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Croixleur Sigma review for PS Vita, PS4

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Active Gaming Media/Playism
Developer: Active Gaming Media/Playism
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

My problem with Croixleur Sigma isn’t with what it is. It features some of the best hack and slash combat on the Vita, up there with anything the various Warriors series have to offer, and it’s genuinely fun to button mash your way through wave after wave of enemies. On that front, the game is commendable.

Rather, my problem with Croixleur Sigma is with what it isn’t. Specifically: it’s not much of a game. It has four storylines, and you can beat all four of them in well under an hour — probably forty minutes if you really push yourself. All of them follow basically the same pattern, too: Girl A and Girl B are feuding because they belong to different houses at their school, one of them makes a lewd remark to the other, they go through the dungeons, and the story ends with your chosen girl victorious. None of them are particularly interesting, and the fact that the longest storyline takes less than twenty minutes to finish should tell you all you need to know in terms of how invested you’ll be in the outcomes.

Croixleur Sigma 2

This near-complete lack of variety in the different plots is reflected in nearly every other aspect of the game, too. Every single dungeon you’ll encounter is virtually identical, round spaces in the middle of nothing that change colours every so often; one of the storylines features the odd ice-filled dungeon, but you’ll only notice it’s different once the level is over and it takes you a few seconds longer to reach the warp spot to the next level on account of the slippery running.

Likewise, the enemies here show very little variation. You’ll encounter some slightly more visually interesting and differentiated bad guys when you get closer to the end, and the final bosses for each storyline are unique, but for the most part you’ll be fighting with shuffling grey monsters. Considering how brightly coloured the game is otherwise, the decision to fill it with such bland-looking baddies is definitely puzzling.

The sameness of everything is emphasized by the fact none of Croixleur Sigma’s modes differ all that greatly from each other. The game has survival, time trial and challenge modes, but they’re pretty much indistinguishable from each other. Basically, if you can just keep button-mashing until all the monsters are dead, you’ll be able to get by.

I should probably emphasize that I didn’t dislike Croixleur Sigma. As I said up top, the combat flows pretty smoothly, and — apart from those dull-looking enemies — the visuals here pop off the screen. I really want to love this game…but, as it stands, there’s just not enough going on for it to be than a very brief infatuation.

Grade: B-