Tag Archive

Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle | Review (Nintendo Switch)

Posted on July 2, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

ARC Systemwork’s latest multiplatform fighting game is a dream matchup more than half a decade in the making as the cast of ARC’s Blazblue square off against the protagonists of Persona 4: Ultimax. Joining the fray as well are several fighters from Ecole Software’s Under Night: Rebirth series.  As if borrowing characters from the developer of Melty Blood wasn’t enough of a reason to be paying attention to Blazblue Cross Tag Team Battle, Team RWBY from Rooster Teeth’s multi-season animated action show join the cast to round out a roster that spans more than 40 characters.  


At its core Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle is a 2 Vs 2 fighting game that utilizes flashy finishers, character specific special moves, assists and timely character swaps, not unlike the Marvel Vs Capcom franchise. Merging together three existing fighting franchises (each well known for their signature mechanics) together and incorporating RBWY characters while making the whole package feel cohesive might sound like an impossible task. Rather than merge mechanics from Blazblue, Persona and Under Night franchises into the basic systems – ARC Systemwork’s decided to start with a simple easy to understand base and build from there. Characters (generally speaking) will share a common set of input commands for their special moves, counters and basic attacks. Blazblue Cross Tag Battle is also incredibly new player friendly thanks to the Auto Combo system – by simply pressing either the A or B buttons in succession (A + A +A or B + B +B for example) the game will perform preset combos for you. Similarly, Distortion Finishes and EX Moves also share a pool of input commands that make it approach to try out different team combinations without having to master all of the nuance first. Players looking to turn the tide in battle can also hold down the C button to launch a brand-new type of attack – the cross attack – where both team members jump on screen and hit their opponent for a good chunk of damage. All of these mechanics come together to form the basis of a fighting system that is extremely beginner friendly while still offering the depth and fighting game aficionados demand. 

Where nuance starts to show is with the characters themselves rather than the base system. Each franchise has slightly unique gameplay alterations that change-up how they are played. Blazblue fighters handle pretty much identical to their their Central Fiction counterparts, so if you’ve played that title or any of the previous Blazblue games you should feel right at home with Ragna, Makoto, Noel and crew. Yukiko, Yue, Chie and the rest of the Persona crew are able to call their series’ iconic personality manifestations forward to aid them in battle. Persona’s generally come in for a second or two to deal damage but in one specific case heal your opponent. Unlike the Persona Summons in Ultimax, the ones in Cross Tag Battle can actually be destroyed. Unlike their colleagues, Under Night In Birth characters’ combos work a little differently than the others. Rather than using moves of the same type (A + A +A), Linne and company are able to freely swap between light, heavy and even sweep attacks while maintaining their combos. 


Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle has a lot to offer folks like myself who prefer to play their fighting games offline. While yes, ranked online play is present and very much alive on Nintendo Switch, it was not the focus of my three weeks with the game. A four chapter long single player campaign is available right from the start. Not counting the prologue each one comes in at about an hour and a half – complete with visual novel style dialogue sections, animated portraits and fantastic voice work. Once you’ve mastered the single player campaign there’s also your standard VS mode with multiple difficulty levels (although adjustable difficulty levels being hidden in the options menu is a bit of a crime). Those looking for a more traditional arcade experience will probably enjoy the challenge of Survival Mode as it comes the closest to scratching that particular itch. Also of note is Cross Tag Battle’s training mode that doesn’t just include the basics than throw you to the wolves – advanced tactics, counters and nuance are taught in the later tutorials and anyone who wants to get serious about BBCTB should check it out. 

I’ve enjoyed my time with Blazblue Cross Tag Battle – everything from the sprite work to the remixed music tracks absolutely feel like they belong in their respective franchises. With well-known voice actors coming into reprise their characters – and the voice cast of RWBY joining in, the whole thing feels lovingly crafted. Mechanically speaking Cross Tag is very deep while still being approachable. I also felt like my time was respected as everything you do from online matches to training to just playing around in training earns you in-game currency which can be spent on unlocking alternate colors, customization character cards and concept art. 






