Who are the remaining five New Challengers?!
Last month at Evo 2019, Arc System Works followed up their announcement of Under Night In-Brith EXE: Late[cl-r] with news that BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle will be receiving a massive update to Version 2.0 on November 21st. In addition to balance changes for the entire cast, the playable roster will be increased to a staggering 53 characters, with 9 additional warriors joining the fray, including at least three from two new franchises, meaning seven universes now can’t escape from crossing fate!
Newcomers include Yumi from Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, who will also be bringing a new stage with her, as well as Akatsuki and the massively-armed Blitztank from SUBTLE STYLE’s Akatsuki Blitzkampf, and RWBY’s Neo Politan, marking the fifth character for the American franchise, and the first outside of Team RWBY itself.
Despite Neo Politan taking on her Volume 3 appearance, to keep in line with the other four, she will have her character song from her return in Volume 6, One Thing, and also appears to have Roman Torchwick’s signature bowler hat in one of her Distortion Skills. This might close the book on his possible inclusion, despite his name being amongst the RWBY cast who’s announcer calls were datamined from Version 1.5 awhile back.
Five more newcomers, likely from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, and Arcana Heart 3 will also be joining the fight in November, and will be revealed tonight, on a special ArcLive Livestream between 7:00-8:00 P.M. PST on Twitch, YouTube, and NicoNico.
Saturday, 9/21 7PM PSThttps://t.co/9M2tu4EzOq
⚠️Please note the updated start time.⚠️ pic.twitter.com/ims6cefdQR
— Arc System Works @ #BBTank (@ArcSystemWorksU) September 21, 2019
The update will also be bringing four new gameplay mechanics to the title to drastically shake up BBTAG’s meta, which were recently covered in detail by Japanese website GAME MEDIA, and graciously translated and compiled into a Twitter thread by SUGOI|Ebonic Plague.
First up is Cross Raid: “After the final hit of Smart Combo 1 (5AAAA), you can consume your full Cross Gauge to switch your partner in with an attack. Active Switch power-up becomes active after this. This is utilized with Es and Yosuke Hanamura in the trailer.
Next is Extra Assault, used by Yumi and Akatsuki against Gordeau in the trailer. “Spend one bar of Skill Gauge to use a more powerful (two character) Clash Assault. According to the website, you are in Active Switch powered-up state after this as well. JUST LIKE CROSS RAID!”
Then comes the mechanic I’m personally most looking forward to, Delay Entry. “After a character has died, you can delay the incoming of your next character. You apparently do this by holding down “the” button and your character comes in on button release,” allowing you control over your incoming timing, which should lessen the power of incoming mixups, which are very strong in the current build.
Finally, perhaps the most surprising and controversial mechanical addition is Rampage Time. “When the timer hits 80 seconds, there is now passive Skill Gauge gain. Seriously, you just start passively gaining bar.” As I’m sure most players are aware, the BBTAG match timer starts at 180 seconds, three full minutes. With the speed and high damage output of the game, there generally aren’t any concerns with timeouts, so it will be interesting to see how often this new mechanic will come into play when it’s added in November.
There was also a bit of gameplay information shared about the four currently-revealed newcomers. Yumi will have access to her Aerial Rave mechanic from the Senran Kagura series, “which is described as a full air combo by itself and incredibly easy to do.” She also has two styles of dance that she uses (Light and Dark) that offer her “two different styles to make the opponent dance to her rhythm.” This might imply that she’ll be a Stance-based character. Hopefully, we’ll see tonight.
As for RWBY’S Neo Politan, she “can create after images to confuse the opponent on which one is real or not, similar to Hibiki Kohaku’s Drive, Double Chase, in BBCF, which fits in line with her fighting style form the series and her Semblance, Illusions.
Akatsuki is described as “an easy to use character with easy to use specials, like his projectile “Blitz Shot” and the rush skill “Armor Pierce Kick,” meaning his infamous B Tatsu will be in BBTAG. He will also have his Reflector parry, “Aggression Defense,” to catch opponents’ attacks.
Finally, with Blitztank it is simply mentioned that “overwhelming power is possible at all ranges, likely alluding to his status as a zoner in Akatsuki Blitzkampf. It will be interesting to see if he can overcome his status as the “worst character” in his origin series in this crossover title.
Additionally, the update will bring UI changes, more team-specific interactions for pairings that don’t currently have them, like Ragna The Bloodedge and Naoto Kurogane, as the five characters in Version 1.5 currently lack any unique dialogue. Each character will receive five new Colors, increasing the total up to 20 each. New Lobby Avatars and cosmetic items for the nine newcomers will also be available in the Kaka Shop. Rounding out the 2.0 upgrade is a new additional Extra Story Mode, likely featuring the 23 characters who were absent from the first four Episodes, and explaining how Senran Kagura and Akatsuki Blitzkampf joined the fight.
The 2.0 balance changes will be applied for free on Thursday, November 21st, but the Version 2.0 Expansion Pack will cost $24.99.
It was also recently announced that BBTAG 2.0 will be playable at CEOtaku 2019 taking place September 27th-29th, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida, as well as the ARCREVO World Tour Finals at ARCREVO America 2019, November 16th and 17th at the UC Irvine Student Center in Irvine, California, just four days before the update releases worldwide.
— Arc System Works @ #BBTank (@ArcSystemWorksU) September 9, 2019
I’m putting my money on BlazBlue’s Yuuki Terumi and Celica A. Mercury, Persona 4 Arena’s Elizabeth, either Hilda or Erika Wagner from Under Night In-Birth, and Saki Tsuzura from Arcana Heart 3, or Cinder Fall from RWBY, if they decide to give them a second character, making up the remaining five slots, but we’d love to hear your predictions, Story Mode ideas, and hopes for balance changes, in the comments below.
Source: Arc System Works America (YouTube); arcsystemworks.com; arcsystemworksu (Twitter); Koefficient (YouTube); BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle Official Japanese Website; GAME MEDIA; EbonicPlagueBB (Twitter)