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Cross Edge Review

Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified PolygameistRPGamer Staff
edited July 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
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System: Playstation 3
Developer: Compile Heart
Publisher: Compile Heart & NIS America
Release Date: 05.26.2009
Description: Cross Edge is a joint effort from Idea Factory, Gust, Capcom, and Nippon Ichi with Compile Heart at the helm of development. It features characters from Darkstalkers, Ar Tonelico, Disgaea, Spectral Souls, and Mana Khemia.

06.03.09 Received game today. In case you didn't hear, I was very concerned before I even received it, due to a particularly low review from a big gaming site. Between the bad games I've played lately, and the good games that were just plain hard and punishing (I'm looking at you Dark Spire!), I wasn't ready for another round of punishment. Thankfully some fellow RPGamers were already chatting some good things about this game on our boards. That, and the fact that the average reader reviews seem pretty high. (Mind you, as a rule, I don't read reviews on games I plan to review myself in the near future. So, I haven't read any of the text on them). Anyway, next time I'll actually post my early game impression, which will be very soon.

06.04.09 I got a few hours into it, so I can give a very initial impression. The story thus far is a lose, somewhat generic reason to pull characters from these different 'universes' together. It's hard to come up with something real solid that bring Etna together with Morgan and with charcters from Ar Tonelico and Mana Khemia. Thus far, the interactions between the characters themselves is the strongest part of the story. It's typical Japanese Manga/Anime style banter. If you're a fan of the at least 3 of these series, you'll get a lot more out of it than someone who is not.

When I'm not talking, I'm either fighting, wondering around the overland, or trying to figure out the synthesis / upgrade workshop. I won't get into details on anything just yet, as I haven't completely figured out half of it. The overland is pretty basic. You wonder around, trying to find hidden 'lost souls' to get free items, party members and special events. This reminds me a lot of Wild Arms' overland system of locating hidden locations. You take a few steps, hit a button, watch a bubble indicating you're searching the area around you, and repeat. Alot.

Once you run into an event, the story is conveyed via dialogue between characters ala Disgaea 3. In fact, if you've played D3, you know exactly what to expect as far as graphics go. The characters, when talking, look great in high def. In combat, however, they are pretty lacking. While not quite as bad as D3's combat sprites, they certainly do not tax the power of the PS3. What's so hard about making combat graphics look better?

I'll talk more about the combat next time... as, similar to Disgaea, it is the meat and potatoes of the game. Thankfully, fights are much faster than Disgaea, and remind me of Valkarie Profile games.... which is a good thing. Like Disgaea, however, there are a number of nuances to both combat, and weapons/armor upgrades which have to be mastered to get the most out of it.

06.08.09 As expected, I got some more time into this today. I can certainly confirm that the voice acting and writing / localization seems to be pretty good thus far. There was one skit that left me scratching my head, but I'm not sure if that was the localization, or me somehow accessing the story in the wrong order. The story, thus far, is very ho hum. This is somewhat expected in a plot involving characters from five different games. The interaction and banter between them, however, can be amusing at times.

The biggest problem is, aside from these cut scene dialogues (Done Disgaea style), there's only combat, exploration and customization of times. The last two are handled extremely poorly and the first one is questionable. Today, I'll touch on combat.

Combat is turn based. You line four of your characters up on a 4x3 grid while against your opposition on the other side. Your characters started off with a set amount of Action Points which can be used in attacking, moving on the grid, switching out with other characters and using items. You map various attacks to your face buttons before battle. Which attacks you map, however, is limited by the weapon you are using. Beginning weapons, for example, only support one attack. So, for the first few hours of the game, you are playing characters who have only have one attack choice.

If you pass your turn without taking an action, you will save your AP's. You can save up to twice your starting amount in this order. By saving up your AP's, you might be able to pull off combo attacks with other characters. Alternatively, if your special attack gauge is somewhat filled from dishing out and absorbing damage, you can also unleash super attacks.

