Cross Edge
PlayStation 3
Reviewed: 4/12/2010

Cross Edge showcases various main characters from seven different games: Atelier Marie, Mana Khemia 2, Darkstalkers, Disgaea, Ar Tonelico, Spectral Souls, and Absolute Blazing Infinity. As if that weren’t enough, Cross Edge also features a handful of original characters that partake in the party roster. The story opens with York and Miko waking up in a strange soul world. After being attacked by monsters, Morrigan from Darkstalkers makes her entrance and joins the party. The gang then encounters a young girl by the name of May who seems to be a part of the soul world. May explains that souls are being forcibly taken from other worlds to help sustain the soul world, and that she has the ability to free these souls. The party then agrees to explore the world to find out where they are and free souls along the way.

The plot of the story can be summed up in the statement that York makes in the very beginning of game, “I dunno what’s going on, but I’m gonna kick your ass!” Unfortunately, “kicking ass” in this game refers to hours upon hours of grinding. Throughout a majority of the game, none of the characters have any idea of what is going on. May gives obvious hints that she knows more about the world, but refuses to tell anything until late in the game. Instead of being filled with suspense, the player is usually aggravated with May’s disposition.

Cross Edge also lacks a few key elements that are present in RPGs: non-player characters and explorable towns. If the player is not spending time grinding in battle, the player is scouring the world map for souls. The only way to progress the story is to meander throughout the entire map constantly pressing the square button. The square button is the search button and will reveal hidden souls as well as events. The enjoyment of town exploration and being able to enter into conversations with NPCs are completely out of the picture in Cross Edge.

The graphics are made of sprites, reminiscent of many JRPGs on the last 20 years. Unfortunately, Cross Edge is clearly outdated when compared to other PS3 games. When a player enters a dungeon, the game transforms into a 2D platformer. The graphics do not improve at all in this mode; the background is laden with prosaic, repetitive backgrounds. A majority of the backgrounds during dialogue scenes and battles are not aesthetically pleasing.

Cross Edge Screen Shot

Due to the large amount of characters available, the dialogue scenes can become strenuous because only two characters can appear on the screen at one time, making dialogue scenes more drawn out than they have to. The optional scenes hardly add to the story. In fact, most of the scenes contain inside jokes from the games that make up Cross Edge. Thus, only a player who has played several of these games will be able to catch onto the inside jokes. Also, the English voice acting ravages and violates my ear drums. I find a player’s tolerance laudable if he/she can withstand the English voice acting of Cross Edge.

Cross Edge deserves some praise for its battle system. The battle system is a turn based system in which you place four characters on a three by four grid. Certain attacks can be used in conjunction to perform powerful combos. The player’s goal is to find the best combos in order to make grinding less painful. Even though the battle system is perhaps one of the saving features of Cross Edge, it still has its foibles. Opening the menu to search for items or switch characters slows the gameplay down considerably, thus making it more time effective to just put a healer in your party. Another issue is that battles take much longer than your normal RPG, which can easily earn the player’s ire since there is much grinding to be done in this game.

The system of buying and synthesizing is enough to leave the player effete and burned out. First off, players buy items and upgrades from their own party members. RPGs are not known for their realism, but the idea of buying items from party members that the party collectively uses is downright idiotic.

The player pays Marie to synthesize new weapons, armor, accessories, and items. The only way to synthesize new equipment is to obtain synth recipes that are scattered throughout dungeons and optional event quests. The higher level weapons requires that the players upgrade a lower level weapon and then transform that lower level weapon into a material that will be used to make the higher level weapon. This means if you miss a synth recipe, it may not be possible to create the higher level equipment. Also, this means that the player must go into another menu, only to realize that they have to go into another menu, and then finally go into another menu, and then go back to the original menu, only to find out that they need another ingredient which is found in another menu, but sometimes the player may need to upgrade an item to create an ingredient and has to go into another menu, or some of the ingredients are items that you can buy in another menu. If the player wishes to organize the items, the player must go into another menu. The status screen is also not the screen where the player can distribute the stat points called PP, which is in another menu. If it is not obvious, the menu system is as convoluted as LA downtown traffic.

Due to the mundane graphics, poor storyline, a myriad of dialogue scenes that hardly progress the plot, hours of endless grinding and a head-ache inducing menu system, Cross Edge has proven to be an epic failure in the genre of crossover games. Cross Edge is arguably the worst RPG on the PS3. One can only hope that the future of RPG’s will not suffer an ignominious fate as Cross Edge.

-Ace Casino

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Horrible
Story Offensive
Graphics Bad
Sound/Music Below Average
Replay Value Horrible
The Verdict: One