Posted on July 17, 2017 by Les Major

Out of the games shown prior to the launch of Nintendo’s new Switch console, Arms stood out as one that really surprised me. The controls were a lot more stable than things like the old Wii Sports boxing that came with their first motion controller system. Not only that but the JoyCons give a different feel to fighting with the Wiimote and nunchuck. Instead, you have a joystick at the ready for menu options, and can press one of the top bumpers to accept your options. That and holding a JoyCon in each fist to punch feels natural. The bumpers at the top work for jump and dash, while the triggers can activate your hyper attack mode when your power level is full. Each JoyCon is held facing the other, so your thumbs sit on the triggers themselves. It’s actually very comfortable and quite satisfying.

That’s not the only way to control the game of course. You can use the JoyCons docked in the holder for a regular control feel and overall use them in the various combinations to play without motion controls. Interestingly you can actually hand a friend a JoyCon as well and play the game two player in that way.

Arms at it’s core is a fighting game through and through. It feels a lot like it is more with the multitude of characters with bright variety among them. It’s easy to think of Arms as something similar to Overwatch in the sense that you have a lot of character choices. Really though Arms is more comparable to regular fighting games without the special attacks that need button combos to pull off. Because of this, newcomers to the game could feel that the title is quite shallow. However, there is something special to Arms that has been lacking in video games over the course of many years and it’s that something that makes the game special.

Surprisingly Arms captures the feel and difficulty of SNES era titles. It’s tough to explain the feeling part, but there’s just something there that has the same sense as that first time us old school gamers picked up the Super Scope 6. The feeling of the fresh new plastic controllers in your hands. The almost robotic control of your character. All that sort of stuff. It feels like picking up Battle Clash on the SNES after all these years, and that’s awesome!

The coolest thing about Arms is, you will lose! At times it may be because you send out two punches instead of a grab if the motion controls registered a split second off of each other, but in general it’s going to just be because the game is legitimately hard! Before the recent update I couldn’t even get past level three difficulty without some very tactical fighting. Things haven’t really gotten easier per say. They’ve just become more balanced, which is what the patch was mainly about. More of your punches connect now especially. When you’re not using motion controls it feels like you need to guide each shot with the thumbstick. Not like your driving it, but more so that you’re aiming it before you launch each punch. When you get used to it this actually works well.

Fighting really gets furious and you need to consider what your opponent is doing. Blocking can be bested by throwing a grab. Because of the fighters titular Arms, you can launch a grab attach from a far distance. Meanwhile, punching a grab can knock that down. Don’t punch too much though or your arms will both be extended, leaving your body open. That gives quite a lot of tactic to the game. One thing that still frustrates me and other gamers I’ve seen posting online is the split second decision making when you trigger your characters super attack. You’re about the launch a flurry of punches and instantly your opponent is blocking. It happens more often than not, even on relatively easy difficulty settings. Sure, tactics come into play there. Your opponent can’t block if they have their arms extended, but still, odds are they won’t block every time with instant finesse either.

Arms doesn’t just refer to the characters wacky extendable limbs either. It also is what the attachments at the end of their arms are called. These goodies have quite a range to them from various elemental attacks, to ways to guard against your foe. Some are heavy attacks, others are quick light attacks. They even have tactical advantages to them as you can launch light attacks faster, but a heavy attack will actually plow through lighter ones the connect with your opponent. As you progress you’ll collect coins which allow you to unlock new Arms for each character. So you collect Arms to attach to your arms in Arms. Isn’t English fun?

That’s not all, even in Gran Prix mode, the main fighting section of the game, you’ll play volleyball, basketball, and target practice with your opponents. These modes are actually a lot of fun and can be played single player as well in the versus section of the main menu. Basketball sees you using each other as the ball as you’ll struggle with your opponent to grab each other to toss into the net. Volleyball has competitors punching a ball with an explosive orb in it to land on their opponents side. It seems like there may be a time limit to the ball too, so it’s kind of like hot potato in a way too. Target smash mode sees you trying to break more pop up targets than your opponent, like at a carnival.

