CrossCode Review Switch – it’s an ambitious action RPG that pulls off the feel of MMORPG gameplay incredibly well.
CrossCode is an homage to classic SNES games like ‘A Link to the Pasť and puzzle platformers, but with a decidedly modern twist. At its core, it’s a twin-stick action RPG with hardcore puzzle mechanics and the fleshed out story of traditional IRPGs.
The game itself is set within a fictional MMORPG game. Because of that, the game captures the feeling of playing an old MMO, kind of like the .hack// series on PS2. It’s an amazingly well put together action RPG, accompanied by an outstanding soundtrack.
The world is absolutely massive, offering plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. There are around 30 different boss fights littered throughout 7 expansive dungeons.
Cross Code is a modern love letter to classic 16-bit RPGs of the SNES era, but with all the fair of a modern game. The characters are likable and land well to the story the game is telling.
The world feels so well put together that it is easy to forget you’re not actually playing an MMORPG with other people. That’s exactly the feeling you want from a game that seeks to emulate those deep player connections.
The combat system in Cross Code seems simple at first, but it is actually quite complex. Lea can perform melee attacks with her chakrams in fast succession. She can also fire ranged projectiles called ‘balls’ that can be charged to become stronger. Strong projectiles can be bounced off of walls and are integral to solving many of the puzzles in the game.
Much of the fun to the game is customizing Lea’s combat using the skill tree. Each elemental skill tree has four main routes that can be activated. These skills augment melee attacks, ranged attacks, defense, and evasion. Each tree features useful combat arts that become essential to the game’s combat.
The puzzles in the game can be pretty tough, but I enjoy a good challenge. The concepts needed to solve the puzzles build on previously solved concepts quite a bit. They may utilize the same core mechanic, but differ drastically in its presentation and solution.
Puzzles often require the use of all four elements – heat, cold, wave, and shock. The top down perspective doesn’t lend itself well to some of the platforming puzzles, often requiring frequent restarts. This is the most frustrating aspect of playing the game, because it’s often unclear where to go in a puzzle. Thankfully, restarts in the game are nearly immediate.
Graphics & Audio
The game’s graphical presentation is where the game truly shines -everything feels put together with plenty of thought. The world itself is gorgeous, with plenty of variety in locations. The sheer number of places to explore and uncover captures the feel of an MMO well. The game’s interface is easy to understand – if a bit laggy on Switch. (More on that below.)
The CrossCode soundtrack is a treat for the ears, and it’s worth owning by itself. There are over 30 tracks, which you can hear and enjoy below. I couldn’t get enough of this soundtrack and found myself humming some of the tunes even when I wasn’t playing.
You can get a free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited for 30 days to listen to the CrossCode soundtrack. Stream over 60 million songs, many of them game soundtracks.
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CrossCode Review Switch Port Issues
The Switch version of Cross Code does have a few issues at launch. There is a general one to two-second lag every time you make a menu selection. Additionally, some users report that creating too many save files can trigger a bug that deletes them all. The ‘too many’ threshold seems to be around 20 save slots.
There are also slowdowns and some stuttering in certain locations on the map. These areas are mostly the latter parts of the game, more than 15 hours in. Another known crash happens when switching tabs in the games Botanic Records. The developers are aware of the issues and working to fix them.
CrossCode Review Switch – Conclusion
Despite a rough launch because of a handful of bugs, you still shouldn’t miss this RPG on Switch. The port team at Deck 13 is working hard on a patch to address many of the concerns outlined in the Switch Port section above.
If you play one indie RPG on Switch this year, make it CrossCode.
The presentation, deep lore, and world design make Cross Code a must experience game. The combat is fluid and fast-paced and each of the dungeons in the game is a blast to complete. If you’re looking for a game to get lost in, then Cross Code is it.
It’s a little rough around the edges, but Cross Code is an excellent little action-puzzle platformer. The sheer size of the world and the number of things you can uncover make the world a delight to explore.
It evokes the same sense of wonder you get when exploring massive JRPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2. The story is best experienced by going into it blind, so I’ve intentionally avoided spoilers here.
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