I think this game perfectly illustrates the Switch from a developer’s perspective. As it kind of sufferes to fit an overall approce. But it is ultimately fun and enjoyable.
Blazblue Cross Tag Battle is a very fun fighting game that you probably have already read about and thus makes this introductory statement seem quit redundant. So if you have not seen anything about this game in the last 6 months and have not clue what I am talking about I will apologize, because it amazing that you have gotten into the Destructoid forums without seeing anything.
So here is a video:
Of cats dancing.
With absolutely no editing.
Okay so its Arc System Works attempt to take over the crossover market hole that Capcom left when they failed to release a new game the fully pleased their market base and left the giant void of distrust in Capcom and their ability to make good fighting games.
I have been having a blast with this game.
I still don’t quite think its as deep as most people would care to admit or at least give Pokken the proper chance that it deserves. But then again the Switch is kind of limited more than I initially thought.
It really shows with this game, especially since the developers decided to make all of the old game sprites in a lower resolution and not update them to fit the architecture of the new game. Which would not be terrible except for the fact that 1/4 of the in game sprites are actually scalable from 1080 to 720… So not only are the games mixing but the resolutions are mixing too.
I recognized this when the demo was public and that I found a lot of the sprites had jagged points that… looked bad. I had hoped that this would have been patched out of the final product but it seems that the Switch is the only version to have the raw older sprites and other systems use an AA algorithm to take away the jagged enlarged pixels. (Which then make edges look soft)
Either way it makes this game look… flawed.
Which is a shame cause the interface, stages, effects and GUI all render at 1080p and look sharp and what is expected from a 2D fighting game.
I think specifically with the Switch the developer team saw that the hybrid nature of the system needed to keep only the lower res sprites… which I remember playing on PS3 that looked crisp and did not have the diagonal issues of miss matched resolutions… that this game has. Even on the System’s screen there is noticeable issue with the sprites when it comes to diagonal lines.
But beyond that the frame rate is smooth and the controls are just as good as any other fighting game. Personally I like the new controls as it makes it a lot easier to pull off what used to be 4-6 input moves into a 1-3 input move and allows the player to focus more on positioning and when to attack.
Dying in this game can happen fast. Like really fast. A match can end in 20-30 seconds in the right hands and if someone pulled the assist button at the wrong time into a lengthy combo.
There is a length tutorial on how to properly manage your partner in battle, and it is well worth your time to go through it if you want to get the most out of the game.
Right now I think Cross Burst are very interesting, as you are able to call a partner and have them stand still and wait to use their skill as the partner gauge runs out. It is a particularly great zooning option that probably will end up in making many disgusting combos in the future.
There are still a lot of lengthy combos to learn, if you really need something complicated to own other players with. But most move sets can end up with almost half HP reduced in an instant.
I don’t know how else to say it but it seems like this game was really rushed. Not that it is a bad game but it seems to lack all the little details that you would expect from a competent product.
The story mode is told in a visual novel style but it has fewer animations than other entries in the series. It lacks a lot of the FMV from Central Fiction and even then background are much lower resolution than the character sprites. There is significantly less camera actions and panning and zooms and stuff.
The auto play does not go to the next page till after all the text is displayed on the screen… That really drives me crazy as a person that does film it makes all the voice actor’s performances seem really robotic and with terrible pacing.
Which would be good if the overall story for the game was strong. It’s not a terrible story for a fighting game; but it does leave a bit wanted. It does have its moments but the share features have been blocked during the story mode so… I cannot share any of the fun. For the most part it seems to be the same cookie cutter mash up story that games like Capcom vs Tatsunoko showed and didn’t tell. I do prefer the visual novel but I will have to wait and see if the end game content for each of the chapters were really worth the hours of mostly mindless battles were worth the pay off.
Right now the Boss for Blazblue was not that exciting. I am hoping that the next ending will have something more interesting.
For right now, this is a really fun fighting game. There are great characters and fighters that still hold their original fighting styles and mixed with the four separate series there is quite a lot of variety involved. The online servers do seem to be busy but only time will tell. If this game is going to be long standing or this months go to game.
Even though the DLC practices are very controversial. I think they were smart in the sense that it keeps the roster more limited and force player to learn more characters as new ones are coming out on months to come. Though it sucks that some of those characters are in the story mode and it will be a long time before people get to play them.
But then you go online and get a que up. Things go quick and you select the characters and run into another cool person that wants to keep play matches. Then you hit the combos right and pull it off right.
Everything feels light and you know that you just shared a moment with another person. Sure you may get owned the next game as they figured out your noob starter move set.
But I feel like most games you have a chance to really kill it every game.
Sure there are skill walls, but even mashers are going to have a pretty fun go at this game. There is a ton of polish with the mechanics on how the fighters interact and the move sets and support combos.
But the graphics ultimately let the package down more than story mode and more than the DLC practices.
Might be a bit on the light side right now, but seems to be good overall.