The latest update even adds a mode where fighters compete in an arena containing an object that can turn them into the secret final boss. It’s either for a set time or until you get knocked down. On top of that there’s even one vs one hundred mode which pits you against a wave of one hit fighters that leads up to a battle with the secret boss as well!

As I said, the game can feel shallow at first and really there isn’t that much going on here. With Nintendo stepping away from story mode in Smash Bros it isn’t too much of a surprise to see the game has no cinematics. What was a bit of a downer was the lack of voice acting. The preview videos featured Biff, the games announcer, with this deep thrilling voice. That’s nowhere to be found in the games commentary and that feels like a misstep. Typically it’s not a Nintendo thing anyway. Even though you can gleam some understanding from Animal Crossing gibberish, it’s typically just noises. Same with Splatoon characters speaking their own language. Arms felt different though and while it is awesome, it felt like one more month for some additional voice work and a bit more story / world building could have really pushed this title further.

That’s not to say this isn’t a great title! The variety of characters who have different speeds and jumping ability makes this replayable. As does just the fun of enjoying the fights. It just feels like this could have been an even bigger franchise. I get it too, it’s something new on a console that players are still adopting so you don’t want to tie up too many resources. On the same token, it’s more than just a gimmick. Moving on from here is easy. More fighting is an option. The Arms characters becoming super heroes is another. Really it would be awesome if the single player campaign team from Splatoon could throw some ideas into the mix for the next game and do something new with this fledgling franchise with it’s next installment.

If you give it a go, you may fall in love with Arms right away. If you don’t, give it a chance. It took me probably about five days to really come around on my feelings for the game and decide that I do really like it. The balancing patch coming out the day after I bought it helped my decision a lot too. The first version of Arms was merciless against me. Yes I was still learning, but it was rough. With the game balanced now I’m proud to say it feels like an old school Nintendo product. For a new franchise, that’s a big deal to someone my age. Giving a player the feeling of nostalgia with something new and unrelated just by style alone is a great feat to pull off. Nintendo has done that here and despite the initial feeling of there not being much here, odds are you’ll come around when you accept that at it’s heart Arms is a fighting game. It does what it advertises very well and you feel accomplished when you win. In a world of casual games, it’s pretty cool to feel that way again.


Arc System Works Announces New Crossover Fighting Game: Blazblue Cross Tag Battle

Posted on July 17, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The developers responsible for the Guilty Gear and Blazblue series of fighting games has announced their latest project – a colorful crossover between Person 4 Ultimax, Blazblue, Under-Night: In-Birth….. and RWBY! So this tag-team fighting title is not only a “best of” when it comes to characters from some of the more recent non-Capcom Japanese fighters out there, but characters from Rooster Teeth’s popular web series will also jump into the fray as well.

A list of confirmed character so far is scant at best – Hyde Kido from Under-Night (which was developed by Melty Blood devs Ecole Software), Yu Naraukami from SEGA / Atlus’ Person 4, Ragna the Bloodedge from Blazblue and of course Ruby Rose from RWBY.

No word on if the game will be a simultaneous international release or if it will hit Japanese arcades first followed by home consoles later. Arc has been silent on any sort of date or even confirming platforms for their latest brawler.

Check out the trailer below:


Injustice 2 | REVIEW

Posted on June 2, 2017 by Les Major

Injustice 2 Launch Trailer

The original Injustice was a fresh idea based around the expanded mechanics of the Mortal Kombat franchise. Adding things such as environmental objects in the background to interact with and scene transitions you could knock your opponent into for extra damage, it had an different feel. Let alone the storyline was incredible, featuring a world where Superman was fed up with villainy and Batman was struggling to keep the peace through justice and mercy.

What felt great back in 2013 has since been given a lot of polish with the sequel. Everything just feels better, and it should since the original was released on last gen consoles. You don’t really notice just how much of a difference it is until you get into seeing the game in action. Facial animations and frame rate are fantastic! Everything has a cinematic feel to it and that really makes Injustice 2 a treat to play!

