So you’ve finished playing the beta (click here for my take on it)and want more but you’re not sure what to do with yourself. We’ve all been there (I know I have previously) but it’s ok I’m here to help! There’s plenty of options so lets rock!
Play BlazBlue: Central Fiction on PS4
Playing the previous BlazBlue is a fairly obvious start but it’s often overlooked which is a shame as the game is enormous. If your on a budget and want a blisteringly fast paced 2D anime fighter that will last for single player modes and options, you can’t go wrong here. If you pick up Central Fiction you have access to story modes, 3 arcade modes per character, Grim of Abyss mode, Score Attack mode, Speed Star mode and this is all before the online stuff even begins. Granted the online community has largely moved over to Dragonball but there’s still enough that you’ll find plenty of challenge. It’s also going to help you get to grips with its huge roster before Cross Tag Battle throws even more at you.
Pro tip: Play VS mode locally with a friend who likes fighting games and both pick random ? each time. The roster is so large you’ll enjoy the mixups and end up learning which characters to master in the various single player modes.
Play Nitroplus Blasterz – Heroines Infinite Duel on PS4
A by-the-number cheesecake heavy 2D fighter that you wouldn’t normally see in any recommendation list but stick with me on this. The game features Saber from the Fate Stay series, she primarily uses a massive sword, her sword crosses with other fighters and therein we have a tenuous link. She can’t escape from crossing fate… yes I know. It’s also pretty enjoyable in a Vanguard Princess rough around the edges but full of little moments of anime overkill brilliance kind of way.
Pro tip: Pick it up on the cheap as you’ll have it completed with every character in 2-3hrs easily.
Play Persona 4 Arena on PS3 (or Xbox360 if you hate your hands)
God damn this game is good. Classic example of what a Video game making powerhouse can do when given the right amount of resources, time and flexibility with the licence. You get one of the greatest fighting game soundtracks imagined as a backdrop to intensely vibrant colourful design. The engine itself is superb to with a unique mash of 2D action and high level fake outs. The implementation of the persona system itself is so unique and functional to it’s core that its worthy of a purchase for that reason alone. The only reason it’s sequel Ultimax isn’t listed here is because the forced dub ruins it for me. The Japanese audio was superb and after the original RPG game, anime and playing Arena hearing it dubbed was just the worst.
Pro tip: Try to track down a copy with the soundtrack. If you loved Persona4’s soundtrack it’s worth looking for even if you don’t like fighting games.
Watch the anime series Soul Eater
One of Bones classic anime series that’s a bit of a spin off from the amazing manga. Weapons with personality, action and a surprisingly deep story (sound familiar?). It will fit in brilliantly with your need for violence, story, exaggerated moves, insane weapons and an overall anime aesthetic that will click nicely. That and it’s soundtrack is pure pulsating adrenaline in music form so you’ll be ready for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’s soundtrack in no time.
Pro tip: The first three episodes are heavy on the cheesecake just push through them and the story sorts itself out soon enough.
Watch RWBY VOLUME 1-3: The beginning
RWBY is a pretty easy sell to a standard anime fan, 4 girls with amazing skill and weapons go to an academy to learn various things about themselves. Driving plot-lines for the individuals while the world around them evolves and events occur. It’s action packed and fantastically animated but the CGI visuals are now a little dated (Although you have to allow this with the knowledge it started as a solo project for YouTube) The fact it was originally recorded in English and then dubbed and edited back into a Japanese anime series makes it seem somewhat less of a stand out smash hit and more a cult classic. All that being said the CGI cell shading style does grow on you and it doesn’t take a genius to see the original artist improve as it goes on. It’s clustered with little anime jokes, some of the best soft rock ever and a genuinely interesting and well thought out character arc for all involved. It’s also easy to get a copy to watch both on Crunchyroll and DVD/Blu-ray.
Pro tip: Just dive in and enjoy. As with Soul Eater it’s a little much to take in for the first few episodes and the early CGI hasn’t aged fantastically but give it a chance and you’ll be hooked wondering where the next chapters are (They’ve yet to be dubbed into Japanese)
Delve into the murky depths of RWBY crossover fan-fiction
This an avenue I’ve never even considered but a quick google search and yes… there are a lot of fans desperate for RWBY crossover content. I realise RWBY has built up a massive fan-base over the years but the sheer volume is impressive! Just have a look here to see what I mean. I mean who doesn’t need 687 different novels about Naruto and RWBY characters? Its more the frankly obscure ones that are fascinating. I mean Black Rock Shooter the series does sort of fit together nicely with RWBY and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover deserves a TV series but the Thomas The Tank Engine cross is a little much. The passion and imagination is something to marvel at and lord knows what we’ll see after Cross Tag Battle launches!
Pro tip: Dive in and just go for whatever first appeals. I found the Rick and Morty crossovers quite charming in their own way.
Watch Pros play Under Night In-Birth on Twitch/YouTube
Or to give it it’s full fantastically overkill title, “Under Night In-Birth TM Thought night, Recurrence night, Reverie and Invite. and… [7days Immortal] Unreal BLACK THINGS. Exe:Late”. If like me you can’t get enough of 2D fighters and your willing to try out crazy systems (and you’ve heard of Melty Blood) chances are you already hunted down a copy. It’s a difficult fighter to master as the grind GRD system between the fighters makes for something a little bit different and complex to get to grips with. It maybe complex at the start (and I still have to check out Youtube sometimes) but the mechanics at work are brilliant and if you do fancy picking it up I highly recommend it. Still I find I enjoy it more watching two pros going at it akin to Street Fighter3 masterfully pulling and pushing until a combo could be unleashed.
Pro tip: If you do fancy a go the game was a PSN Plus title on PS3 previously but it was ported to the PS4 so go nuts!
The final option
This is the easiest, just go download the trial for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. It’s still on the PSN store and the vs mode against the AI still works! Granted your limited to 1 character from each franchise if you missed the beta and you can only fight the AI but still it’s better than nothing and still allows for a quick understanding of the basics. If your anything like me you can’t escape from crossing fate!
Rebel 1, Recurring Void Effect, This could be explosive, FIGHT!