So my husband and I have made it a habit to play through RPG's together to get some quality time in and ease the pain of grinding. We've both got a weakness for mash-ups and got really excited when we heard about Cross Edge
. In theory, It could be everything we wanted in a videogame. Well we've been at it for about 10 hours now, and have some experiences to share.
For those of you with your heads still stuck firmly in the deep news feeding through that was E3, Cross Edge
is a cross-over IP strategy rpg utilizing cosplay featuring familiar characters from Disgaea
, Ar tonelico
, Spectral Souls
, Atelier Marie
and Mana-Khemia 2
. If you've played a NIS game, the graphics, voiceovers, cut scenes and soundtrack should be familiar; if you haven't, you may be wondering why this is a PS3 game and not a PS2. In fact, I'm still wondering that myself. Maybe Odin Sphere
just spoiled me, but the character sprites seem a little blocky. Like Xenogears
quality blocky. Thats kind of lame for a current gen console. But a games true quality shouldn't be judged on graphics alone. So lets get to the meat of a good RPG; the gameplay.
This is a strategy RPG, so expect a robust, deep and engaging combat experience; and prepare to be disappointed. Encounters are semi random, and combat is fought on two opposing 4x4 grids. Starting positions for your four member team are determined before combat begins but can be changed during the fight is necessary. Where your character is positioned and what attacks the have determine what enemies thay can attack/affect. Each character can have up to four regular attacks (assigned to your x, o , sq and tri buttons) and three special attacks (swapping to a different menu with the R2) and you must use these to develop combos in order to have a chance in hell at winning with your dick intact. As soon as you begin attacking a timer counts down, you have until the end of the timer to either attack again, or switch characters and have them continue attacking. If you string the right attacks together in order, you get a combo. Actions cost AP, which each character starts with and you get more of each round. In order to pull off most combos, you need to wait till round two or have most of your team sit out a round and do nothing. Even using a healing item costs AP, so you'll end up in a situation where you can't heal yourself enough to negate the damage the enemies are dealing to you, and you won't have enough AP leftover for even a token attack. So combat can get frustrating and seems to drag on.
At least we have cosplay, right? Well not so much. To be frank, we have been grinding alot for the past 10 hours of playing , but I think the game finally gave us a hint that cosplay might be coming soon. Maybe. The cosplay concept is kind of what sold me on this game. NIS seems to have quite a good sense of humor and timing which is apparent to anyone who's played Disgaea
. The way it appears to work is that you earn a costume, and when you wear it it changes your appearance, stats and grants you special combat options. I liked it when Jessica in DQ8 did it, so why not a whole game full of it? But alas, I get nothing.
I know we've only scratched the surface of this game, but I'm not sure where it's going. I don't like the grind fests; that's why I quit WOW. I want to like this game based on the merit of it's characters and the publisher, but I've seen past that trap before (I've got my eye on you Squenix!). So far it's a middle of the road gaming experience. Lets' recap:
Reasonably deep combat system.
HP refills between battles.
On screen Gem tells you when "random" battle will occur.
B-List RPG character smash up.
NIS' great sense of humor and timing take the edge off a lacking storyline.
Non participating combatants receive partial EXP.
Grinding gives you little in reward.
You will be GP poor forever
: single healing item costs 200gp, single battle early on yields only 35 gp.
Combat seems to take forever.
You can only field 4 total fighters no matter how many are in your corral.
Combos are hard to come by unless you've been hording AP by doing nothing but being raped by wolves for turn after action less turn.
Story line seems weak. (But what did you expect from a mash up?)
Graphics seem dated (even for sprites).
NO COSPLAY AFTER TEN HOURS OF PLAY! WTF?
I think we're going to soldier on and see where th game goes. I 'm hoping it gets better. I'll post again about it when we get 30 hours in or have dropped it. Later!