CrossCode “A Masterpieces in Disguise” – Demo Review

by: Anthony Riley

I believe there are three types of games found in Steam Early Access. The first type is games that gain momentum so quickly, due to praise that they are prophesized be a success. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have games that, from first glance are destined for failure. And the third type? Games overshadowed by fame while at the same time being looked at as an upcoming failure. Games that are masterpieces-in-disguise- games like CrossCode.

CrossCode is a story-driven action RPG game developed by Radical Fish Games. The creative team behind the game consisted of a small group of developers. Led by Felix Klein, the team sought out to create a game with a deep story and fast gameplay. Using their knowledge of the 16-bit era of gaming, the staff at Radical Fish Games was able to combine elements from different genres while at the same time, presenting it in the cleanest way possible. Radical Fish has since kept support for the game at an all-time high and are just about ready to enter the final stages of development.

Getting my hands on the demo version of the game, I was rather amused. You take control of the mute MMO avatar Lea in her quest to regain her memories. The game featured stunning 16-bit visuals. This emulated a classic feel that can only be replicated when playing older games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or Chrono Trigger while at the same time looking polished enough to compete with today’s standards. Adding to the retro feel of the game is the music; CrossCode features an original chip-tune soundtrack akin to a Mega man game.

Combat was one of the demo’s strongest points. The ability to switch from an up-close play style to a ranged one on the fly made battles feel fast paced. Coupled that with Lea’s incredibly fast dodge made for a much more fun experience. Outside of battle, solving puzzles with Lea was a blast. Her ranged weapon, balls, allow for interesting puzzle mechanics including bouncing them off walls in order to hit far away switches. For a demo, I was actually very surprised at the difficulty of said puzzles. They were not hard but they did require me to take a minute to understand.

I have high expectations for the game. The demo proved that the CrossCode developers are on the right track to making a masterpiece. Being such an early build, however, it wouldn’t be surprising if a lot has changed since the demo’s release in 2015. If you want the latest version of CrossCode, you can purchase it on Steam Early Access for $19.99. It is set to fully release sometime in 2017.