When knight defenders hold the day,
The sword and scarlet sun array.
When High-born Lords are rulers sworn,
The pale blue moon our flag adorns.
The sun and moon will ne’er ally,
The scarlet and blue do forever vie.
As one ascends, one must abate:
Foundation of our glorious State.
Proud blade and flag do both convene
For naught but serve our gracious Queen.
Isn’t this a familiar sight? Yet again, the day before release, I cover this new version of Croixleur. Croixleur Sigma, or Croixleur Σ if you prefer, is an updated version of Croixleur, which will be available on Steam and DRM-free tomorrow for $7.99, an increase from the original’s $4.99. However, I was told over Twitter that this release replaces the original, so I can only assume that anyone who already has the game will receive this updated version on release.
I am going to avoid repeating myself, so any points from my previous coverage of Croixleur should be assumed to be identical here unless I say otherwise. I will be discussing what has changed in this post more than anything else, and I’ll be assuming you’ve already read that post. So go read that post first. I can wait.
…You’re back? Okay, good.
Croixleur Sigma adds a second playable character – you get to play as Luc’s friend Fran, who was merely there as your rival in the previous game. She comes with her own set of 10 weapons, which make her play quite differently from Luc. Just as before, there is a story mode, score attack mode and endless mode. However, the game now adds an arcade mode (story mode without cutscenes), challenge mode (what that is should be obvious) and bonus mode (basically an epilogue to story mode).
Unlike last time, I was able to see the full story for myself. Basically, you simply get a short “I win” scene if you beat story mode in 10-15 minutes, but you unlock an additional floor if you beat the game in under 10 minutes, where you have a face-off between the two player characters. After you win, which is so easy it’s like a joke, you unlock Fran. Do it again with Fran, and you unlock Bonus Mode. Clear Bonus Mode and you’ve seen the whole (really short) story of Croixleur.
Compared to the original, there is a lot more voice acting and 2D animation, and the interface has received a major overhaul. These changes make the game feel like it has had more effort put into it, and the interface conveys so much more information, despite the base gameplay being exactly the same as far as I can tell.
Not everything is for the better, however, as the game now absolutely refuses to go full screen at resolutions other than 720p and 1080p, giving me an error if I try to play on full screen on my 900p and 1050p monitors, an issue that was, amusingly, not present with the original game. It still runs fine in a window, but I prefer full screen for games like this, so it harms the experience for me. I didn’t need to disable anything to get the game running at a decent framerate this time, however. It’s a sort of give and take with the versions of this game, it seems.
Additionally, while the game no longer fights my movement inputs in this revision, the game is set up to use the Japanese style of confirm and cancel buttons, which is potentially disorienting, and there’s no way to change this without making the game even more disorienting due to how the interface is set up to match the specific recommended button layout perfectly.
I also found an amusing, but exceedingly-rare glitch where the AI partner you have in certain levels/modes can obstruct you from continuing by finishing off the last enemy while standing exactly in the middle of the arena, though Nyu Media has said they’d look into it when I presented it to them.
As this is literally just an update of the original, I see no need to render another verdict on the game. My opinion from before still stands.