BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle Update
So in loosely following the updates regarding Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, I learned from the recently released trailers what characters will be on the roster and heard news from an interview on the game's development and mechanics.
I'll divide these up into sections addressing the announced characters thus far and the news of the game mechanics and development into two segments of this article, but aside from that let's go on with this!
The first group of announced characters
The first character announced is Jin Kisaragi, i.e the sword wielding cryokentic a-hole police officer of the BlazBlue series. I like his move set, but not his attitude, as he's a class A jerk. At least in BlazBlue Calamity Trigger anyway, and that seems to be maintained in Cross Tag Battle judging by his dialogue in the trailer.
Next was "Captain Resentment" himself, Yosuke Hanamura. A character I underestimated in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax given his laid back attitude, but going up against a few Yosuke players online showed me he's a force to be reckoned with. My own personal failures aside, it seems like his moves from Persona 4 Arena was maintained, though I can't speculate how easy it'll be to use since I'll have everything related to the controls in the next section.
Then there was Linne from UnderNight In Birth... I seriously need to play this game because all I can say is "she looks to have a nice move set." She also carries a dagger and what I'm guessing is a halberd. Going by the trailer, she uses the dagger for speed based close quarters combat and the halberd for heavier attacks and thus would imply that it's a last resort weapon.(Her flinging it about with a sense of speed during a super move not withstanding.)
This of course coupled with the fact that Ragna The BloodEdge from BlazBlue, Yu Nurakami from Persona 4 Arena, Hyde Kido from Under Night InBirth already being displayed in the announcement trailer at EVO.
Second batch of characters announced.
As of October 15th 2017, Rachael Alucard, Hazama, and Weiss Schnee were announced.
Rachel Alucard seems to have a lot of her combos and moves from Calamity Trigger. Though given that Jin displayed some moves undoubtedly seen in later games, I'm sure Rachel has some moves I have yet to see. She's a favorite of mine, so I can't wait to play her to see what's in store.
Next was Hazama who seemed to be a fast paced close quarters combat kind of character, utilizing serpents and dark energy. It's also implied that he has some far range techniques to keep opponents at bay, which I'm hoping is the case, despite not being good at that sort of thing.
And lastly is Weiss Schnee from RWBY. This unveiling made me giddy, as I am so glad that Ruby Rose won't be the only RWBY representative in the game. She seems to retain her swift swordsmanship, ice projectiles, and magical boost seals. I hope to that she also utilizes those colored dust capsules in her sword that allow her to utilize different elements. But so far like RWBY her move set seems to be based off of her techniques in the show. Which is a good sign.
Third Group Of Characters Announced...
And on October 20th, Best Girls Noel Vermillion, and Chie Satonaka were announced. And the only UnderNight In-Birth character announce since Linne, Waldstein... I'll get to Waldstein in a sec, as I want to cover my brief assessments of best girls Noel and Chie.
Starting with Noel, she seems to have acquired some new moves and combos, but after having uncovered her past and uncovered some abilities as "Nu-12."(Yeah, Noel's an android who had amnesia, it's a long story if you haven't played BlazBlue...) In playing Calamity Trigger, Noel was the easiest character for me to use as a button masher, and that seems to be the case now.(Of course I'll get to the game's accessibility when I cover what the developers had to say.) And like Rachel Alucard, Noel's another favorite of mine,(as if calling her "best girl" wasn't obvious enough) and I look forward to learning her moves.
Next is Chie. The first character I played as in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax which let me know that it was more accessible than BlazBlue Calamity Trigger. But I digress, as she seems to maintain her move set from Ultimax, which should be fun since I'm getting the hang of using her. Again I'll cover the accessibility of Cross Tag Battle where I talk about what the developers had to say, but if it's not clear I'm eager to try out Chie and Noel and compare them to my experiences with Calamity Trigger and Ultimax.
