, this is one of the more disappointing ones, and that can be perfectly highlighted when it comes to the amount of content that the game offers in-disc. You have your typical online modes, as well as local multiplayer, but there’s no arcade mode. There are four “story modes”, one for each franchise included in the game, but they’re nothing more than static character images offloading a TON of dialogue to each other, all while you play a match or two every now and then.

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Definitely not amused

The biggest offense here, however, lies on the game’s DLC practices. As previously mentioned, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle features twenty characters, half of those being BlazBlue returnees. There are only four Persona characters, for instance, as well as only two characters from RWBY. Meanwhile, the game features twenty downloadable characters. TWENTY. Eighteen if you only count the paid ones. That’s for the first DLC season alone. Holy freaking moly Arc System Works, are you kidding me? Full game price for half of the roster? I really don’t understand these practices; not only does the game feature a nonsensical amount of planned DLC, but there’s also the fact they’re just reused assets from previous fighting games, with nothing new being brought to the table. We are being charged more than 60 bucks (if you want the “full experience”) for something that had already been previously released.

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Gingersona

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is a good fighting game, without a doubt, but I surely expected a lot more from an Arc System Works title. Its excessive focus on DLC and subpar single player modes severely tarnish what could have been a much better fighting alternative for the PS4, especially since its simplified control scheme is a welcoming way to introduce newcomers to the franchises included in this disc. As of now, getting any Guilty Gear game for the PS4 is a much better (and cheaper) option.

Graphics: 6.5

The game opts for a more sprite-oriented visual character design, unlike other Arc System titles. They don’t look as good as Guilty Gear or FighterZ, for instance.

Gameplay: 8.5

An extremely simplified control scheme that uses very few buttons. Excellent for newcomers, a bit underwhelming for those looking for a more complex fighter.

Sound: 9.5

Great music extracted from each standalone game. The Persona 4 soundtrack, as expected, is the highlight.

Fun Factor: 6.0

The game’s simple and accessible combat is fun, but the game is hindered by subpar single-player modes and an excessive amount of DLC.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Also available on: Switch

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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