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


#22

This game is fantastic with unique combat and puzzles. The puzzles have been the biggest surprise to me in that some start out seemingly impossible and then are very rewarding once I solve them. I also think this game is very well written. It does play up some JRPG tropes but the dialog between characters seems realistic. One negative is that some of the NPC portraits are a grey generic stand in that stick out among the other unique characters. I understand art is hard to produce for every NPC but it wouldn’t stick out so much if They had a generic color palette rather than a dark grey one.

HIGHLY recommend this game!


#23

Writing is what really drew me into this game, and then the combat sealed the deal. Just a quality package all around. And I actually enjoyed the use of grey silhouettes for some of the characters, if only as a way of visually establishing who’s most important to your story. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was used as a way of misleading you at one point or another as well. Just a theory!


#24

Just discovered you can grab a free demo of CrossCode on Itch for Mac, Windows, or Linux. Definitely worth checking out if you like this style of retro-ish, 2D action-RPGs (with great writing), and chances are you’ll get hooked pretty quickly.

The full game is only $20, too, which is crazy for how well made it is and the amount of content so far.


#25

Hi, I’m now over 25 hours into this game and I continue to adore it. The puzzles can still be frustrating at times, but I think I’m finally hitting a groove where everything feels much more intuitive. What I really want to praise, though, is how much I love how Lea is portrayed. The story has progressed to a point where her background is much more fleshed out and that’s now having ramifications for how she interacts with those around her – especially Emilie.

The way this is resolved legitmately brought me close to tears where [~3rd temple spoilers] C’Tron tries to get Lea and Emilie to reconcile after Lea’s disappearance, which causes Lea to breakdown when she admits how much she missed the two of them. Emilie and Lea embrace and let out all their pent up emotions, with Lea only being able to say “Hi” with varying degrees of intensity. I don’t know, protagonists with limited verbal agency is a trope that’s been done to death, but there’s something about how it’s done here – with how the game’s writing and character art feels so intertwined – that feels so refreshing and purposeful!

Also, the shock element temple is sooooo well-designed I had to finish it all in one sitting.


#26

It sounds like the CrossCode devs want the game to be more accessible to players who are turned off by the game’s difficulty. You can now adjust damage received, frequency of enemy attacks, and puzzle mechanic speed in the options menu!

https://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=368340


#27

I hate that games have been demeaning and cruel about difficulty for so long that it’s always going to shock me when a game just says “yeah, accessibility is good” in plain language with no caveats.

That aside, I picked this up after seeing it on the 72-hour stream, and it’s a lot of fun so far. I haven’t made it to the meatier plot stuff yet, but it’s hard to be impatient when I’m playing the first good Mana game in 23 years.


#28

This game has been on my mind since the stream. How tough is CrossCode on normal difficulty - is K&M intuitive for the combat?


#29

I honestly couldn’t imagine doing well in any of the combat or platforming if I didn’t have a controller. But that’s all personal preference of course.

I’ve had to retry most of the bosses on normal difficulty, but it’s nothing like Dark Souls or Hollow Knight or whatever. I’d say the real difficulty comes from some of the platforming challenges and finding your way to certain locations.


#30

I’d say K&M is intuitive - in some ways, more so than the controller - but I still prefer the controller to avoid RSI (the controller auto-fires long-range attacks, while the mouse requires manual clicking).

There used to only be one difficulty setting and I found it pretty dang hard. Now, the assist mode lets you turn down damage taken (in 20% increments, down to 0%) and attack frequency (in 10% increments, down to 50%). This means you can theoretically to battle down to almost any difficulty, although since there is no option to increase damage dealt to enemies, you still need to land the same number of hits.

Edit: I hadn’t played this in a while after getting frustrated with a battle involving two stingrays. Just turned the assist mode way up to beat it and it felt pretty good. Having the option to turn on the assist when a particular interaction stops being fun is great.


#31

I played the demo this afternoon with K&M and it felt fine. I’ll likely take a crack at the full game - and that assist mode does sound appealing.