Story mode will last you around 7 to 8 hours to complete your first time and then some extra to replay some fights as the opposite character when you have a choice. There’s some additional content after that was well but the main game does give a lot. There are even some impressive blocks of that time that you’ll be enjoying lengthy cinematics that flesh out the new story focused on Brainiac taking on Earth.

NetherRealm Studios has gone the extra mile this time to add in collectables to keep players busy even after the story is complete. With the massive roster of characters, you’ll have a lot of goodies to earn with the new gear system included with Injustice 2. To begin with, all of your characters earn experience points and level up. This helps to make them stronger and even improve their hit points. It seems level 20 is the max, but you can also earn gear along the way to continue to improve your characters.

Gear overall can be just enough of a boost to give you the advantage you need in tougher battles. Customizing your characters even allows for additional moves to be added and even shaders to change up their color scheme. The equipment that you’ll unlock throughout the story, but mostly in the new multiverse mode, allows you to change the look of your character as well! Each piece can add a unique look to your favorite fighters. The gear system is quite deep too, allowing you to transmog gear to your favorite looks, unlock loot boxes you’ll earn after combat, and of course improve the stats of your combatants.

All of this sounds like a small adjustment to Injustice’s formula, but it really does open up a lot more to keep you playing. Some of the pieces you’ll unlock may seem similar, but I’m sure there are hardcore DC fans out there that are thrilled with the specific pieces found in loot boxes. I’ve mainly been playing Supergirl and Scarecrow and I’m happy with the mix of gear I’ve earned. The down side is that loot box drops are randomly spread across the large roster of characters, not just for your current fighter. However, I’m pretty sure after a few losses in multiverse I did get a pity gear drop to help improve the character I was playing as and give me a boost.

Multiverse is the bread and butter of the game, even though the story mode is both fun and worthwhile. It should be noted that experience earned in the story mode does actually affect your characters. So it isn’t a completely separate experience. I did dive directly into multiverse with the promise of unique timelines that would give me various rewards. The game does indeed have multiverses that last for a short period of time, some only a few hours. It seems there will be unique gear that you’ll only be able to earn in this mode as well.

The multiverse mode also switches up your opponents gear. They’re from an alternate universe after all! So while you may be used to the typical Harley Quinn from the story mode, multiverse could pit you against a different version looking of her. This is a nice way to see some different gear, and to keep things interesting instead of fighting the exact same looking characters over and over. Each multiverse can sometimes have multiple towers to fight through. Similar to the combat tower setup of previous Mortal Kombat games. Complete the tower, and maybe some challenges along the way, and you’ll earn whatever loot is promised in that towers description.

Most importantly, Injustice 2 is fun. It takes the winning formula of the first game, makes it shiny and new, then gives you content to stick around for. There are new characters such as Scarecrow, Swamp Thing, Blue Beetle, and Firestorm that mix it up with different styles and new moves. I personally found Scarecrow to be very easy for me to get into and he almost felt like a Killer Instinct character with how naturally combos seemed to flow. He’s also voiced by Robert Englund! How cool is that? With each character having separate leveling stats, you’ll have a ton of battles to continue through to power them up. Alternatively some of the in game currency can be used to instantly boost others to level 20 after you max out someone else. There is some gear that boosts your experience point gain as well.

If that wasn’t enough to keep you playing, Injustice 2 even adds guilds to the mix to earn even more loot. This emphasis on collectibles and community really makes the game so much easier to pick back up and play for short sessions. You always feel like you’re making progress. The first Injustice was great, but the sequel steps things up and makes the franchise modern in every way. You can even tie in the mobile version to earn even more goodies!

The only issue I had that still persists is knowing when to interact with background objects. They do have a glow around them when you’re near them, but there has been the odd time that I’ll still think I’m in range and instead my fighter just won’t react. In later story mode and higher difficulties those kind of miscalculations can be very costly. Maybe it’s me, I’ll admit. I might not have a good grasp on the timing. Fighting otherwise flows very well and I found myself being able to get inside my opponents defenses and take the offensive to counter their current stance. This is the evolution of the Mortal Kombat fighting system and it feels crisp and responsive most of the time.

