So, in looking for a new game to play, I found myself trying this game that I had bought, oh, quite a while ago but had, as is usual for me, never actually played. And I find myself having an … odd relationship with this game.
The game in terms of gameplay is very similar to the “Agarest War” games, except for some small changes that usually make things slightly less deep and slightly less interesting. Its big gimmick is that it combines characters from multiple franchises with two or three original characters. Out of these, though, about the only characters I recognize are from “Darkstalkers”, and since you start with Morrigan early, at least it gives me one of the characters that I used to play with … er, use … er, select on the arcade game.
(Aside: I used to play that game a lot in the arcade in my residence when I was in university. As that was a Capcom game, I quickly learned that I could manage Morrigan’s ranged attack, and that by spamming the buttons I could trigger her spikes if something jumped over it. Thus, she was a good character for me. But, of course, I wasn’t very good at the game, and so could get through about the first two or three fights before that strategy didn’t work for me anymore. At any rate, at some point someone was watching me play, and I guess realized that I wasn’t very good, and so thought he’d play against and beat me. Well, the strategy worked pretty well against him. He tried a few times, lost, and then went away.
That ranged strategy has always been a bit too strong in the Capcom games. Once I played the “Marvel Heroes” version against a co-worker, and he used Cyclops’ ability against my Wolverine, and while I still wasn’t much good at the game there was little I could do against that. Moving to Cyclops, I didn’t know how that mechanism worked, and so still lost. He then said that he was just too good at that game, but for the most part simply spamming those moves doesn’t prove that. Or else my spamming Iron Man’s “unibeam” ability in Marvel vs Capcom and almost beating the entire game represented massive skill, as opposed to massive cheese [grin].)
Okay, back to “Cross Edge”. The big issue I’m having with the game is the similarity to “Record of Agarest War”. The games are very similar, and the differences usually are not to “Cross Edge”‘s favour. The battles only contain four characters, as opposed to Agarest War’s six. You select skills by hitting the right buttons on the controller, not by selecting them. You have to select combo abilities within a set timer, as opposed to as actions in Agarest War. The skills and combinations seem to be more shallow. The dungeons are platform-style. Random encounters are random, and can’t be triggered like you do in Agarest War. You have to use a searching type system that reminds me of Mass Effect 3’s, without the “Game Over” if you linger too long (but it’s still quite boring, and might involve backtracking). It does seem to retain the grinding requirement of the Agarest War games, as I wandered into the second area and ended up in a fight that was a bit too tough for me … mostly because of the fact that the characters I had left didn’t have the range to attack and kill off the rest of the monsters, which is also annoying (in Agarest War, the battlefield is deeper and so characters can move to attack, although it takes action points. You can do that here, too, but only so far). There’s no real benefit to positioning in the battle, unlike the Agarest War games. And so on.
So, as I play this game, I keep thinking that Agarest War pretty much did the same thing, only better. If I had finished the Agarest War games, I suspect that this might be in Cross Edge’s favour, but since those games are on my list it just reminds me that if I wanted a game like that I could just play those and finally manage to finish them off. So it hurts my enjoyment of the game, which makes me not all that interested in playing it. Having to grind a bit and search everywhere really doesn’t help.
Which is a shame, because it’s not a bad game and the story is somewhat interesting. But if every time I play it I end up wishing that I was playing Agarest War instead, that’s not an incentive to play it.