BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle ブレイブルー クロスタッグバトルcame out June 5th.   I received review code from Arc System Works literally 7 minutes before its release as I explained in my review of the game.  Since then I have been playing the game a crazy amount, I know I have amassed a massive number of matches since then, at least 500+ and still going strong.  I continue to learn more about this game as the day goes, aided by my growing experience and watching matches of players who have a better handle of things than I do.

 

 Game Knowledge 


Knowing how any game functions is going to be the key thing helping you with how you go about playing it; what to do, why you do it, and when to do it will be solely dependent upon the mechanics given to you and how they apply to the flow of battle.  While some things may seem overpowered, useless, or otherwise overlooked because of the budding game’s infancy, you will often find that experience and evolution give birth to new application.

  • Reversal Actions I have found are good as they can go through everything, anti-air telegraphed jump-ins or instant air dashes, and are universal to the cast…but the fact that they can be baited (from an opponent trying to “Reject Block”) and also do not allow for you to Cross Burst out of harm’s way means they are risky business.  These are often done by opponents who make a hard guess on what you are trying to do in order to avoid more pressure, ending up in another frustration situation, or simply want you to give them some breathing room so they can gather themselves.  Finding punish combos that do the most damage solo and as a team are greatly encouraged.  I have found combos with both my main and sub character (Ragna/Makoto) that do a decent amount of damage.
  • Cross Combos — This is the ultimate punish mechanic I have found; proper use of this allows one or both characters to perform the Resonance version of their Distortion super move.  Even solo, it allows for me to do more damage than I normally could, and I easily get over 12,000 damage starting with either character as long as I have four bars to successfully DHC from one super into the next one.  I feel like this will be the future for this game, though it is probably better for it to kill since you lose the ability to burst if you hit by an opponent into a combo sometime afterwards.
  • Clash Assaults — While they might be extremely risky offline, online they are extremely hard to punish due to reaction time, their recovery time, and the lag you have to deal with while playing online (even if it is just one frame for an amazing 4 bar connection).  I am finding them extremely hard to punish, so instead I try to react to them with a Reversal Action or an anti-air into a combo to keep my opponent from doing it so often.  While yes, sometimes they are heavily punished, usually they will start throwing it in with an assist to cover it to simply make it safe and that often presents a problem.  I have incorporated more into my game play since it is free damage and “MARVELOUS!” gives you 1 bar of super for free.
  • Reject Block — This is something I have been having a problem with against characters like Blake Belladonna, Nu-13, and Gordeau.  Any character who can push you into their optimal hitting range from a Reject Block will heavily punish anyone who commits to a long-winded attack.  Thankfully, I discovered that if you can time a grab when you believe you will get Reject Guarded, you will actually run forward and immediately grab your opponent, making it to where they are caught in the grab with no chance of breaking it.

 

  IMPRESSIONS  — I have learned a lot but have much more I still need to know.  This game is incredibly deep because of all the ways that you can mindgame someone.  There seems to be a counter for everything and sometimes it will be necessary for you to take risks.  I realize that knowing how to stop certain things is equally as important as reading your opponent, while that is normally true for every single game you play, I feel like it will be more important here since mistakes cost you BIG.

 

 My Team 


My team current consists of Ragna the Bloodedgeラグナザブラッドエッジ as my main character and Makoto Nanayaマコトナナヤ as my sub character.  While I have been through other characters paired with Makoto, I feel like Ragna is going to be the one that works simply because I like their synergy and I happen to like both characters (though I still might try out more DLC characters as I acquire them).

 Makoto Nanaya 
Makoto Nanaya, anyone who knows me can tell you that she’s my waifu; I love her personality, her fighting style, and she is the single most fun I have had playing a fighting game character when she was introduced in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II.  While her combo strings have changed from game to game and new moves were added, I sincerely always liked playing the Squirrel-tailed beauty.

I have found she is pretty awesome in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, from having high-damage and good assist for pressure and extending combos, I feel they did my girl right!  She did lose some options on her “Astral Vision” special move (being able to cancel it as well as a side switch) and her “Lightning Arrow” no longer ground bounces outside of her assist, but she is still perfectly fine and fun to play despite her lack of some moves.

Damage — So far with Makoto I can achieve pretty decent damage.  No bars and no assists nets me 6.4k damage, while no bars with an assist gives me 7.5k damage.  2 bars with no assists grants me 8K, while 2 bars with an assist gives me gives me 9k.  Finally a Cross Combo with only 1 super grants me 9.9k, while a Cross Combo with dual supers gives me 12.4k.

 

 Ragna the Bloodedge 
Ragna the Bloodedge is my first name within the series, starting off first with BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger.  I remember someone messaging me and saying, “Finally, a good Ragna!  GGs!” after beating him mercilessly with the guy.  I love how his reverse sword-style was reminiscent of Guilty Gear‘s protagonist Sol Badguyソル バッドガイ while being a lot more cool personality wise in my honest opinion.  I love the voice due to the English VA doing such an amazing job on his lines, not to mention his personality is crash but caring at the same time.

I have not touched this guy since BlazBlue: Continuum Shift before the DLC that brought me Makoto Nanaya, and I did not touch him again due to them giving him the new move “Belial Edge” and “Nightmare Edge” to his arsenal (though he only keeps “Nightmare Edge” in BlazBlue: Central Fiction).

Damage — So far with Ragna, I can also do very good damage that is comparable to Makoto’s.  No bars and no assists net me 6.1k damage, while no bars with an assists gives me 8.3k damage.  2 bars with no assists grants me 7.9K, 2 bars with an assist gives me 9.8k.  Finally, a Cross combo with only 1 super grants me 10.2k, while a Cross Combo with dual supers gives me 12.7k.

 

 Final Thoughts 


I feel like Ragna and Makoto work out well for me in all things I want.  Honestly, I am character crisis on who to pair with Makoto since one of my best friends is using Yang Xiao-Long (and I do not like picking friends main characters as part of my main team).  Overall, I feel like their assists compliment each other, though while not completely ideal for either one, they can be made to work and allows them to get in from full screen against some longer-ranged characters like Gordeau or Blake Belladonna;  Though they will still have problems against zoning characters like Amagi Yukiko and Nu-13 or against high mobility characters like Hazama and Jubei.

However, while both character possesses pretty decent damage I do find their mix-ups might be lacking.  In order to rectify their mix-up potential, solid block strings have come to aid me in order to put pressure on an opponent or force them to reject block.  In addition to this, I have found that the universal overhead “Clash Assault” allows me to be able to do 50/50s off of basic high/low/high block strings.

I want to see where this team takes me in the future, hopefully it will do fine.  I still have half a mind to try out characters like Aegis, Yukiko, and Vatista seriously, but I will first have to find out if I actually want to take time away from perfecting my main team first.