Croixleur Sigma Review – Dramatic Combat and Endless Enemies in a Fast Paced Environment

A quick disclaimer for this game and video for those with known photo-sensitivity issues: There are several very bright neon colors, flashes of light, and movements within that may induce seizures.

Today is the launch day for a new game developed by Souvenir Circ., titled Croixleur Sigma. After receiving support through Steam Greenlight, the development team worked hard to finish a solid and stable game. Lucky for you, The Indie Game Magazine got a chance to play the game before it was released, and we’ll give you our opinion on the matter.

Croixleur Sigma is a hack-and-slash game that takes place in a tower, and offers just over 15 levels of combat against swarms of different enemies. Each level has about 20 enemies that the player has to destroy, and they have a total of 15 minutes to climb the tower and defeat the final monster near the top. Players must learn to coordinate the simple controls of fighting, jumping, dashing, and using their invincible attack in order to clear the levels as quickly as possible, and with a high score.

CroixleurSigma-2014-04-14-11-05-42-36The players start each playthrough at level one, and begin the entire game with only one weapon. Different paths along the tower also lead to unique swords, one of 20 in the game that offers different attack strengths and a unique special ability. As the players fight their way up, they earn experience for every defeated monster and pick up coins in order to increase their score, and recharge their meter for the invincible attack. Their weapons also level up the more they are used, up to level three, and these enhancements to the weapon remain and improve after every playthrough, providing an advantage to those that play the game regularly.

The game uses simple 3D graphics and bright color schemes for the enemies, the characters, and each level. There’s nothing overly beautiful about the game, possibly to allow the game to run smoothly with its fast-paced combat environment. Common enemies also look fairly generic and similar to each other, differentiated mainly by the color of their clothes, and whether or not they are melee, magic, or flying based. There are a few large monsters meant to act as mini-bosses that add several levels of difficulty and a bit of variety to the game, but only a few.

luc_fran3The two main characters that players can choose from are designed to look cute with their anime-styled portrait and illustrations, as well as in their 3D avatars. They wear different school uniforms based on Japanese anime schoolgirl attire. This is explained at least through the story, though there isn’t much of a need for it.

Croixleur Sigma’s story pits the two childhood friends against each other in a race to defeat monsters and climb the tower within the allotted time limit as part of an ancient ritual called the Adjuvant Trial. Players can first use Lucrezia Visconti, the red-haired girl who represents the aristocracy in this ritual, but can unlock and use Francesca Storaro who represents the Knights. There’s a bit of digging that players can do to learn more about the story and the characters, but it doesn’t go very deep. Croixleur Sigma is focused on the action of the game, rather than the meaning behind it. The two characters differ mainly in their looks, and the different weapons that they can procure, but very little else besides this.

Like the story, the soundtrack is fairly simple, created in order to keep things at a quick tempo, and only changing for boss battles and other major encounters. Characters are voiced in Japanese, speaking lines and shouting battle cries during battle.

CroixleurSigma-2014-04-13-15-34-58-19Besides the 15 minutes of the story mode, there are a few different gameplay modes that lengthen the replayability of the game. Namely, there is a score attack, survival, and challenge mode.  Score attack mode gives the player three minutes to defeat as many monsters as they can and increase their score. Survival mode is just as it sounds, sending wave after wave of monsters with no time limit. The longer a player survives, the more difficult the monsters become. These two modes offer a local two player co-op called dramatic battle mode in order to bring more action and a bit of quick competition as well. Finally, there is challenge mode with several single level objectives, such as clearing a level of four monsters in less than 5 seconds. There’s also a bonus and an arcade mode that I haven’t unlocked yet.

Learning the controls takes a little while, and would have been much more difficult without the use of a gamepad or controller. Once I got the hang of all the buttons, and the combination of moves that made sense for different situations, there wasn’t much left to improve upon except leveling up each weapon that I knew I would bring with me. Players will meet and defeat most monsters the game has to offer within a single run of the story mode, which might seem a bit dull for players looking for a bit more variety.

CroixleurSigma-2014-04-14-11-05-42-35The good thing about this is that players are better prepared to play the other modes, because they know the monsters they will have to deal with. The story mode is, in some respects, like a secondary tutorial. I had fun playing through the game a few times, but it didn’t take long for the gameplay to feel repetitive. Still, I might go back to it from time to time to hack out a few monsters, and I’m sure that the controls will come back to me easily.

Souvenir Circ. releases Croixleur Sigma today through a few mediums, including Steam. Gamers can purchase this game for $7.99. Though the game seems a bit graphics heavy at first, it’s surprisingly easy to run. My computer, for example, is three or so years old and gave me no trouble at all.

I'm a big JRPG fan in general, but games with a good story and great characters are what drive me. It touches the writer in me.