[Beyond PlayStation] CrossCode Review
CrossCode from Radical Fish Games and Deck13 is a 16-bit style action RPG that pays homage to the SNES-era. Learn more about this gem in our CrossCode review!
In CrossCode from indie Radical Fish Games and publisher Deck13, you will take on a 16-bit styled action RPG that pays homage to the golden era of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Think of it as showcasing the best of what the SNES could do back in the day, mixed with the 21st century quality of life improvements youâ€™d expect from a game releasing on Nintendo Switch in 2020. The game will feel like a mix of The Legend of Zelda franchise and the Secret of Mana series, which is definitely a good thing!
Your journey will have you playing as Lea, who finds herself with a good old-fashioned case of amnesia, chased with a solid â€œprotagonist canâ€™t speakâ€ scenario â€“ which is luckily sorta fixed at the start of the game. The world of CrossCode is a massive series of locations that stand what a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) would present to players, except itâ€™s all offline and single-player. It might not make much sense at first, but once you start to play, it will all click into place. To sum things up: Lea is an avatar, and youâ€™ll be taking her on CrossWorlds, which is what would happen if what you do in an MMO was real and had come to life!
Players in CrossWorlds are directly connected to their avatar, and all five senses of each player can be stimulated based on the interactions their avatar has in CrossWorlds â€“ specifically, in what is known as the Playground. Lea has been to CrossWorlds before, but since her memory is completely gone, youâ€™ll be helping her go over it all one more time so that she can hopefully regain the memories sheâ€™s lost. The adventure begins in Rhombus Square, where all new players â€“ and their avatars â€“ begin their journey.
At the start of the game, youâ€™ll get a good tutorial section that will allow you to learn all of the basics so that you can be on your way in no time. The most important thing youâ€™ll have to pay attention to is switches and how your virtual ricochet projectiles (VPR) will be very useful for solving puzzles. Some switches will need to be hit once, while others will require a barrage of constant hitsâ€¦ oh, and some will ask that you defeat X number of enemies before you can carry on! There will be other switch types for you to use, but I donâ€™t want to spoil that for you.
Youâ€™ll move your character around with the left analog stick, dodging by using the L button to avoid enemy attacks. Pressing the L button (or the B button) without moving will allow you to guard with a shield, which you can move around to protect your character. You can damage opponents with your melee attack by pressing the R button, which you can press several times in a row for a melee combo flurry. The ZL button will be for opening up the quick menu, which allows you to access your items, open up the map, and inspect the environment.
The â€“ button will be for opening up the character menu, from where you can check all active and completed quests, equip items to enhance your character, brose your inventory of items and use any consumables you have on you, check your status, skills, modifiers, and equipment, access the skill trees â€“ more on this in a bit â€“, access information on monsters, items, and more, and save your progress. Thereâ€™s a lot to do in the character menu, so be sure to check it often!
You can also use the right analog stick to target opponents with long-range attacks you can use with the R button to unleash your VRP. The longer your charge your long-range attack, the more powerful the first VRP shot will be while also making sure that you properly aim so that you can hit your target. As the name suggests, the VPR will bounce around from some surfaces, which will play into how you go about solving the puzzles the game throws at you.
All of the dialogue that youâ€™ll see during your interactions with the different characters youâ€™ll meet during your time with CrossCode can be reviewed by pausing the action with the + button so that you can use the L and R buttons to cycle between all previous messages, which is very useful for when you might have been a bit too trigger-happy with the A button and didnâ€™t catch one particular message in the conversation.
Youâ€™ll be fighting against a nice variety of enemies of all shapes and sizes. CrossCode boasts about having more than 120 enemies to fight, which is certainly correct but does include several enemies that are palette swaps of others â€“ which is to be expected for a game that emulates an MMO. Speaking of that, youâ€™ll be teaming up with other avatars (and, therefore, players) to be able to defeat not only the regular enemies but all the mighty bosses that will test your skills in full.
Since CrossCode is, in essence, and MMO, that means there are a ton of quests for you to complete, as well as many items for you to get your hands on! Some quests youâ€™ll be able to take on right away, while others will require you to have leveled up to at least a specific level threshold. You probably know how the cycle goes: find an NPC that will provide you with a quest to complete, fulfill the requirements, complete the quest, receive your reward, and then find a new one to complete.
Some of the items youâ€™ll receive will be consumables, which means youâ€™ll get to use them, and then theyâ€™ll be gone. Others will be items you can trade to obtain better items. And then there are the pieces of equipment you can use to improve Leaâ€™s stats, based on the equipment type. Boosting Leaâ€™s stats is always a good idea since it will help her survive what CrossWorlds will throw at you. You need to pay attention to increasing her max hit points (HP), defense, attack, focus, and elemental resistance (wave, shock, cold, and heat).
CrossCode offers four different skill trees for you to take advantage of, allowing you to unlock new skills, abilities, and boosts as you progress through the game. You will be using circuit points (CP) to activate the different nodes in each circuit board. Every time you level up, you will earn some CP, so you will be able to customize your character as needed. There are different branches in each circuit board, and you can switch between branches without having to spend more CP.
The game also features an in-game trophy system for you to keep track of all the milestones you’ve reached. There are 167 trophies in total, split into story progression, player milestones, inventory, and special. Story progression is self-explanatory, since they will unlock as you go along with the game’s main story. Player trophies are for things such as leveling up your character, obtaining a ton of credits, or playing the game for a long time. Inventory trophies will be for completing objectives such as using 25 consumable items, or finding unique keys. Special trophies will be for very specific objectives that I don’t want to spoil here, since they tie to other parts of the game you should get to experience on your own.
You can configure your adventure with CrossCode by going into the options menu to make a bunch of changes on a wide variety of things. These range from the usual stuff, such as being able to manage the volume level of the gameâ€™s music and sound effects or changing the way the game looks by changing the weather effects, lighting, and screen shake, to changing how challenging the game is. This is done by changing the percentage of damage received from enemy attacks, how frequently enemies will attack, and even how fast puzzles will be or how long youâ€™ll have before a switchâ€™s timer runs out! This means that players of all skill levels will be able to play and enjoy this one on Nintendo Switch.
CrossCode is a very fun game on Nintendo Switch that I had been looking forward to playing on Nintendoâ€™s console, and Iâ€™m happy to report that the wait has been worth it. This is a must-have action RPG with dozens of hours of gameplay, solid gameplay mechanics, and an outstanding art style and soundtrack. The one complaint Iâ€™d have is that each of the different submenus inside of the character menu takes an extra second to load, which is far from a deal-breaker. The game is out now on Nintendo Switch for only $19.99, and you can also pre-order the steelbook and collectorâ€™s edition physical versions for the game on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 from Strictly Limited Games and Inin Games by clicking right here.
This CrossCode review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Deck13.