FuRyu has made a reputation for itself in recent times of being a writer that does an awesome job of churning out RPGs that you just’ll definitely like, however most likely not love. Video games like Monark, Caligula Effect, and Crystar have all supplied gamers some first rate but flawed experiences, and now the corporate has introduced us yet one more entry on this lengthy line referred to as Crymachina. Although it appears to take some cues from Crystar, Crymachina is a brand-new IP set within the far future that sees you preventing a seemingly limitless horde of creepy robots with a bunch of depressed women. It’s ridiculous, it’s enjoyable, and it’s not nice, however it might nonetheless be value your time.
The narrative locations you within the position of Leben, a woman who promptly dies of a mysterious sickness within the first 10 seconds after cursing on the world and all of the individuals who dwell in it. She is then resuscitated 2000 years sooner or later by a mysterious AI named Enoa, who has introduced again a few different highschool women, too. Enoa explains that people went extinct attributable to a world battle over dwindling assets, however a staff of scientists launched a spaceship referred to as Eden simply earlier than the tip within the hopes that in the future humanity may rise once more.
Eden is ruled by eight godlike AI (Enoa being one in every of them) who every have a task to play in reviving humanity, however issues have come aside within the millennia because the ship’s launch, and a number of the AI have gone rogue. Leben and the opposite women are kind of ‘partial people’ introduced again by Enoa from the encoded reminiscences of individuals from earlier than the battle, and if they’ll kill sufficient robots, they’ll acquire sufficient “ExP” to lastly be acknowledged as actual people, which might enable them to quell the unrest and produce again humanity in full.
It is a considerably difficult narrative, and this isn’t helped by the large quantity of exposition and dialogue sequences within the first few hours, most of which is written in a moderately stiff and awkward style. That’s to say nothing of the comically angsty tone—most character interactions really feel like they have been devised by a moody teenager who often slams their door once they storm off to their room to sulk. One of many first issues Leben says to her friends when she meets them is “I’m a moody loner, so don’t anticipate to get together with me proper off the bat,” and we’re consistently reminded that there isn’t a God, humanity is lifeless, Leben hates different folks, and every little thing sucks. And all this brooding is performed fully straight, which may result in many unintentionally humorous moments the place you possibly can’t assist however chuckle and roll your eyes on the absurdity.
Gameplay oscillates between motion fight segments bookended with visible novel sequences for furthering the plot. Again on the base, you possibly can stage up characters, change loadouts, improve skills, and take part in obligatory or non-obligatory dialogues along with your staff members. Then, when you’re able to struggle, you choose a stage to drop into and set out on a mission, often taking not more than 10 minutes every. Dungeon designs in every stage are fairly primary, that includes principally linear environments to discover with just a few aspect paths containing treasures or stronger foes. When you get into the rhythm of it, this gameplay loop feels fairly satisfying, although it will possibly get repetitive in longer classes—particularly given how samey many dungeons are.
Fight is dealt with by way of a live-action system that feels a bit like a rougher tackle Nier Automata’s fight. The principle thrust of it’s that you just mash the ‘Y’ button to get in a flurry of sunshine assaults on an enemy and construct up their launch bar. As soon as that’s full, you possibly can then double faucet ‘X’ to launch them into the air and spike them again down, which tees them up so you possibly can hit along with your highly effective finisher transfer. To complement your melee preventing, you even have two ranged weapons over your left and proper shoulders that may be triggered independently of one another, together with a dodge and a counter that can be utilized to get you out of bother.
Fight is pleasing, although it may be somewhat inconsistent. If you’re preventing with a small group of enemies, it principally feels nice to be deftly dodging assaults, managing ranged cooldowns, and juggling launch gauges. But once you’re preventing boss enemies, it turns into a tiresome train of slowly whittling down an enormous HP bar by simply wailing away at them whereas button-mashing. The issue right here is that characters lack combos—this isn’t like Bayonetta the place creatively mixing up gentle and heavy assaults can create all types of cool combo strings—and the dearth of them signifies that fight ultimately begins to get very repetitive.
One other vital concern is the overall lack of significant hitstun animations for assaults. It could possibly usually really feel like your slashes are going by your enemies moderately than connecting with them, and we encountered just a few situations the place bosses dealt us hundreds of HP harm as a result of it took just a few seconds to acknowledge that an assault was even happening attributable to our character not visibly reacting. This may occasionally sound like a minor concern, nevertheless it has the impact of constructing fight really feel very weightless, such as you and your foes are battling one another with pool noodles and squirt weapons.
Even given these drawbacks, it may be good to only mindlessly grind in a comparatively shallow fight system like this. And character progress and tools high quality improve at an exciting price that basically feeds into the ability fantasy. Plus, assets for upgrades are simply scarce sufficient that you just at all times really feel like it’s a must to make some robust selections between what you wish to shore up subsequent, encouraging you to plan out your builds somewhat extra than simply snapping up no matter’s obtainable subsequent.
By way of presentation, Crymachina sticks with a darkish, sci-fi aesthetic that feels well-realized, although somewhat primary in some points. Character and enemy designs are fairly memorable and all the women fall neatly into an eerie, uncanny valley territory that feels becoming for the customarily creepy tone. Environments additionally do an awesome job of giving off oppressive and hostile vibes as you rush throughout dimly lit metallic surfaces underneath the chilly gaze of big purple robotic eyes. The one concern right here is that stage selection ranges from ‘generic darkish blue cyberland’ to ‘generic darkish inexperienced cyberland’. We’d have appreciated to have seen extra cautious atmosphere design right here, because it doesn’t take lengthy earlier than the novelty wears off and all of the high-tech set dressing blends collectively in a giant super-advanced blob of edgy disappointment.
In case you haven’t picked up on it but, Crymachina struggles an terrible lot with repetition. It’s obtained an awesome fight system, till you notice it depends an terrible lot on button mashing. The visuals are putting and unsettling, till you run by yet one more darkish dungeon that appears precisely just like the final six you completed. That is the form of recreation that tries its hardest to get extra from much less, and whereas it nonetheless seems like an general worthwhile expertise, it doesn’t execute on its ‘moody futuristic motion RPG’ aspirations in addition to one thing like Astral Chain.
Crymachina is just like the RC Cola of motion RPGs; it’ll do if you happen to’re determined for one thing to fulfill your craving, nevertheless it’d be robust to argue that it is anybody’s best choice. The so-bad-it’s-good story and fast-paced fight in the end make this one definitely worth the punt, however the recreation’s overreliance on repetition wears off its sheen earlier than too lengthy. We’d give Crymachina a lightweight advice to any followers of FuRyu’s earlier work or anybody on the lookout for a low-investment motion RPG that’s all type and little substance. Crymachina is an honest outing, however it’s possible you’ll wish to look ahead to a fairly deep sale on this one.