For a long time, I perceived fighting games by Arc System Works as being too complex for me. Initially drawn to their work by how amazing the BlazBlue games looked, my mind melted when I struggled to grasp the game’s intricacies. Guilty Gear games up to Xrd might as well have been rocket science. Love watching the pros play these games, but I have no clue where to being learning how to play.
Their penchant for designing characters that function wildly different from one another while layering on tons of system-level mechanics for fighters that were inpenetrable to me. Even now, after a decade of serious fighting game experience, it would take me a ton of work to just feel competent at any of legacy Guilty Gear or BlazBlue games.
In recent times, Arc System Works have gone a long way towards finding a better balance while also pushing the limits of anime-style graphics. Between their tireless efforts to improve (and Capcom’s well-documented struggles), I think that Arc System Works is the king of fighting game publishers right now.
For the past year or so, I’ve carried a bit of BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle guilt. When it first came out, I was enamored by its measured approach to anime-style tag-team combat. The mechanics give players a lot of room for creativity while also being more accessible than your average anime fighter. In an alternate reality, this game wouldn’t have fallen out of my rotation and I would have competed in a few tournaments by now.
Sometimes, it’s not your night. Sometimes, you just need any semblance of progress in order to not write off your experience as a complete bust. This is what I was going for in this last set of the night in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.
Anime worlds collide in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle! As with any fighting game, onboarding is going to be a bumpy ride. Even though this one has a lower barrier to entry, it’s also a niche fighter with a hardcore audience that can make the newcomer experience even tougher than most. If you’re tired of being shredded by Ruby and want to be the one slicing and dicing with her scythe, maybe this guide can get you off the ground floor! Continue reading →
Historically, my relationship with the BlazBlue franchise has been strained at best. Initially wowed by its visual splendor, its gameplay complexity was impenetrable to me. As they had done previously with the Guilty Gear franchise, they stacked character-specific mechanics on top of an already steep list of system-level mechanics onto BlazBlue, making for a game with an incredibly steep learning curve. Even now, as someone with almost a decade of serious fighting game experience under my belt, mainline BlazBlue is too much for me to handle.
When news of a BlazBlue tag-team spinoff arose, I didn’t bat an eyelid. Having been burned by the first two entries in the series, I wasn’t ready to try again. However, after having spent some time with the demo, I realized that this wasn’t the same type of BlazBlue game that didn’t work for me back then.