“Actually Good Anime Fighters Paradise ” is a nice alternative title for this game.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is one of the best anime tag fighters in existence. Period.

I’ve been a fighting games fan for God knows how long. I’ve played the famous ones, the not-so-famous ones and even the super obscure ones (yeah, Critical Blow and Psychic Force, I’m looking at both of you). There’s a category, however, that always brings a little controversy to the whole fighting game genre: anime fighters.

You read me right. The unfair – unbalanced, crazy-ass, full of infinite combo loops, anime fighters.

The thing is: People tend to instantly judge an anime fighter just because it is an anime fighter and, generally, end up not giving a chance to the damn game. I was like that with one my favorite fighting games – nay, gaming franchises – of all time, Guilty Gear.

Why is BBCTB so good?

For starters, it’s kind of well balanced and, normally, balancing is a big issue on these games. The roster is comprised of characters from four different universes: BlazBlue, Under Night In-Birth, Persona 4 Arena and RoosterTeeth’s RWBY; and they tear the freak out of each other in a very well executed, fast-paced and deliciously chaotic anime fighter.

It bears a simple, cliche-ish, but functional backstory shown us in the most Japanese form of storytelling: Visual novels. For that, the game’s narrative value is ok, at best. But I feel that taking it in consideration on the final evaluation would be very unfair to this game, so, I’ll leave it out for the time being.

The presentation is pretty nice. Yeah, those are compiled sprites from other games that were put together into one big anime-fighter flavored pie, but there was some work done on such sprites, as scaling and new animations ─ being the RWBY girls the exception here, of course. They’re so well animated and put together and, surprisingly, fitting. And the soundtrack is just like the whole idea of this game: A big mash of all the soundtracks (adding some remixes for this game only) from the respective universes. But, let’s assume that you never played any of these games: you get all the old chiptuned rock/metal (reminded me Darkstalkers a lot) from Under Night, the Power metal from BlazBlue, the nice jazzy-rocky style from P4A and the punk rock vibe from RWBY. Frequently, you’ll find banging to those songs even if you’re not into those genres. blazblue cross tag battle screenshot 5 1

Isn’t big, but neither is small. Again, fitting. There’s another thing, very small, but it’s such a nice detail that I think it’s worth of note: the navigation. Instead of your default menu navigation, in BBCTB you use and actual chibi-version of ANY character from the game that walks on a plaza-like area. From there, you talk to NPCs that represent each option. Although not entirely new (we’ve seen that on Dragon Ball FighterZ), it’s a nice touch and a refreshing detail on those games. And, if you’re feeling cranking and old-styled, you can quickly bring a boring menu up on the screen.

But I guess the important part here is how mechanically awesome is this game, right? Although it falls into the “oversimplification” tendency that is showing up on fighting games, it feels so good and precise that I’ve overlooked this particularity in different occasions. There are five actual buttons in game: Light and Heavy attacks ─ which have autocombos as you press it a given number of times;  Clash (an autocombo that your tag partner tags in and helps you), Tag and Assist. That’s it. No button combos to tag your partner or anything like that. And the restrictions are soft too. In contrast to other tag fighters, like Marvel vs. Capcom where you have to choose between tagging or assisting, BBCTB offers you the opportunity to transform the battle stage in a living hell, with singled-pressed buttons to tag, even if your partner is executing his assist move! And the other specific mechanics, such as the Resonance Blaze (powered-up revenge mechanic), the delayed Distortion Moves (your hypers), countering with an assist attack and even the Astral Finishers (one hit kill moves) that BlazBlue is famous for. Everything is here and put in a way that is fun to do or to see. Perhaps that will keep some newcomers away, since sometimes I felt that too much was happening on the screen at the same time, but it’s so fun and the simplicity really helps to build up many layers of possibility on how to tackle a match. Also totally worth of note, the online netcode runs pretty smoothly. I’m currently based in Brazil and I was able to get some good matches around the world, with an acceptable frame delay.blazblue cross tag battle screenshot 6

All in all, this is a pretty decent and competent game. Although the entire thematic can be a bit cringy to people that are not used to or into, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle deserves all the love it can get. Its lightning-fast paced action and the not-dumb-at-all simplicity help to create a very fun game to play, with a diverse cast of characters and gameplay.





Total – 8,5