Cross Indifferent: The Cross Edge Review
Many RPG’s only take on a story from one side of the picture. In this game, we see one story combining many worlds to a soul world which is in danger. This might seem interesting at first but the sounds, graphics and story make this game a toss up for gamers to enjoy or dislike.
The story is unusual to say the least when it explains to you that many ‘thoughts’ are accepted or repelled and that this ‘world’ (that you don’t know about) will welcome any ‘thoughts’. From there, this world welcomed both York and Miko who seem to be good friends but don’t know where they are. York fights off a monster but after the fight, more show up. Morrigan comes into the party to help out with more of the monsters York and Miko have to deal with. When finished they decide to head out and search for clues to where they are. They stumble across May who seems to be apart of this world but doesn’t have all the answers to the world they are in. She does explain where York, Miko and Morrigan are but doesn’t know much more then that. May goes into detail that souls are being stolen from this world by ‘bad people’ so the people in this spirit world were dragged away from their world to this one. May has a special ability to find these souls on this world and send them back to where they came from. So she teams up to help find souls and teleport them back to their own world. The weirdness of the story continues with not much explanation then this. As you keep playing, the story tries to unravel what it can but still fails at many levels. While playing, you will encounter many character from other games like Atelier Marie, Mana-Khemia 2, Darkstalkers, Disgaea, Ar Tonelico, Spectral Souls, and Absolute Blazing Infinity.
The graphics are a mixture of close up dialog with text boxes and still shots of characters talking. Those still shots might change depending on how they are expressing themselves. Disgaea does this through out their gaming series. The animation when fighting or cut scenes are done with sprit like character like done in Disgaea as well but not done as well. Monsters are sometimes cartoon sprits but also 3D like sprits mixed in which doesn’t always look great when fighting. The worlds don’t look great either as you are mini version York running around a sprit like island finding events (to move along with the story) or souls (to gain items to improve your adventure). The graphics do not show off what could be a high point in this game (like Diagaea does with each of their games).
When things couldn’t get worse, the sounds in the game bring it down a bit at a time. The voice acting isn’t bad as you can have either Japanese (the best) or English (not that bad) read the dialog that is presented to you. The emotional sounds from the voice actors are done well and fit with each character for both languages. The other sounds around it do not backup the voice acting at all. Sound effects are sometimes off mark or not complacent with what is going on. For Example: A character was walking in a cut scene and stepping sounds came into play. The character stopped but the stepping noises continued then stopped a second later. Music is kind of confusing when it bring techno to the battles but pleasant elevator music when walking around on the world. This mix-and-match type music doesn’t fit with the game well and can be irritating as well.
The gameplay is probably the highest point of the game but will take time to learn/master the mechanics of just playing this game. Fighting takes place on a 3 by 4 grid were you can place 4 characters at a time to fight. Two sides have this grid, one for your team and another for your opponents. Each character has AP points which control the attacks for a single character. Attacks are turn based but in real time so combos can be done on one enemy with multiple alleys. There is a timer though during an attack to keep you on your toes and to keep the combo alive. If the timer stops, it just means you lose that combo but not your turn. Each character can have 4 attacks to choose from (when they are learned for that person). Those 4 attacks are represented by your 4 controller buttons next to your right thumb stick. Each attack also has an AP amount to use them so you will have to choose your combination wisely. Those combination could lead to just attacks or to ‘jointed combos’ which lets two character attack an enemy in that combo. The AP can also be used per alley to use times. Items have an AP amount during battle so healing could cost a character 8 AP points but doesn’t mean they are done with the fight. SP is also used in this game but only accumulated after an enemy is defeated. Once SP is available, a character my perform a ’special’ attack. Character can be substituted into the match or current members can be moved around their 3×4 board (for some AP of course). After each battle, you are graded and on that battle. This grade can boost your EXP and other stats after a match.
When you are done fighting, you will be keeping yourself busy in the user menu trying to figure out what-is-what and just trying to navigate through. You get to the menu only when you are in the world view by pressing the triangle button. You then have the option to change you formation, see the status of all characters, equip them with items and moves, see the items or use them, an encyclopedia and a place to save/load the game. If you are not there, you could always dive into a building (which is called a ’save point’ in the game but is more of a safe house) to buy items, customize your items, search the area near the building, or revive fallen character. The item shop can be confusing if you want to buy new weapons for character since it doesn’t help you figure who does/does not have that item already. The customization part of the game could give gamers a great way to make a wonderful item before moving up to something newer and cooler. It will take some practice to understand the customization but has some benefits for the game.
The gameplay could keep any JRPG fan entertained for many, many hours mastering the fighting system, customizing items to their liking and finding all the joint combinations there are in the game (a total of 111 types of combinations and those combinations can be performed by multiple characters). The downfalls to this game could make you weep from the inside and your wallet. There are way better games now that you could spend your money on outside from this game for the PS3.