- System: PC, PlayStation 4
- Publisher: Idea Factory, Compile Heart
- Developer: Idea Factory, Compile Heart, Felistella
- Release Date: Feb 12, 2020 (PS4), Feb 13, 2020 (PC)
- Price: $39.99
- Rating: T
- Genre: Visual Novel, RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://ideafintl.com/azurlane-crosswave/
Azur Lane: Crosswave Launch Trailer
Who it Caters to
Crosswave is a 3D spin-off for PS4 and PC, releasing in the West only a few weeks after the anime version of Azur Lane. Full of kawaii girls reminiscent of the most famous ships from WWII, this is a game that a lot of people may find dull, but we're sure that everyone in search of a cute waifu will be more than happy to join the adventure!
What to Expect
Unlike in the original Azur Lane, in Crosswave you'll spend most of your time watching these ship-girls (aka Kansen) interact with each other just like in every other visual novel, all while they try to figure out what are these strange cubes (or 'hexahedrons', as Kaga likes to call them) that suddenly appeared in the ocean. Other than admiring these sexy ladies, your objective is to experience the story from Shimakaze's perspective, with some not-so-friendly battles here and there to give these ship-girls a purpose.
In the battles, the HUD is clean enough to compensate for how oversaturated the screen can get when shooting and being shot. Outside of the battles, the menus are also simple to navigate, and that's more important than it sounds because for some reason, not all JRPG get menus right nowadays.
If you ask us, the thing we like the most about Azur Lane: Crosswave is the outstanding intro movie featuring all characters and the always beautiful ocean. One of the problems with this game, however, is that the dynamic poses of the girls not always go with what's actually happening in the story. How about more poses and animations?! We definitely enjoy visual novels and we know how this goes, but still...
Although nothing otherworldly, Crosswave's OST goes really well with the game and it perfectly complements everything on the screen. And if we talk about perfect complements we have to mention the voice acting, which truly helps to bring life to these girls and its world politics. It's OK to be attracted to a 2D ship-girl, but you can't help falling in love with your Secretary Ship if she has a charming voice too, right? Azur Lane: Crosswave's voice acting is certainly on point, not only in the visual novel portions but also when fighting or browsing the menus.
Once you're in a fight, you have to meet certain objectives, from defeating other Kansen to destroying mass-produced fleets (which consists of different uncrewed ships and airplanes). To be honest, there's not much strategy involved in these fights: one button is the primary attack, and then you have a lock-on attack and some other defensive/offensive skills. The other important button is the one you need to either dodge incoming bullets or activate your armor. Just learn to dodge bullets and time your skills, and you’ll be good even if you’re playing on Hard difficulty.
In the first episodes of the game, only Shimakaze and Suruga will be available, but then you can start recruiting new waifus. Your party consists of 3 main Kansen and 3 support Kansen, but if you use certain combinations of characters, you can unlock secret events and bonus effects; for example, Shimakaze and Suruga are the 'Protagonist' fleet (HP & Reload +7%, Firepower & Torpedo +3%), while you can also link any 3 or more ships with mismatching socks for the 'Asymmetry' fleet (Firepower +20%), or put Belfast and Unicorn together to form the 'H&W' fleet (Torpedo, Aviation & Reload +5%). If you want even more power, get your Kansen to level 100 and give her a Cognitive Chip to activate the Cognitive Awakening, or maybe even show her your love! All recruited girls have an affinity level (Stranger, Friend, Crush, and Love), so once they are in love with you, you can try the Pledge system and increase her stats by giving your Kansen a special item.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Could this have been better? Absolutely, but let’s remember this is nothing but a spin-off, and the main focus will always be on the mobile app. All in all, we definitely enjoyed our time with Shimakaze and the rest of the girls, and we're more than happy now that we finally have a Western version of this game.
- The Kansen designs are gorgeous and the Japanese voicing is the cherry on top of the cake!
- When you get tired of all the chit-chatting, you can always go to the Extreme Battle mode and shoot like there’s no tomorrow.
- Not even the hardest mode is difficult enough, so you won’t find any challenge other than grinding for your desired characters and upgrades. And the fighting mechanics? Just spam the same buttons over and over again...
- If you want to get the S rank in every battle, these fights never will go above 2 minutes. Blink and you’ll miss all the fireworks!
- For those who are not familiar with visual novels or don’t care about sexy ship-girls interacting with each other, the Story mode may come off as boring. Don’t come expecting anything too complex and you’ll be fine, though.