CRYMACHINA [Switch] Review – The Future of Edge – Gamezebo

By admin Dec 20, 2023

Well, where do I start with CRYMACHINA. I don’t think I’ve seen a game that visually looks this aesthetically pleasing in quite a while – all a matter of personal opinion, of course. Whether it’s the promotional art for the game, the stellar intro cutscene, or the gorgeous and lively character portraits, CRYMACHINA is a treat for the eyes.

Is it for everyone? Probably not. Is it for me? Yes and yes again. It’s got a heavy emphasis on dialogue and character interactions, but the combat is also extremely engaging and multi-layered.

The Combat of CRYMACHINA

I’ll admit the Switch controls had me a little stumped at first when it came to the combat though, purely because there are a ton of mechanics to take into account per character. You’ve got the turrets on either side of you, your main weapon, your ‘launch’ attack, combos, and defensive moves.

The combat seems quite complicated at first, and it is, but it does keep you busy throughout the entire battle. It ensures that you won’t get bored during a fight. Unsurprisingly for an ARPG, the boss fights get difficult as you progress, allowing you to put your skills to the test. You can even summon Enoa to help you out, with a powerful Remote Assault and healing ability – though I did find it hard to remember this was even a feature amid an intense fight.

An Innovative Artistic and Musical Direction

image of two characters from crymachina, as one sits on a sofa, as the other rests her head on the other character's lap and rests her legs on the arm of the sofa, they are surrounded by plants in the background

Character portraits are crisp and stylish. Every character has a unique look that I absolutely love, with a mixture of sci-fi, futurism, and alternative edge. Plus, the clothes – I need to take some outfit tips from them all. Leben’s a little uninteresting at the start of the game, but she definitely improves. Although, I think my favourite is still Mikoto Sengiku. There’s something about her abrupt and forward energy that I adore.

I also need to gush about CRYMACHINA’s soundtrack, which perfectly encompasses the entire vibe of the game as a whole. The intro cutscene is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, with glistening lighting effects, and a theme song that had me instantly searching it up on YouTube.

Expectedly, the actual quality of the appearances of characters and the surroundings during gameplay (not cutscenes) takes a bit of a dip. This is entirely because of the Nintendo Switch and its inability to match the power of newer consoles and PCs. I’d like to stress that it isn’t a reason to be put off the game though. It’s just slightly jarring when you take control of a character after a fantastic-looking cutscene.

It’s More Than Just a Combat Heavy ARPG

image of combat from crymachina as a character engages in a boss battle as her turrets fire toward the enemy, they are surrounded by metal structures as the player dashes forward to strike the boss

You do get bombarded with information in the first hour or so of CRYMACHINA. There are tons of in-game mechanics to explore, such as character upgrades, Combat Analysis, Communication, and all of the options that Enoa provides in the Imitation Garden. Still, it wouldn’t be an RPG without an overwhelming amount of things to do, right?

If you want to get right into battle, you’ll need to head to the Data Transport Terminal and select coordinates to travel to the world of ‘Eden’ – it’s all very futuristic, as you can tell. The actual world-building is great too. It’s got an overall sense of grandeur as it takes place in a world that feels very different from ours – it’s brilliant for escapism. There are also ‘Subnetworks’ to wander through, which don’t have anything to do with the main storyline, but are used to farm resources to upgrade your characters!

I like the addition of the Communication feature in the Imitation Garden, as it gives you the opportunity to interact with each character a little more. I first thought these small interactions were optional, which some are, but others need to be completed before you’re able to continue with the main story. It’s not the end of the world, but sometimes I just want to play the game and beat up some enemies. It didn’t put me off though, as I always came out of a Communication scene with a greater appreciation for the characters.

Who is CRYMACHINA For?

image of enoa from crymachina as she talks and holds her hand out toward the viewer, the background behind her is blurry as the image focuses on her, she has a glowing halo above her head as she wears a golden headband with a rose on it that has a chain dangling from the flower

I’ve more than waffled on enough about this gem of a game, so now it’s time for you to decide if you want to give it a go!

If you like JRPGs, combat with depth, and love getting to know characters more, CRYMACHINA is the game for you. Not a lot of games as of late feature such a distinctive art style, and it inspired me to pick up my own digital art projects again for a while – and that’s saying something!

The good

  • Stunning art and a gorgeous aesthetic
  • Excellent world building and likeable characters
  • Engaging multi-layered combat
  • Brilliant soundtrack
  • Great sense of character progression and upgradability

The bad

  • Combat can be confusing at first
  • Heavy focus on dialogue so it may put people off if they’re not a fan of a lot of text in games
  • The quality of the graphics outside of cutscenes take a dip due to the Nintendo Switch

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