Game Title: Croixleur Sigma
Company: PLAYISM
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Digital Download
Battery Life: 3 – 4 hours
Cloud Save Support: Yes
Download: 2.6 GB

Having reviewed games for many years now, it’s always an interesting situation to get to review a game I’ve reviewed years beforehand. It’s even more interesting to look back on how my reviewing style has changed over the years.

Today, we’re going to talk about an anime-style Arena Action game that I first played and reviewed on the PS Vita 3 long years ago.

So, here is my review of Croixleur Sigma for the Nintendo Switch!

Story

sigma 2 - story

This story takes place in the Queendom known as Irance, where nobles and knights train in a Magic Academy in the art of the Magic Sword so they can protect their nation from threats. You are placed in the shoes of four such young women in pairs. One pair is two friends with a conflicting relationship while the other is a member of the royal family and her closest friend. You then see their growing connections as they trek up mystical towers, one for investigation and the other for an academy task.

The story here is something I’d call “under-utilized”. If you look through the Game Modes, you’ll find a huge number of pages with lore, lore, and more lore, but it is rarely even mentioned in the actual game. The cutscenes in each Story Mode instead focuses on character-to-character interactions instead. These interactions aren’t bad, but with all the lore involved, it doesn’t feel even necessary since it’s rarely used at all in the game.

Gameplay

sigma 3 - gameplay

Croixleur Sigma is an Arena-based Action game with some character customization thrown into the mix. Throughout all of its game modes, you wander a small arena, fighting off enemies until you gain access to the next floor and then go on and do it again up there.

When it comes to game modes, you’ve got quite a bit to choose from. Story Mode and Extra Mode are used for the story campaign, while you’ve got other gameplay-oriented modes in the form of Score Attack and Survival Modes, which you can play solo or with a friend in Local Co-Op play (despite the game having an “Online” mode, there doesn’t seem to be an Online Co-Op Mode). You also have Challenge Mode for extra challenging stages to trek through.

The other thing you can do here is Character Customization and Interaction. With the money you get from the fighting modes, you can buy special accessories to customize how the characters look like giving them angel wings, bunny ears, arm bands, and other things. You can also pose them in “Communication” mode to basically let them pose next to each other and set up screenshots.

sigma 4 - customize

Your main task in the game will be Story Mode, as there are 5 campaigns to get through, each unlocking after the previous has been cleared. For example, beating Luc’s campaign unlocks Kat’s and so on and so forth. There’s also a “True Path” feature here, where if you beat Luc’s without using any continues and in under 10 minutes, you access its True Ending and the way to unlock Fran’s campaign.

It’s worth noting that these 4 campaigns are more or less 2 campaigns. Fran is in the story of Luc’s campaign and playing through as Fran is more of a “What if you controlled Fran but have almost all the same events happen” sort of thing. As such, many of her cutcenes are the same ones from Luc’s. The same thing happens with Kat and Sara’s campaigns. They basically mirror each other and are just their version of the same events.

Now let’s get into the combat, which is what you do in every game mode here. This is a hack n slash game where you can dash around a small 3D arena and attack enemies with sword attacks in short combos. You also have skills you can use depending on what swords you have equipped at the time (and acquire through the dungeon as most weapons will eventually break). However, dashing and Skills use MP, so you can’t use them indefinitely. You’ll eventually have to stop and wait a couple seconds for it to recharge. You will also eventually charge up an Ultimate Attack which you can stack several instances of if you need to for a boss.

sigma 5 - combos

This gives the game a pretty simple system, but can be utilized for very fast-paced combos. The game also has special “Assist” Modes you can enable to let you auto-lock onto enemies, making it much easier to make everything look flashy and crazy at times.

However, the game will very quickly feel repetitive. You often go several stages without any story scenes and all of the characters play pretty much the same. Skills do differ, but a lot of the time only in where they trigger. For example, Sara and Kat share some of the same skills, but Sara might use them on the ground vs Kat using it in the air.

This also leads into the other issue I have with the game: Lack of Content. Truth be told, each trek through the campaigns will only take you around 10-20 minutes and much of the game’s length is you learning the system and getting better or buying better equipment by grinding for money.

Now, by the time I’d finished all 5 story campaigns and had tested out the other modes, I’d been playing the game for around 4-5 hours. This isn’t a whole lot, especially for the asking price of $19.99. It’s certainly a fun and flashy game, but it might be best to grab on a sale.

Controls

Controlling this game is pretty simple. You don’t need to worry about touch or motion controls here.

You move around with the Left Analog Stick and move the camera with the Right Analog Stick. THe L trigger is not used while ZL is held down for using skills. The R button is used for Ultimate Attacks and ZR centers the camera behind your character.

Then we have the face buttons. A is used for normal attacks and X for skills without using the ZL shortcuts. B is used for jumping and Y is used for dashing.

So, pretty simple.

Presentation

sigma 6 - presentation

Graphically, the game looks beautiful just like it does on the other platforms. There’s a lot of detail in the character models and there aren’t really any jagged edges around them. It looks very pretty in both docked and handheld mode.

Performance is the same, for the most part. The frame-rate is done quite well and doesn’t really drop at all. However, the game does crash from time to time. I had it crash on me at the very end of Sara’s campaign several times in a row.

Battery Life

I was expecting a good amount of Battery Life here. Here is what I got:

Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 09 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 16 minutes

Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 3 hours, 51 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 09 minutes

In conclusion, Croixleur Sigma is a fun and flashy anime-styled action game that’s back on handhelds after 3 years. On the downside, the story has a lot of lore that is under-utilized, gameplay can get repetitive, and there’s not a whole lot of content available.

Final Score: 7/10