Title: Croixleur Sigma
Developer: Souvenir circ.
Release Date: March 28, 2019
Reviewed On: Switch
Genre: Hack & Slash
I could easily consider myself a fan of arcade style hack and slash games. I find fun in their simple design, but they do have the tendency to get overly repetitive and require a ton of different modes to stay consistently fun. Thankfully, the Souvenir Circ. developed arcade hack and slash Croixleur Sigma offers more than enough modes and features at an extremely low entry fee.
Croixleur Sigma tells the story of four main protagonists who each have their own respective personalities and quest. The story is remainest of plot lines that Touhou fans would easily recognize as it isn’t plot heavy or necessary to enjoy the game as a whole. However, the writing is kept charming and light-hearted with a few funny moments sprinkled throughout the game. I ended up enjoying the Story Mode for it’s branching paths and how each character’s perspective of a situation differs.
Characters are unlocked after each story is completed, which gets a bit more difficult after Lucrezia Visconti’s story. This is mostly because new characters, Katerina and Sara-Annika, don’t have an indicator that tells you how many floors are left during their story. Thankfully, there are short story scenes to break up the action moments, but they don’t actually inform the player about how many floors they need to go.
On the topic of the two additional characters, their story and playstyle are completely different when compared to the other two girls. Weapons in Katerina and Sara-Annika’s story can break after overuse, but each floor typically grants the character a new weapon if an open slot is available. Additionally, one of the girls will fight alongside the player and help in battle, well, they’ll try at least. This new story mode is a great addition to the original story because it does add a little more in terms of complexity and it also pads on some extra hours of playtime. However, I would have liked these additional character routes to not feel so much like I was playing through survival mode.
Gameplay steals the show in Croixleur Sigma. On each floor, enemies will spawn for the player to take down before opening up the path to a new floor. These stages are just a circle arena that never really stand out or feature any type of special gimmicks. Each of the girls has different stats that have them either move faster or hit harder, but their special attacks are what make them unique. While these attacks can only be used a number of times they do help out in a big way being overrun with enemies. The characters can equip four different weapons that each have a special skill and can be switched at any point during a fight.
Croixleur Sigma is fast and fluid, each press of a button is met with an immediate response by the character and this is crucial because quick button inputs will be the only thing that can get these girls out of some of the tougher levels. Later levels become unforgivingly difficult and require the player to use all the skills the girls have, including their dash ability that also exhausts stamina. Thankfully, they also have a magic ability, but it does take a second to charge which might cost a hit.
Similar to level designs, enemies aren’t anything special ranging from goblins to weird circle shaped floating things. Flying enemies are particularly more annoying because it’s just a pain to find their hitbox and they always seem to spawn right behind the character and land at attacks. Later levels feature all the same enemies from earlier levels which only mean they are stronger and have more HP. As fulfilling as the combat in Croixleur Sigma may be, there’s nothing more frustrating than being overrun by a horde of enemies as they gang up on a character and take their hits. However, the game does have plenty of options to get out of these situations, but this is based on the skill of the player and using the character’s abilities.
Croixleur Sigma features many different game modes such as a score attack mode where you have to kill as many enemies as you can in a certain amount of time and an endless mode, which pretty much speaks for itself. Croixleur Sigma is an arcade game through and through, so don’t go in expecting much else in terms of content that goes beyond slashing your way through enemies and discovering a handful of different weapons along the way.
With that said, one feature that I enjoyed was how the game allows you to spend points on accessories for the girls to wear. Things like glasses and cat ears go along way when personalizing your monster slaying experience. Similarly, there is an interaction mode that is strangely not subbed but has you respond to the girls and choose what clothing they wear. It’s not as pervy as it sounds.
The highest praise I can give Croixleur Sigma is that it runs great on the Switch and is optimized well for the handheld. Being able to spend 30-minutes of my day here and there with some fast hack and slash action on the go makes this game worth the price of admission. Completing the game and seeing all there is to see will take around 12 hours, but the story can be completed in around 5.
I had a good time with Croixleur Sigma, but going into a game like this requires the player to understand what they are getting into. Enemy types are boring and most of your time playing will be spent pressing the attack button and dodging. Sure, Croixleur Sigma has some adorable anime girls, but it’s also a pretty decent arena brawler that I would mindlessly play through again.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.