#32

Finally finished it today! Really looking forward to the additional content, it was a strong game emotionally (Emilie/Lea!!!) but it definitely needs some more story time to wrap things up. I’m glad I won’t have to do any more puzzles for a little while though. I agree that they generally become more intuitive over time, and I managed to finish most of them without looking for outside help, but it gets a little mentally taxing moving around a world that has multiple puzzles on almost every screen.


#33

I just beat the final boss - apparently I missed something (a random side quest that wasn’t telegraphed as particularly plot significant?) to unlock the good ending but honestly I have no interest in going back to get it.

I don’t know, I really enjoyed the first half of the game, and the sequences where you hack CrossWorlds, fly through multiple dungeon instances, etc are super cool - I wish the game had a higher ratio of that stuff. But by about the halfway point it felt a lot like the game had run out of interesting ideas and it became clear it wasn’t interested in exploring the implications of its world.

The setup of, “so we built a physical MMO on a moon using future technology, and maybe there was an ancient civilisation here once - also there’s an ancient civilisation in the MMO and we’re not going to fully explain how much of that is actual history or fictional history or where the overlap is”, was way more intriguing to me. I was waiting for the twist to be, “and it turns out the MMO company is using players to unearth the secrets of the ancient civilisation in real life whilst they’re playing the game. Here’s a multi-layered narrative about consumers not paying attention to where their entertainment comes from and how they are made complicit in colonial violence.”

Aaaand it just wasn’t about any of that, and in hindsight I’m not sure how much of that text is even really there rather than something I read into it. Like, fine - that’s more my problem than the game’s because it’s actively more concerned with moment to moment character interaction (and I extremely appreciated how it went out of its way to make sure Lea was treated as a full person and have everyone - including antagonists - be accepting of and happy to work within and around her limitations) and creating the feeling of being inside an MMO and it does that stuff pretty well. The story it did end up telling is fine, it’s completely fine and in keeping with the ideas it’s going for. I can’t really fault it for it. So I’m left in this awkward place where I enjoyed like 30+ hours of the game and think it’s pretty good, but came away feeling disappointed because I was expecting something different than it ended up being.


#34

It’s official – CrossCode is getting ported to that console everyone wants it to be on!


#35

I am sooooo excited - I’ve played a tiny bit of the game on the computer, but I really don’t do a lot of gaming there anymore. I have, however, been playing a ton of stuff on the Switch lately, and CrossCode is such a perfect fit for it.


#36

That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling too. It’s such a pain to pull out my laptop anymore that I find myself just not really playing things I’d otherwise love. Switch on the other hand fits my life perfectly, so I’m all about seeing this – which I was about to try and get going despite all that – get ported makes me very very happy.


#37

I am actually a bit annoyed by this? It wasn’t that long ago that they said it would come out on Switch when hedgehags fly as the engine they used would make it a pain to port to Switch, and they were pretty upfront about how it was not an easy thing to do and how constantly bugging them about it was annoying. And now barely a month later they’ve done it anyways and made it all out to be a joke

And I rather appreciated that candor as while I understand why people want games on the Switch I increasingly feel like “When is it coming to Switch?!” is a cudgel of ever growing size as it becomes the defacto standard of indie games and I rather worry about when it starts being used to bludgeon devs who maybe don’t want to port games to a console owned by a company as ethically dubious and as largely unquestioned as Nintendo. Which is not to say any of the other platforms are better but that’s a larger topic


#38

I mean, I’m sure they just could have said nothing and waited, i’m sure the buzz for a moderately successful indie game would have died out sooner rather than later. Hell it was the beginnings of January and honestly the game had already completely fallen out of the discourse tbh.

On the ethically dubious train, i mean, you are right, but its not like porting to Sony or Microsoft would have been any better. Hell, the game is already on Steam. There is really no way to publish and distribute a game completely ethically, thats for certain


#39

I just want more people to play Crosscode. 2019’s 2018 GOTY let’s make this happen.