24/08/2018

๐Ÿ•น️ Review: Crossing Souls "The 80s are strong with this one" ๐Ÿ•น️ #IndieGame #GameDev

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Game Title: Crossing Souls
Developer: Fourattic
Platform reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Rating: Ice Cool
There has been a wave of 80s-related games in recent times (as well as throughout all media) and Crossing Souls continues this trend unabashedly. 
Set in American suburbia, Crossing Souls tells the story of a group of children and their involvement with the mysterious Duat stone. 
A fun game with a strong aesthetic and great music, although the game play feels a bit light in certain parts, although the story is fun enough to keep the interest up.

Featuring a visual style and viewpoint reminiscent of Zombies Ate My Neighbours, Crossing Souls puts you in charge of a group of children headed by the de facto leader, Chris. Each child has their own powers such as the ability to climb, swing, push-pull objects or hover (thank you rocket-shoes) and each of these naturally come in handy in different sections of the game.
The title comes from the fact that the Duat stone (the item that drives the story) allows the user to cross over to the ghost realm and interact with the inhabitants, which makes up the vast majority of the combat portions of the game. The combat itself is handled by flicking between the character best suited for the job, the same goes for the puzzle sections, in this regard. Chris has a baseball bat, the geeky scientist Matt has a laser gun, the sassy Charlie has a whip and Joe is a mean machine with his fists. Aside from boss battles, the combat is a pretty straight hit ‘n dodge affair with each character having their own life bars but the game ending if any one of them runs out.

The audio in the game flits between a soaring Danny Elfman-esque score and squelchy synth beats, both of which completely match the visual aesthetic. The constant banter between the main characters and others in the game feels relatively natural and keeps the story moving along at a solid pace.
The setup, visuals and music are all great but there were a few things that did detract somewhat for me, the angle of the camera sometimes made planning jumps slightly awkward and a trial-and-error affair on occasion and the reliance on 80s references is starting to wear thin for me but this is no fault of the game, just the sheer amount of 80s action going on in some recent games that I’ve played have overdone it for me a bit. I personally would rather have an original visual gag or a comedic description of something other than just blatantly referencing things from the 80s, although it probably wouldn’t have stood out to me as much if I hadn’t played so many games recently that were also heavy with pop culture references.
Crossing Souls also moves around a lot in genre-type which is great for variety but can make some areas of the game feel a bit padded, for example one minute you’ll be collecting parts of a password or sneaking through certain areas then the next moment you are having a twitch-tastic action sequence on a bike or a full-on boss battle but sometimes you’ll find yourself wandering through areas with very little going on. The game is quite pacey overall though, and these are minor niggles.
Summary  
All in all, Crossing Souls is a solid adventure chock-a-block with 80s references and style, down to the VHS kids cartoon cutaways, which are a nice touch. It’s a fun title to lose yourself in for a few hours and it’s definitely the best Goonies game never made.

Right, I’m off to poke a dead body with Jerry O’Connell whilst wearing a shell suit and singing the TMNT theme song.

❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)
Review By Britt