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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: NIS
Developed By: Compile Heart / Idea Factory
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: May 26, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

For those who have yet to pick up a copy of Cross Edge for their PlayStation 3 console, you are missing out on one epic, turn-based RPG title that packs a mighty punch for hours upon hours of gameplay. Cross Edge, it’s a unique Japanese RPG that utilizes characters from several well-known Japanese gaming companies-Capcom, Gust, Namco Bandai, Idea Factory, and Nippon Ichi Software- to create a unique and compelling videogaming experience. The title features several familiar faces from the Disgaea, Darkstalkers and/or Ar Tonelico series, which help the title’s overall appeal to gamers worldwide.

Cross Edge’s story starts you off in what seems like an un-populated forest where York and Miko are trying to figure out where they are and how did they get there. This central theme is pretty much the same with every character you come across that joins your team. You run into a mysterious young girl by the name of May who offers to help them return to their world in exchange for them helping here with releasing Souls trapped within their current world. As the game progresses onward, you meet up with several individuals who eventually join your cause in order to return to their home world. Through these encounters, you come across the rest of the 19 characters that you will have the ability to control in battle.

As you encounter new friends and foes, you are introduced to them through static image cutscenes. Each character has three different static images, all of which are highly detailed and full of color. What makes these cutscenes stand out in comparison to other RPG titles that utilize this style is the ability to control their flow. You can operate the cutscenes the traditional way of pressing the action button after each person has finish saying their bit. Your other options include simply pressing ‘Start’ to put into auto mode, which will make the cutscene flow straight through. There is also skip mode (Square button) which allows you to fast-forward through the cutscene, and pause mode (Circle button) which allows you to stop the cutscene. Though this feature wasn’t needed, it was nice to be able to put the cutscene into auto mode and just watch the character converse back and forth with no input from the player.

When looking at screenshots of Cross Edge, it is easy to get intimidated by many different control aspects of the HUD, which leads many to believe that this game has a steep learning curve, which is further from the truth. When you enter battle for the first time, you are offered tutorials, which breakdown the different aspects of the HUD, including the different types of attacks (Regular and EX Skills), how to spend the AP (Action points), etc. For those who read the game manual before playing the game, you get the whole breakdown inside there too, letting you know what you can do and what to expect from the game. I will admit, within my first battle I got a little confused only because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was being told. Within your first few battles, you will understand to entire system, including how to chain attacks together. All attack modes are mapped to the face buttons, while L1 and R1 are used to scroll through the characters you are currently using in battle. While your roster will be eventually buffed up to 19 total, you can only choose 4 at any time to take with you into battle. When you start an attack on an enemy, a count starts to count down until it reaches zero. During that time frame, you can attack the same enemy several times with all the characters inside your battle party (all dependent on available AP), which allows you to chain attacks together and build up massive combos.

As you progress through the game, you will come across random Souls scattered among the massive landscapes, which once freed, supply you with different materials, items, weapons, etc. In order to find these Souls, you must scan the landscape section by section. It sounds like a daunting task, however thankfully you have the help of hidden mansion-type places, which act as safe locations for your party. Within these locations you can buy new weaponry, items and armor. You can synthesis new and/or stronger weaponry and armor. There is even a spot to revive and fully heal fallen comrades. There is also an area scanner in each location, which scans a certain distance surrounding the mansion location. As you get progress through each massive landscape, you will come across Souls which increase the power of the area scanner, thus allowing you to scan and find things you might have missed the first time through.

The only problem I had with Cross Edge was it in-depth system for making your characters stronger. While buying and equipping weaponry and armor is good for battle, you also have the task of making that weapon and armor more durable and deadly. I think it’s a matter of getting into it. Most will simply buy new weapons as they become available, which will make the game increasing more difficult to complete as you discover tougher enemies and new lands. While at the mansions, you must go to the Customization Room in order to upgrade your weaponry and armor. Here, you will spend EP (Experience Points) to upgrade all equipped equipment, thus increasing a players strength, defense, speed, intellect, luck, etc. These simple, yet in-depth additions to each character can mean the different between certain death and a chance at victory.

Depending on your style of gameplay, the game can range from 30-75 hours. Some may prefer to simply play through the game to beat it as quick as possible, while others enjoy scanning the terrain trying to find every soul, every event, and every item in order to acquire certain bonuses found with the game. These bonuses include different clothing outfits for each character, which can increase and/or decrease their stats (depending on current stat levels). Some of these outfits are traditional, while others are a bit revealing. Other bonuses include titles, which reward the playing with additional items and money to spend at the mansion. Then there are also the trophies you can acquire by meeting certain tasks within the game. Some are as simple as competing in 35 battles or defeat 100 enemy units. The more difficult ones include exceed 1,000,000 points of total damage or surviving 900 battles.

What can I say, this is yet another solid RPG experience PlayStation 3 owners can enjoy while they await titles like Final Fantasy XIII and White Knight Chronicles. With simplistic, yet enriching visuals, a soundtrack that has you hooked from the beginning to the end, and an immersive storyline… Cross Edge is yet another Japanese RPG that gives gamers a memorable experience. With Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice and Cross Edge under their belts NIS America as a publisher is becoming a more formable force to deal with in the gaming industry.


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