And lastly is Waldstein, which is apparently what you get when you mix Blanka, Akuma, and Hsien-ko together. No really that's my initial impression of him from the trailer. Waldstein's face puts me in mind of Akuma, his white mane and chest hair reminds me of Blanka, and the way he swings his claws in the trailer remind me of Hsien-ko.
Except he's bigger and slower than Hsien-Ko, and the has a few grabs implying that he's a grappler character. Which would explain his lack of speed because grappler characters tend to be slow. But Waldstein's peaked my interest as I wanna learn his back story, and if Hsien-ko did inspire his move set and design.
My only hope is that Waldstein, Hyde, and Linne aren't the only UnderNight InBirth representatives, because to have them outnumbered by the BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, and RWBY representatives could be bothersome.
Toshimichi Mori's words thus far and the controller layout
According to the game's producer Toshimichi Mori Tag Battle is built from scratch, because he wanted to make the game more accessible to a wider audience.
Now if playing Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is any indication, this could be a good thing. In Ultimax the controls are simple to where you can mash the square button on the PS3(the X button on the Xbox 360 controller) and do a simple string of combos. By pressing the forward button or moving your left analog stick forward while mashing the square button on the PS3 controller, you can pull off slightly more hard hitting combos.
Pressing two buttons like the X and circle button at the time can result in using a reversal(which I have yet to master.) and moving the right analog stick results in a special move.
According to Mori there will be a single button for reversal, which might be fine. It'd be easy for me to pull off, but hopefully there's a counter consequence to that. What I mean is when playing against other players it's hard for me to pull off a reversal because I don't time it right to where by the time I press the buttons, my opponent is already on me wailing me with combos. In short, I don't want pulling a reversal to be so easy you can pull it off even when you're getting pummeled, because as I said in my hub about my preference for fighting game accessibility, I like to learn and improve in order to have fun.
But as for the specifics of the button layout it's a five button layout being the A button(square on the PS3/4 controller and X for the 360/X Box One, and Nintendo Switch controllers) B button(triangle button on PS3/4 controller and Y 360/X-box One and Nintendo Switch controllers) C button(circle on the PS3/4 controllers B button on the 360/X-box One controllers and A button on the Nintendo Switch), Tag button(the X button on the PS3/4, A button on the 360/X Box One controllers, and B button on the Nintendo Switch), and Assist button( which is the right shoulder button on the PS3/4 controller, right trigger on the 360/X Box One controllers, and I don't know about the Switch).
The reversal apparently is the same as in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, which for me as a Playstation Owner is the square and X buttons, meaning timing will need to be crucial. Push guard is the reversal buttons along with down and back on the directional pads, which sounds more complicated than accessible for casual players in my opinion. Super moves however are executed easily with pressing B and C and two quarter circles forward on the left analog stick. Actually that sounds complicated. I can pull it off sure, but this game was said to be accessible to non competitive players, so again I'm failing to see the accessibility. Lastly is the cross burst is executed by pressing the tag and assist buttons. What it is, is breaking an opponent's combo by falling out of the combo while your partner swoops in with an invincibility attack for the save. It does cost you all of your cross meter, meaning you can't do any assists until you fill it back up. I like this because that means players will have to be smart with how they counter their opponents who get them caught up in combo strings.
From what I've heard you can do simple combo strings with the A button route and B button route. Meaning much like Persona 4 Arena Ultimax mashing the A button or B button(it varies from character to character really) can allow you to execute simple combo strings. Which is nice, because that means non-competitive players can play this game on easy mode and go through the story mode just fine.
Then there are three assist moves executed by pressing the assist button alone, or with the back or forward buttons. These cause the assisting characters to execute any one of three assist moves unique to each character. It also doesn't cost the cross meter unless you perform a combo or do it in the middle of pressure.
Then you've got cross combos which can be performed by pressing the assist button twice and holding it on the second press. This allows you partner to appear and help you in performing attacks until the cross meter runs out.
So yeah this does sound rather accessible, so with some good marketing, it should sell. Especially since Mori and crew haven't made Capcom's mistake of considering their roster as mere functions, I don't think I need to worry.