The CrossCode thread (Or: Is GOTY 2018 already here?)


#1

I hope you’ll indulge me the cheeky title. Must be what’s in the air this time of year.

Anyway, I’ve started playing CrossCode after doing a Steam deep dive yesterday, and I am absolutely floored by this game. I know it first made a major splash in 2015, and it’s been in development/Early Access for over two years now, but I didn’t see any threads or posts about the game here. Seeing that the geniuses over at Radical Fish Games are planning an early 2018 “official release” for CrossCode, I thought a new thread for this incredible project would be warranted.

CrossCode is a retro-inspired, 2D action-RPG made with pixel art. WAIT! WAIT! DON’T LEAVE! You, stop yawning over there. I kid, I kid, but I appreciate that such a description may feel extremely old hat for many people. I WAS ONCE LIKE YOU. But after a fair bit of research and a romp through their free demo, I was quickly and irreversibly converted. OK, so, imagine Chrono Trigger played like Hyper Light Drifter, but instead of a classic JRPG or oblique fantasy story, it was more Ready Player One with a side of Memento. The characters feel real and fleshed-out, even as some of them play off classic archetypes. After playing the demo, not only was I fiending to sink my teeth into the mechanics, I was absolutely dying to continue the story. Oh, yeah, and it’s also challenging in a very satisfying way. No, it’s not Souls-esque, but there is a difficulty that seasoned gamers will surely appreciate.

If 2018 is anything like 2017, it will be chock full of amazing games that we’ll all come to furiously love. (I’m desperately hoping that this drop-dead gorgeous unnamed project materializes sooner than later.) But I do truly wonder if one of next year’s best might already be sitting right in front of us. Anyone feel the same way? Or maybe this didn’t light your fire quite like it did for me? Very curious to hear about other experiences with CrossCode.


We Discuss the Video Games We're Most Looking Forward to in 2018
#2

I’ve had crosscode on my list for a while. the demo was excellent but also it’s not the kind of game I wanna jump in on before the full version is out, given it’s an RPG and all that.


#3

I’ve been wanting to play this for a while and finally picked it up last night. I played for 2 hours I think I like it but it hasn’t really grabbed me yet, but that might just be because it’s slow to start like most of these games tend to be.


#4

I feel that hesitation, too, as I know the story’s ending hasn’t yet been implemented. But there seems to be so much of the game available to play that I doubt I’d make it to the end before the final update comes. Well, that is if they can stick to their current timeline. I for one am happy to dig in with what’s already here.


#5

The tutorial really does take its time to set up the story and teach you the mechanics, I agree. It’s maybe a little too slow to start, but, in a way, I think that makes the big moment of plot development land that much harder. Did you make it to the first boss yet? That’s the point where I was officially hooked.


#6

Yeah I’m past that and just started exploring the forest area. The story stuff in the beginning made interested to see where they take it but didn’t really hook me on its own tbh.


#7

It’s out! Happy CrossCode day!

I’m torn between wanting to start from the beginning and wanting to carry on with my level 40 character because it will take me forever to get that far again.

…I’m starting from the beginning.


#8

YESSSSS

I’ve already started from the beginning three times, lol :roll_eyes:


#9

Oh this looks like it’s just my jam. Thanks for posting and making me aware! Buying after work today.


#10

Nice! Would love to hear what you think of it.


#12

So I played the demo, and thought the combat felt really fantastic, but kind of am scratching my head on why this is especially GOTY material? Not trying to yuck any yum, but I’m just curious on what makes this game so special! Does the story get better or the combat even deeper?


#13

This game is pretty great. I was iffy at first because I don’t like dual joystick shooters, but switching to keyboard and mouse made it all click a lot better. So to speak… because this game will probably give me an RSI.

I like what they do with the silent protagonist as well, with it actually being justified in-world, worked around, and as annoying for her to experience as it is for me when I play as a silent protagonist nowadays. She’s still a person with a personality and can express herself instead of just being a plank of wood that people exposit towards.

