Sometimes you get a hankering to turn the Anime up to 11, and sometimes you need to go even further. Arc System Works, still sizzling with success after Dragon Ball FighterZ, are gearing up for a PC release of Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, a mashup of their long-running Blazblue series, Persona 4 Arena (a spinoff of the excellent JRPG), the indie-developed Under Night In-Birth and American-made pseudo-anime RWBY.
While I had been worried that Arc System Works had lost their way and were planning on pricing the crossover fighting game to death, their recent announcement of the release date and pricing structure makes the planned 20-character season pass sound a little more reasonable than I was expecting.
In an unusual move, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle is going to be a game of two halves, and not in the foot-to-ball sense. At launch, the tag-team fighter will have a respectable enough 20 characters, but Arc System Works plan on doubling that to a massive 40 via regular DLC bundles of characters being released over the course of the year, $5 on average for a three-character pack, or a surprisingly decent amount for the whole lot.
While I was initially nervous that the pricing would be absurd on these new characters (see Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite selling individuals for £6.50 a pop), my fears were largely put to rest when they announced the latter half of the roster would only cost $20 (likely around the £15-16 range). Still not quite as generous as The King Of Fighters XIV's enormous starting lineup, but it's not an unreasonable figure either, and definitely cheaper than average these days. The base game will cost $50, so with a little bit of savvy shopping, it shouldn't be too hard to get the entire package for an average new-game price.
In an attempt to sweeten the pot, two packs will be free for early adopters. At launch, the character pack shown above will be free for anyone to grab, featuring Blazblue's diminutive alchemist Platinum=The=Trinity (Blazblue is very silly with its names), soft-spoken fencer Orie from Under Night In-Birth, and a personal favourite from Persona 4 Arena; Kanji Tatsumi, The Bloodcurdling Beefcake Emperor. He's a very nice boy, really. An additional two RWBY characters will be free after launch as well.
The English version of Blazblue Cross Tag Battle should be landing on June 5th, a few days after its Japanese debut. The basic version will cost $50, the Deluxe edition (including all characters present and future) will be priced at $70, and the season pass neatly splits the difference at $20.