CrossCode was born from a really ingenious idea: a video game within a video game. Specifically, the player is catapulted into an MMO. But in practice, CrossCode works more like a mix of a classic 16-bit JRPG and a modern-day action RPG. Everything is presented with splendid pixel-art graphics and a frame similar to that of the old Zelda games. With these premises, the expectations were decidedly high, and the wait for the arrival of the title on the console (it was already available on PC for some time) made the interest grow.

But let’s do it in order. In CrossCode, we play the role of Lea, an MMO avatar who has lost her memory, no longer remembers connecting with her user and also has issues with her voice synthesizer that prevents her from interacting. The adventure begins like this, with an original plot but not too much and Lea who, in addition to going in search of the purpose of her existence, is called upon to investigate certain oddities that occur in CrossWorld, the MMO world that serves of frame to the game. The adventure begins on a freighter, where Lea will receive a brief combat and moveset training. The latter is fairly straightforward and intuitive at first, but it will deepen as we continue through the chapters, as we learn new skills.

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This scene is very familiar to those who have played classic JPRPG …

As for combat, we have two melee attacks, one basic and one more powerful. With the ZR key (we played the Switch version) we can load up a useful shot to hit in a circle (similar attack to Link’s in A Link To The Past), and by combining the right analog with the R key we can launch random attacks useful for hitting enemies from a distance or hitting switches to open doors or solve environmental puzzles. Finally, we also have dodge available, although executing it via a keystroke isn’t among the most intuitive we’ve seen. This is the basic moveset. Other skills will be learned later and could even be improved, but we want to avoid further spoilers.

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Being a game set in an MMO, in the world of CrossWorld we will find many NPCs to talk to, interact with and ready to give us many side missions, which are in addition to the main missions. In short, those who are used to RPGs will immediately feel at home. Being a game world that wants to mimic that of an MMO, the environments and areas are sometimes limitless and the development team has done a great job in this regard, despite the physiological limitations of a more characteristic top-down plane. ‘a JRPG. classic, with tables unique to each other but divided by downloads. Rather, the world of CrossWorld gives the feeling of being whole and fluid in its exploration: there are no charges between the zones. An exploration that makes the big voice of the game. There are many places to discover, dotted with NPCs and enemies, and grinding is a fundamental element for the progression of the character. While it is actually possible to change the difficulty by choosing smoother and more accessible settings, the standard level is quite difficult, and in order to defeat the toughest bosses and overcome the more difficult areas, it will often be necessary to stop and fight at the level.

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Despite being an RPG, however, the freedom of action and customization is limited in some ways. For example, you can’t choose the character class, neither at the start nor along the way, and although Lea can form parts when she meets friends on her way, the choice of components is mostly already established by the developers. Variety is not lacking, however. The game features over 120 different enemies, over 30 boss fights, and there are the beloved dungeons too. All this comes with a wonderful soundtrack in perfect retro style. In short, exploring the sci-fi world of CrossWorld, made up of seven different areas, is truly compelling and fascinating.

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As for the technical sector, Deck13 has managed to mix classic retro elements with more modern effects and gameplay. However, in the Switch version, which we tested, we saw annoying slowdowns in loading paints and menus, which intensify as our adventure becomes more mature and complex. The PC version we tested a while back did not suffer from these issues, and so it is not clear whether this is an exclusive issue of the Switch version or the adaptation of the console (the game is also available on PS4 and Xbox One). In any case, given that the port to console took two years, this is an unjustifiable flaw, also considering that this is a 2.5D game that is anything but heavy. So hopefully the team fixes the systems as soon as possible.

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In conclusion, CrossCode is a very special game that will entertain all fans of classic JRPG, embracing action-RPG and MMO fans as well. A large sci-fi world to explore, plenty of side missions, a compelling storyline, and a fluid and frenzied combat system will keep us busy for many hours. Its limiting factors are too small a minimap, sometimes really not very useful, and the lack of Italian localization and a full voice game. But if those aspects aren’t problematic and you like classic Zelda games, the purchase is definitely worth it. And next month, a physical edition is also on the way, good news for collectors.

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Source : Reddit