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I dig alternate history stories, but I’m not generally a fan of time-travel tales. It can get confusing, and generally, time travel becomes either a crutch or a MacGuffin that writers lean on.
Cris Tales includes time travel, and it is a clever use of the trope. Combined with a stunning, papercraft world, this tribute to Japanese RPG shows that the teams of Dreams Uncorporated and Syck (a pair of indie studios from Colombia) have some major concepts and know how to execute on them. It’s publisher is Modus, the indie label for Maximum Games.
You adventure as Crisbell the Time Mage. She can move foes backward or forward in time. You discover a world with the requisite evil foes, but you also encounter people living in towns that are suffering, and mastering about their stories and fixing their woes could turn out to be your chief motivation.
Cris Tales is out now for Computer, PlayStation and Xbox, and Switch, the platform I reviewed. More on that later.
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Playing with time
The hallmark mechanic for Cris Tales is how Crisbell manipulates time. She can push foes into the future and throw them into the previous. Outside combat, she can assistance her speaking frog pal, Matias, hop each to the previous and future to engage with men and women and their surroundings.
Matias is my favored character. He’s a jolly ol’ frog, sporting a smiling face festooned with dimples and a posh best hat. He’s cheerful and generally prepared to assistance. I really like how he can move into the previous or the future and assistance you figure out what’s going on in towns and other areas. In the second town you take a look at, he aids you obtain products in the previous to resolve a dilemma in the present … soon after he’s hopped into the bleak future, displaying you a dilemma to quit back in your time.
Cris Tales is a homage to Japanese RPGs, and it would’ve been simple for Dreams Uncorporated and Syck to model a frog character soon after Chrono Trigger’s amphibious knight. But the studios didn’t, and the outcome is a a charming character I’d take along on any adventure.
In combat, time manipulation is about maximizing your skills and your foes weaknesses. Christopher is a warrior and one of your mates, and he has a water attack. He can make a thing wet in the present, and when Crisbell throws that target into the future, it rusts, generating it weaker. A fellow time mage, Wilhelm also makes use of plant-like magic to poison and heal. You can have him throw a poison seed into the previous, then Crisbell can pull that foe into the future, poisoning them. Another tactic Crisbell has is sending more mature monsters into the previous, generating them younger and weaker.
Now, Crisbell does have restricted makes use of of her time magic, so you want to contemplate no matter if or not you have to have its assistance prior to working with it.
My favored aspect of Cris Tales so far are the men and women you encounter in the world and their stories. Some people are suffering from increasing water in one town, though the richer people are living higher-and-dry above them. And early quest has you assisting a family save their space from a rotten future fate.
When people lament the state of JRPGs these day, they generally cite the towns you cannot take a look at, as you after could in previous games. Now, let’s be sincere — the men and women living in these towns generally didn’t have significantly to say, and if they did, it surely didn’t generally give your character any agency more than what was going on in that neighborhood. That’s not the case with Cris Tales, so when traveling in towns, shift Matias into the previous and future to find out more of what’s going on, and make time to speak to a city’s inhabitants. You’ll get pleasure from it.
Solid-state drives have spoiled me. I dig the quick loading instances I have on my Computer, my PlayStation 5, and my Xbox Series S. As somebody who plays a lot of RPGs and technique games, SSDs are my pal.
So I got annoyed at the lengthy loading instances prior to scenes and battles in Cris Tales, about 8 seconds-to-10 seconds. Now, numerous of you could not thoughts this, but I did. And because Cris Tales has random battles, waiting by way of these load instances got annoying rapid. The load instances had been half this on the Epic Games Store version on Computer, but that is with a SSD.
I’m impressed with Dreams Uncorporated and Syck’s maiden work. Cris Tales charming RPG, complete of colour, intriguing colors, and life, and I’ve enjoyed my time with it so far. Some of the monster styles are A+ as properly, such as the Slimes. They are transparent, with tiny sea scenes inside them, and they had been Donald Duck-like sailor outfits. Their bow ties also look like tiny mustaches. They’re cute as heck, a excellent instance of the game’s art style.
I’m hunting forward to finishing what appears like an indie gem and a best-1o RPG for 2020.
But I could be finishing on Computer, as I’m fed up with the Switch load instances. Nintendo desires to refresh the Switch with an SSD, and quickly, otherwise more third-party games could endure from its aging shortcomings.
Cris Tales is out now on Computer, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and Switch. The publisher sent GamesBeat an eShop Switch code for the purposes of this assessment.