Attacks have ranges, and some have areas of effects. It's not unusual to have to move your characters around in battle to get in range to attack, move out of range so they don't all get caught in an enemy's AoE attack, etc. What is irritating, however, is that the command to move (or "Shift) your character is buried in a start menu. Far too many button presses have to take place to move your characters around. Furthermore, there are slight pauses when you enter the 'start menu' and whatnot. These pauses add up after a while. Alternatively, you can press left on the left analog stick to activate the "Shift" command. However, this is only really mentioned once that I remember in the game. If you didn't catch it (or remember it) in the somewhat long, text based tutorial, you might play through the game using the slow start menu.

Customization, the building up your weapons, is a critical part of the game, which I will go into more detail next time. I found out the hard way that you just cannot get very far into the 2nd area without putting in the time to farm the needed gold and materials necessary to build the next round of weapons and armor. Even with those, it is possible to be wiped out, quickly, by a strong random group. Despite my new armor, enemy mages can still wipe out my strongest character in 2-3 hits. It's not unusual to run into a group of 3 mages and several support units in front of them.... so depending on who gets initiative, surviving through the first round can be problematic.

Currently I just got Felicia on the team, investigated the area to the south of that where I gained the 2nd level in "Search." One of the characters recommend that I go back and search the first area using my stronger search skills. While that really does NOT sound like fun, I will make it my first order of business tonight.



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Comments

  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    Yeah that low scoreing indicated nothing but the reviewers failure as a human being.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • geoffuwsgeoffuws Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    lol, I guess it kind of also indicated that it is not something that people brand new to RPGs should pick up.
    I'm on the borderline with this one but mainly just because of a time factor
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    I may get it but the PAL releases of Star Ocean 4 and Tales of Vesperia are coming out this month so I won't really have the time for a while.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    Prinny impressions?
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    So I just picked up this game yesterday... I freaking LOVE it. I have not gotten into the finer points of the battle system but I love how much there is to manage. A lot of reviewers have said it is convoluted, but I simply attribute that opinion to the fact that they are probably just not patient enough to really understand it. I'm having a blast.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    Quote: wrote:
    I have not gotten into the finer points of the battle system but I love how much there is to manage. A lot of reviewers have said it is convoluted, but I simply attribute that opinion to the fact that they are probably just not patient enough to really understand it.

    As far as I know only one reviewer has made that claim, and judging by his review I doubt very much whether he even played the game. Thus far Cross Edge has only garnered 2 reviews on Metacritic, if JC hurries he might be able to get some props.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2009
    Prinny impressions?
    hehehe...I haven't got Etna or Prinny yet. I'm looking forward to them the most, too!
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2009
    Quote: wrote:
    I have not gotten into the finer points of the battle system but I love how much there is to manage. A lot of reviewers have said it is convoluted, but I simply attribute that opinion to the fact that they are probably just not patient enough to really understand it.

    As far as I know only one reviewer has made that claim, and judging by his review I doubt very much whether he even played the game. Thus far Cross Edge has only garnered 2 reviews on Metacritic, if JC hurries he might be able to get some props.
    heeheh...we'll see. Depends on how long it is... cuz unlike certain other sites, we actually play through more than 1/3 of the game tounge2.gif
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    If he had actually played though 1/3 of the game he would have had more of a clue of what was going on.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • DQ5DQ5 Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    One thing I love about Cross Edge is the R1 button which will always send you into a battle thus making it both easier and less time consuming to lv up.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2009
    One thing I love about Cross Edge is the R1 button which will always send you into a battle thus making it both easier and less time consuming to lv up.
    Yes...good point. I hate wondering around in circles when I need to grind. Instant satisfaction! Woot! On another note, I got an item that stops random encounters. I sold it for 5000 gold. I'm rich at level 4! WOOT!
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • RebochanRebochan Who needs Rinoa anyway? Full Members
    edited June 2009
    So how's the localization?
    "One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2009
    To be honest, I'm not always the best judge of localization.... if I can make out the story, and what they say makes sense for their character, I'm usually pretty happy. Thus far, seems fine to me. The voice acting is good... which is a big compliment given that games with lots of anime chicks tend to be really irritating (I hate high, squeaky voices)... or really bad (Chaos Wars comes to mind!)
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    Do you know if the characterizations are consistent with their franchises?
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • DescaraDescara Fly Away Now Full Members
    edited June 2009
    They're very "in character", they act like they acted in other games pretty much.

