This one came out of nowhere for me.
Giving this one little attention up until a few weeks ago, I was wowed by the BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle beta for finding a seemingly warm balance between depth and accessibility. Granted, it doesn’t look nearly as good as Dragon Ball FighterZ or have the name brand roster like other heavy hitters in the genre, but that gameplay was so enjoyable that I poured many hours into the demo’s training mode alone just to squeeze out every last bit of fun I could from it.
Won’t be able to play any of it tonight, as I’ll be heading over to a concert right after work. However, for sure I’ll be playing it this week and you should be able to watch me play later this week on Twitch! Stay tuned!
Buy BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle Now From Amazon.com
Up until the release of Dragon Ball FighterZ, Arc System Works was the fighting game developer I wanted to love more than I actually did. Experts at making visually-luscious and mechanically-complex fighters, the former has gotten me to buy a number of their games, while the latter has caused me to push them away in short order. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place in this world for fighters with their level of depth, but it’s a bridge too far for me.
Maybe it was just the developer trying to cater to the Dragon Ball audience, but Dragon Ball FighterZ shows what Arc System Works can do when they attempt to tone down their core formula for something more accessible. While I think it went a smidgen too far with accessibility to the point where the game feels a bit too limiting in ways, it was the first of their games that I could really sink my teeth into and love on a deeper level.
It may be too much to assume that the impact of FighterZ influenced the development of BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, but based on my time with the beta on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, accessibility continues to be a focal point for the developer. At this pre-release juncture, I’m greatly enjoying what I’m seeing.
When it comes to comprehending the combo system in any given fighting game, I love using sentence structure as an analogy. Sentences in any language have a very particular rule-set that dictates how words can be arranged to make sense. When you have a mastery of that sentence structure, you no longer think about the rules; you just create sentences on the fly. Each fighting game is has its own unique sentence structure. And just like language, when you have a mastery of a game’s combo system, you’ll inherently know what series of inputs will string to form a combo.
A few months back, I picked up two fighting games on the same day: Persona 4 Arena, and King of Fighters XIII. While I am far from an expert at the former, I understand its ‘language’ enough to string together basic combos on my own. Even at this entry-level of skill, I’m having a lot of fun with it. The latter is a different story.
Arc System Works, and Atlus are poised to take the fighting game community by storm with their fighting game spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona franchise. Persona 4 Arena has already built up a ton of buzz in the community, and it would not surprise me in the least to see this game become a tournament staple over the next few months.
As someone who has 0 interest in the RPG, and as someone who has a history of sucking at Arc System Works’ previous fighting game efforts, I approached Persona 4 Arena with a bit of caution. Having just reviewed it for Splitkick, it’s good to know first-hand that my concerns did not come to fruition. If you want to read my full review for it, head over to Splitkick and check it out now!
Check out Persona 4 Arena: Review on Splitkick.com
Currently, I’m in the midst of reviewing Persona 4 Arena for Splitkick. Yes, I did end up caving, which should a surprise to no one. Though I have a clear idea of where I want to go with my review, I wanted to see how others approached reviewing this RPG/fighting game mash-up.
While the general consensus is positive, reviewers are coming at this game from wildly different perspectives. Sites like Shoryuken, and 1Up are putting most of their emphasis on the fighting game aspect of it, while others like Giant Bomb, and Joystiq are focused on how this progresses the franchise’s lore.
Over the past few months, Persona 4 Arena has been building a lot of buzz in the hardcore fighting game community. Created by the same team that brought us Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, the early word-on-the-street has been very positive. I have no prior experience with the Persona franchise, but I’m always interested in trying out a good fighting game.
I’m currently in the process of enjoying Trine 2. It’s a neat puzzle platformer that I don’t think will ever gain any sort of mainstream traction, but I’m glad that it exists. After putting in a few hours into it, I realized that the game was published by Atlus.