PLOT: Lucrezia wants to take a bath with Francesca. Franny is all "NO WAY IN HELL" and runs off to a massive tower(paging Dr. Freud). Luc has to fight through a dozen or so floors of goblins, flying eyeballs, knights in shining armor, and huge beasts to drag Fran's sorry butt into the tub.
Okay I forgot the actual plot to this game. I assure you all that there is one and it's kinda-sorta-quasi-serious. But who cares about that nonsense? This is a supplemental-arcade-arena-slashemup. If you have less than 15 minutes to spare you can complete a play-through of this game. Yes, this game is a short one, but it's pretty sweet. There are no crazy mission designs, no escorting, no stealth, nothing but just slashing through hundreds of generic foes and grabbing coins.
Before the game starts you decide on your arsenal. There are 10 weapons per gal and they all have their own special moves. Basically you want a combination of weapons that suit your play-style. Special moves can be chained for more damage, and some are only effective in mid-air, or as anti-air (gotta account for the flying eyes). Don't fuss over your style rating though, this game rewards speed and efficiency above everything else. Yellow enemies drop in a single hit, blues go down in three, and reds take 4+. Once you memorize the basics all you have to worry about is dashing around and mopping everything up.
There are a variety of modes, but variety is a rather strong word when it comes to Croixleur.
Story - Kill Everything As Fast As Possible. Lots of plot and talks about baths.
Time Attack - KEAFAP in 3 minutes
Survival - KEAFA you want. Expect to see huge crowds of enemies.
Challenge - Definitely KEAFAP.
Bonus - This is the epilogue. Luc & Fran team up to bring the hurt on slightly tougher enemies. Don't forget to KEAFAP.
For the most part Croixleur Sigma is a fast-paced and satisfying slasher. The controls are fluid enough and it's fun zipping around shredding everything. However there are some issues that I have with the game.
Certain moves have weak properties. One of the specials Luc can perform is a downward stab that causes a large shockwave. However, that shockwave is mostly for looks and only hits enemies that are practically under Luc. This tends to be the case with a number of special moves. They look like they should hit because you see the flashy trails and pretty lights connect with enemies, but instead they miss completely. It's...well not really that big an issue. I mean, it's not like it's inconsistent or anything. It would be much worse if the moves hit only some of the time.
Anti-cooperative play. When Luc & Fran team up, it spells trouble...for Luc & Fran. You have to give your BFF plenty of breathing space or she will hit you with her regular and special attacks (and vice-versa). This doesn't do any damage, but it will stun you, and can throw your rhythm off as well as waste time. Maybe the developer thought it would be too easy if this wasn't the case. Luc & Fran could just throw those special moves out constantly and be a whirling dervish of destruction. I disagree. Croixleur Sigma plays up the bestest buddies element, but then implements a design-decision that causes real-world friends to fight? That is a definite head-scratcher. Also during the bonus mode the game only ends when player 1 dies. Player 2 can die as many times as they like. This is something I abused for the cheap final battle.
Croixleur Sigma is like I said, a supplemental game. You play this title alongside your "main" game, or when you absolutely must play something, and don't have much time. It's not a deep game though, not even in terms of game-design depth. If Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae complements games like Devil May Cry and Metal Gear Rising, this game is best played alongside Dynasty Warriors. When you want a dumb 5-minute slashathon, but don't want to run around huge maps and listen to a bunch of talk about Three Kingdoms and whatever whatever, then play this game.