Cross Edge – The PS3 Attitude Review
The PlayStation 3 has been lacking in the traditional JRPG department since its infant days as a console. With the release of Cross Edge, we were hoping for a break though game featuring five top developers; Capcom, Nippon Ichi, Namco Bandai, Gust, and Idea Factory, after all, there is a certain excitement about controlling your own personal Prinny, Morrigan Aensland, Meu, and Aurica Nestmile army.
In reality, the game is like a complicated calculus equation. The road to the solution can be long and arduous, but upon arrival, there is a certain satisfaction. That, and the fact that there were probably hundreds of times we wanted to hurl our controller at the television screen and call it quitsâ€¦
Cross Edge transports our iconic video game heroes into a brand new world, one created from the souls of their own worlds. Now trapped in this mysterious dreamland, York and Miko must band together with the likes from Air tonelico, Disgaea, Spectral Souls, Mana Khemia, and Darkstalkers, in order to release the trapped souls and find a method to return home. This will be no easy task as The Empyreal One and the Twelve Knights will be there to make your journey a living nightmare.
As you travel the many layers of the world, youâ€™ll need to search for souls to release and events to encounter. Wander around too much and youâ€™ll trigger a battle phase where you and your party of four will fight your way to victory or suffer the punishment of death and have to restart from where you last saved. The battle system is one of the most complex systems we have seen and explaining it to you would take more time than PS3 Attitude has in its life but weâ€™ll try our best.
Each side has their own 3×4 grid in which you can arrange up to four allies in any formation of your choosing. Cross Edge is a turn-based RPG using both Attack Points (AP) and Skill Points (SP) to attack. Each character can have up to four set skills depending on the type of weapon they have equipped and skills unlocked. Once you set your attack in motion, the Attack Counter begins, letting you chain your attacks to deal more damage to your enemies. Each attack you perform costs that character a certain amount of AP.
At any moment, you can use R1 and L1 to switch between characters and continue to attack until your AP is drained. As you attack, receive damage, and defeat enemies, you earn SP. Build enough and youâ€™ll be able to launch an EX Skill, an extremely devastating and AP costly technique. These can be chained as well to create branch combos. Confused yet?
To be honest, there is an extremely high learning curve that comes with Cross Edge. Even the in-game tutorials cannot prepare you for the battles to come. At the beginning you are faced with overly powerful enemies, and, partnered with inexperience you have with the new system, you’ll probably dieâ€¦a lot. At first we were wondering what we were doing wrong since we had to load our save file so often. It turns out thatâ€™s just how the game is.
Youâ€™ll spend a lot of time wondering around the map leveling up your characters to prepare for the larger events at hand. Like all RPGs, there are the usual stats associated with each character; attack, defense, magic, accuracy, etc. When you level up, you earn points that can be distributed any way you choose among these abilities. Then thereâ€™s equipment. Characters can have a weapon, armor, and accessory, in addition to a costume. These items can all be upgraded, synthesized, and composited to create stronger ones so collecting is a big aspect of the game.
Cross Edge is an extremely in depth game with the variety of abilities, equipment, and options you have at your disposal. You could spend hours creating the perfect formation of allies to send into battle. Leveling up your characters to the max is going to take more than just a single play though, not to mention the various side tasks that arenâ€™t really necessary to advancing the story.
The story isnâ€™t the greatest weâ€™ve encountered. Itâ€™s tends to focus more on how to relate these vastly different types of games into one game rather than providing an enjoyable experience. It brings back memories of playing old RPGs way back on the SNES where the heroes would appear on screen and the dialogue would advance one line at a time. Not exactly what we were expecting out of the PS3 now was it? All things being equal, there were some great moments that were particularly comical, mostly involving the loveable Prinny in some form or another.
What we couldnâ€™t understand was how some of these â€˜cut scenesâ€™ had voiceovers while others didnâ€™t. Itâ€™s not like they werenâ€™t important to the story either, as if each scene was randomly drawn out of a hat to determine if it would have voices or not.
The graphics, while not horrible, could have used an upgrade. All of the pivotal characters are displayed using sprites and, despite being nostalgic, would have looked much prettier if rendered in full 3D as most of the enemies were. This, coupled with the disappointing cut scenes, lends us to believe that the PS3 wasnâ€™t used anywhere near the potential weâ€™ve seen in the past. Cross Edge could have been so much better.
We actually loved the musical aspect of the game. The battles were accompanied by electric guitar driven rock melodies that fit well into the RPG genre. Even after hundreds of battles, we never grew tired of listening to it over and over.
This game is a tricky one. On one hand, it can provide hours of entertainment, but on the other, itâ€™ll take an equal amount of frustration to get there. From gathering all the souls and equipment to leveling up your character and acquiring the various titles you can earn, there is much to do in this fantasy world. Cross Edge is one of the most in-depth games we have experienced; its execution, however, if far from perfect. Thereâ€™s no telling what the future might bring to the game with downloadable content and other goodies so while itâ€™s far from our favorite RPG on the system, we will be keeping an eye on it in hopes of improvement.