Injustice 2 is easy to recommend. Casual players will get a lot out of the story and probably messing around with multiverse. Fight game and DC fans will easily get caught up in those same modes for the long term. It’s just a quality game, through and through. Fight against the multiverse, fight online, or conquer the story mode! The latest NetherRealms game is here and it’s a blast!


After Trying Injustice 2 I Think Scarecrow Is My New Main

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Les Major

Injustice 2 - Scarecrow

During last nights amazing Injustice 2 event at a wonderful venue in Toronto we got to try out some gameplay action! Sure, we only got to try three matches, but I think I’ve found my new fighter. First off, Injustice 2 boasts an impressive roster of at least 32 characters! More characters are even playable through Premiere Skins which changes their voice and appearance, but keeps the play style of a base character.

I enjoyed trying out newcomers Black Canary and Cheetah but Scarecrow really stole my attention when I just started tearing up my opponent without any prior knowledge of how the character plays. Scarecrow has this huge hook on a chain that I was able to just wreck with! After some close up damage, I was able to lash out with that hook, and then combo into spinning the chain overhead in a long range attack! The two of us didn’t know really what to do with our characters so it was a surprise when I pulled off this move and then just seemed to keep going.

It may just be me, but Scarecrow just plays naturally to me. Of course I’m sure you bound around to various characters in the campaign and I’m going to have to learn a lot more, but I know who I’ll be leveling up for fun though.

The game itself looks just incredible! The graphics are beautiful and cinematic, the frame rate flows like butter, and once you know what you’re doing the battles become an impressive display of superhuman prowess. Background items still play a role in this one, allowing you to cause damage with the scenery or bound away from your opponent off various landmarks. Super moves make a return too with impressive visuals and damage as well. Those are moves you pull off by using up your power bar by pulling both triggers and hopefully connecting with your opponent. You’re then treated to a cinematic of your character beating the tar out of your foe.

Injustice 2 is making sure that players keep coming back for more battles with a new gear system. If you’ve spent any time grinding away for loot on Destiny, you’ll probably feel right at home here. Not only can you collect new gear to customize and actually improve the stats of your fighters, but you can even use shaders to customize their look! If the thrill of battle wasn’t enough, there’s now the thrill of rare gear dropping that you can improve your favorite characters with!

We’ll be getting a good look at Injustice 2 next week and have a review on the way shortly after! If you’re still not sure check out the video we just posted with Ajay Fry’s interview Ed Boon last night at the event, or watch the Scarecrow trailer below to see my new fave!


Toronto Injustice 2 Press Event Interview With Ed Boon

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Les Major

Injustice 2-Interview

Want to see one of the creators of Mortal Kombat discussing the huge new fighting game hitting store shelves next week? Of course you do! Check out our video coverage of Toronto’s Injustice 2 event last night with Ajay Fry hosting an interview with Ed Boon himself! I even got to ask the first audience question! How awesome is that?!

We got to join in for some gameplay too, but the real highlight of the evening was meeting the man himself! In the interview Ed discusses what makes Injustice 2 different, and what will surely be a reason that many keep playing. That reason is the new Gear system! Check out the interview below!

The battle begins May 16th!


Join The Battle With Your Own Character In Dragon Ball XenoVerse

Posted on February 9, 2015 by Les Major

With just over two weeks away, it’s almost time for Namco Bandai’s North American release of Dragon Ball XenoVerse. In this title, Time Patrol Trunks uses the power of Shenron to summon a new hero into the world of Dragon Ball. The awesome thing about this game is, that hero is one you create! Your mission is to restore the Dragon Ball timeline to it’s original state.

Let alone the idea of fans being able to craft original characters into the game is awesome, but it seems there’s even an online component as well. Being able to choose from five different races and many customization and clothing options is awesome on it’s own, but you can take your hero out into the online world to battle with other gamers characters as well!Read More


Get the latest articles and news from BrokenJoysticks and a selection of excellent articles from other sources.

Simply fill out the form below and you’ll be on your way to getting our upcoming newsletter.