Sometimes a schoolgirl has to prove herself by slaughtering countless monsters. In comes Croixleur Sigma which blends an adorable cast of characters and an action-intense arena combat system, but is it any good?
It goes without saying that this is a pretty weird game. You play as one of four different schoolgirls who battles her way through hordes of monsters in circular arenas. I wish my school had activities like that when I was a kid. Anyway, each girl is super-cute complete with fitting Japanese voices and fluid animations that are fun to watch as they swing swords and perform special moves. It really is a joy hacking away at enemies while watching the colourful chaos and listening to the satisfying sound effects and cheerful characters. These are definitely not the best graphics for modern consoles yet the lighthearted nature of it all is bursting with nothing but pure arcade-style fun. When you mix in the silly dialogue scenes where the girls are shown in their anime forms as they tease each other, it's hard not to enjoy every moment of play time.
Gameplay-wise, all you do is fend off loads of monsters in arenas so you can make it to the next one. The controls take a little while to master yet once they click, you'll realise just how intense the combat can be. It starts off slow-paced and incredibly easy but as you advance, things get quite tricky. The basic controls involve running, jumping, dashing, and attacking. More advanced moves will have you perform your current weapon's special attack, unleash a devastating secret technique, and repel enemies with an energy bubble. Knowing when to take advantage of each ability in your arsenal is the key to success so it's very satisfying once you reach the point where you can slice through enemy forces with ease. This is especially true when faced with seemingly overwhelming situations.
Croixleur Sigma is solely a single player game but there are quite a few reasons to hang around by yourself. The main story mode involves a set of stages that each girl must master in order to unlock the next character. As you progress, you'll acquire additional weapons and gather a wealth of coins that you can use to purchase accessories. These accessories not only get applied to the character models, they also increase certain stats and provide specific bonuses. When you want to further test your skills, you can take on a timed score attack mode, an endless survival mode, and work your way through various challenges. Each mode requires its own unique strategies to perfect so jumping between them adds welcome variety to the overall experience.
After playing for an hour or so, the biggest problem comes to light which is that there isn't enough variety when it comes to arenas and enemy types. No matter what the background depicts, you always fight in the same circular arena. The only significant difference is when it's covered in ice because that makes you slip around. Additionally, there are only a handful of enemies to slay. Upon defeating hundreds of the exact same foe over and over again, you'll find it difficult not to crave new monsters to battle. On a similar note, the gameplay itself gets repetitive. After you hone your skills to that of a master monster slayer, the action quickly starts to become rather tedious. Finally, although there are a variety of modes to challenge, it simply isn't enough to keep you playing for longer than a few hours. If there was a multiplayer mode or an assortment of mini-games then this wouldn't be a problem.
Croixleur Sigma is an exciting fast-paced arena combat game wrapped in a cute package. However, the lack of variety and content cut this thrilling ride short. That being said, I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an afternoon full of hack and slash action.
- + Adorable cast of bubbly characters
- + Intensely fast-paced arena combat that's incredibly satisfying to master
- + Assortment of skill-testing modes
- - Arenas and enemies lack variety
- - Gameplay gets tedious soon after your skills start to become accomplished
- - The amount of content doesn't last long