No need for escape, this game’s fate is great.
My experience with tag-team fighting games has always been positive. From the quick, streamlined fighting style to the million things going on at once, the genre is so frenetic and fun, it’s hard to pass up any title. Arc System Works’ BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle has all of this in spades. It’ll take time to get really good if you are unfamiliar with the series, but the fast-paced action and humor make it an excellent fighting title.
Gameplay wise, Cross Tag Battle focuses exclusively on tag-team fighting. The Y and X buttons are for attacking, the A button is for special moves with your tag partner, and the B button tags you and your partner in and out. Much like in Marvel vs. Capcom, you can press the R button to have your tag partner come in to unleash extra damage as an assist character. It’s very streamlined and easy to get into after a few battles. Of course, there are deeper mechanisms within the gameplay that will take time to master for expert fighting enthusiasts, but it’s easy to pick up and play for casual fighting game fans too.
Cross Tag Battle has both online and offline features. There are the usual single player experiences like survival and training, as well as a tactics mode that helps explain all of the fighting mechanics. Episode mode has individual stories for each of the series represented: Persona 4 Arena, BlazBlue, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY.
All four episodes revolve around the same story: characters are taken from their individual worlds and are transferred to a world that is constantly narrated by a being who has a really keen interest in making them all fight. Characters are tasked to guard a keystone which, if they successfully take to the goal, will allow them to go back to their own world.
For someone like me who is unfamiliar with most of these series, it’s easy to feel left out. There was many a time in this mode where two characters interacted with one another to the point where I didn't care since I didn’t know the characters or the backstory. For fans of these franchises, it won’t be a problem at all, and this mode was probably designed more for you than for me. But if you’re new to any of these titles, you can get lost pretty quickly. Despite this, the story mode’s humor and charming characters do make up for the confusion.
Online play is pretty standard. I had zero problems finding a ranked match and getting my butt kicked. Lag was never a factor in the butt kicking, either (unfortunately for me), as Cross Tag Battle’s streaming was perfect -- aside from pre-match introductions, there was absolutely zero lag throughout my entire online experience. There are also lobbies where your avatars can meet and communicate with other players for casual play through stickers and text. It doesn’t make up for the lack of voice chat, but it's still a decent way of communicating with other players, especially if they’re from another country.
I ended up really liking BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle. The hectic gameplay, cool visuals and robust offline and online experiences make it one of the better fighters out on the Switch right now. It’s easy to get lost if you’re diving headfirst into the series, and to be really good probably takes a lot of practice. But it captures everything that makes tag battle games fun and delivers in one visually striking package.