I started it yesterday and played for five hours straight.


#14

I am super into this game so far, 3 hours in.


#15

I’m a big liar. I got caught up in real life responsibilities last weekend and didn’t pick this up. My excitement remains in place. I will rectify this mistake immediately.


#16

I’m just past what I believe is the halfway point, at 32 hours in. It’s amazing that this game is $20.

It also just keeps getting better and better. Unless Odyssey blows me out of the water I think this thread title will be accurate for me.


#17

Made some good progress in CrossCode tonight

Have to grind before I can leave the noob zone, which makes sense given the subject matter, but the game does some very cool stuff within the forced MMO grind framework

and actually addressed some of the concerns I had earlier in a very satisfactory way

excited to play more! just hit level 12


#18

That’s Crosscode finished, and holy hell what a good-ass game. Wow. Mainly the story, which was entirely my jam, but the gameplay was a lot of fun too. I do wish that some of the fights and puzzles weren’t as difficult though, just so more people could experience it.

Looking forward to whatever post game content they come out with.


#19

Hey, hi. So, reading this thread (along with watching Giant Bomb’s Quick Look) convinced me to pick this game up last week, and I think I love it(?) I think I’ve mentioned in other threads here that something a lot of my favorite games do well is convey a sense of place, and while The Croissant isn’t the most imaginative world I’ve ever visited in a game, the way CrossCode conveys its MMO framework is one of my favorite things from this year. I played a lot of MMOs growing up (primarily WoW), and looking back on that time I realize that it’s not the pre-determined settings or events I recall most, but being surrounded by other players in major cities, using the game’s movement to turn Azeroth into a platforming level, and recognizing the absurdity of the clockwork nature of NPCs interacting with countless player protagonists.

So despite CrossCode being a 2D game that looks and plays more like Secret of Mana than Wrath of the Lich King, I can’t get over how much it seems to capture the essence of being in an MMO. Seeing swarms of other “players” either running around awkwardly or just chilling on the highest rooftop they could find seemed jarring at first, but quickly enough it made me feel like it was 2007 and I was walking around Stormwind all over again. The game’s writing pointing out and playing with the absurdity of every individual player being treated as the sole hero of the game’s story serves to provide humor, but also resonates with that part of me that took delight in the absurd traditions of MMO narrative contrivance. And the fact that ad hoc parkour/platforming is a core feature of the game’s loop never fails to make me think back to the hours I spent sneaking inside the Caverns of Time back in Vanilla WoW.

Sure the game isn’t perfect, but all of the little things this game does well has already made it one of my favorite games from this year, and I just cannot wait to see more of the story unfold.


#20

That, and your earlier comment about RSI, are the biggest issues I have with the game. It’s frustrating, because engaging with the mechanics is fun enough that I find myself doing most of the optional sidequests including the 2-minute speedrun challenges, but at the same time… even being consistently overleveled, I get routinely destroyed by fights. It feels like you need to consistently play near-optimally to progress through the main story without an incredible amount of grinding and there comes a point where I just don’t want to do that.

I wonder if there’s any adaptive difficulty built into the game, because I initially did some save-scumming to beat all the rival fights/races (for the first two dungeons, gave up on the third). It would be interesting if the difficulty was adjusted based on that, but I think it just started hard and got even harder. The reason I was replaying challenges in the first place was because I was losing them so badly that it didn’t feel like I had played them properly.

The amount of clicking required with the mouse controls is also liable to give people repetitive strain injuries. Playing with a gamepad is much better thanks to the auto-fire, but the loss of quick aiming makes some challenges even more absurdly difficult.

I still love the game, largely for the reasons @ligeti wrote above. It’s a great game and people should play it, but it really, really, really needs options to adjust difficulty (especially bullet sponginess).


#21

Totally with you that the story is what hooked me, but I dug a fair amount of the combat too. Now that the game is finished I’m going to have to go in even deeper. Really glad to hear it keeps getting better over time too