    The only ones we can't compare really is Mana Khemia 2. Not out yet (in US)



  • FiremystFiremyst Daddy Dragon II Full Members
    edited June 2009
    So far, I feel pretty limited in what I can do. I've found one chain combo and everyone has like one attack they can do. I guess you have to wait for the system to grow on you. I always feel I'm missing something key in these self-exploration battle systems, though.
    Founder, RPGamer
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  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2009
    So far, I feel pretty limited in what I can do. I've found one chain combo and everyone has like one attack they can do. I guess you have to wait for the system to grow on you. I always feel I'm missing something key in these self-exploration battle systems, though.
    I noticed that in the shop, I can buy books, which in turn teach me how to make weapons. I also noticed that these weapons seem to allow the equipping of different types of skills to the other buttons. I also noticed that even though I seem to have the parts, it doesn't let me make it. Hmmmm...I must be missing something...or maybe I have to get past a part of the story. Not sure. I'll spend more time on it tonight.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • DescaraDescara Fly Away Now Full Members
    edited June 2009
    Pay attention to the icon next to the item. I didn't notice at first, but I needed an Ice Crystal to make a new sword or spear. I had 12 Ice Crystals in my inventory and it said I had zero. Thinking it was a glitch, I sold them all and created them again, then tried reloading my game, everything.

    After a bit of hair pulling I noticed that the Ice Crystals I had seemed to have a different icon. The icon was a small bag. The ones I needed had an icon of a small square. After a bit of research, I found I needed the monster part "Ice Crystal" rather than the item "Ice Crystal." Very confusing, I blame it on the localization. But anyways, I found the item I needed from a monster called Cold Gel (looks like a purple puni.) and bam, made my sword/spear/whatever it was.

    So, small things should be paid attention to.

    As for attacks, they level up based on usage. Other attacks have conditions that have to be met before they're unlocked.

    Example: Attack A must be level 4 and Attack B must be level 3 to unlock Attack C.



  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2009
    Updated.

    One thing I'll add as a PS....I really like the skits with Prinny. Thus far, he's the star of the show IMHO biggrin.gif



    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • eienmatteienmatt New Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    This game has been a lot of fun so far. Really enjoying the battles and customizing all my characters as i see fit. Gotta agree, prinny moments are great so far. There's tons to micromanage however so if you don't enjoy grinding in an effort to collect different items/survive the crazy difficult encounters when you first find a new location, this game may not be for you.
  • geoffuwsgeoffuws Member Full Members
    edited June 2009
    How are the towns so far? Are you free to explore them or are they in the click-to-go-to-this-store fashion (like SRTOG: Endless Frontier, Soul Nomand or FFT)?
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2009
    Actually, there are no towns in the traditional sense...just places where your party can set up shop, so to speak. Various party members fill the roles of shopkeeper, item customizer, etc. So when you find a place to camp (hidden town), you simply get access to these services.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • geoffuwsgeoffuws Member Full Members
    edited July 2009
    I ended up getting this, I played for twenty minutes and I'm really skeptical at this point, the game feels very unpolished (receiving multiple items at harvest points result in the same tune being played to completion for each item) but the combat is interesting enough that i'll eventually push through.
    Main character is super punch worthy but everyone else is fine. Strangely enough you can't save at 'Save Points'
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
    All done and working on review now. Sorry for not keeping up better with the blog portion, but it seems some of you were doing such a good job with that, and I got tied up just trying to get through this. Review coming soon!
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2009
This discussion has been closed.