Cris Tales review: a beautiful and heart-filled JRPG

I have long loved the fact that Final Fantasy VIThe opera scene is still very iconic, because I think it’s great JRPG basically still the music stage. The orchestra overflows with emotions! Outstanding delivery! Choreographed and challenged as usual! Cris Tales It’s not technically a JRPG – it’s from Colombia, so I invented the brand new term CRPG, a genius acronym that I’m sure won’t be confusing at all – but the dedication This modern hits the high notes of the genre with delight. Consider this a standing ovation for an engaging performance, though sometimes it pales in comparison to meaningful audience engagement.

The heroine of Cris Tales is Crisbell, a young girl who lives a normal, happy life at an orphanage. One day, she was pruning roses when a talking frog in a top hat appeared. A magical sword and a revelation that she is later a time mage, and it is adventure time. The world needs more or less the entire course of the story to fully reveal itself, initially relying on lavish pop-up book art, warm characters, and your familiarity with JRPGs to draw you in.

Over the course of its development, Cris Tales shows itself to be a story that deals more with the plight of favela families and exploited diamond miners than with knightly orders or bloodline. Royal. There are still plenty of freaks, goblins and time travel, but social realism and magic bring it all together. Your party will cast magic spells, but then they’ll drink cans of juice to restore MP. You’ll be battling a crow witch with the ability to teleport, only to decide if the family inheritance she’s about to steal should be transferred to a university or museum restoration.

Combat is your trusty old three characters. Rotate the banner at the top, hit the timer button for extra attack and defense, and some seriously fun timing manipulation. Crisbell’s crystals can send enemies on the right side of the screen into the future and those on the left into the past. The ferocious giant wolf nipping at your heels? Revert him back to a tiny wolf cub, barely noticing his adorable moan as you smash his dwindling HP to dust! Just poisoned the goblin in front of you, don’t you want to wait for him to slowly perish? Take him into the future, where the poison has worked, and watch him crumble like a blueberry.


There are six party members in total, each with a combat role and ability path, though you can customize them with gear. Characters’ abilities often evolve from one another, so the mage Wilhelm is able to plant a sentient fire bush called Yuca that Crisbell can then grow by speeding up time, at which point Yuca sprouts and explodes. Please do this at least once; Animation is changing lives. As you unlock more abilities, the fight grows into this broader, free puzzle. You don’t always need to be skillful with it, but you will become stronger if you do.

Combat is a joy when you’re exploring its nuances, and a comfortable if well-worn JRPG sofa that you can slide into once you’ve got your stuff. However, the game often introduces new characters and ideas. The combat animations are gorgeous, but elaborate enough to overdo their welcome. I’m talking about a few seconds, not Knights of the Round, but it stacks up in long dungeons. Many enemies have past, present, and future incarnations, each with their own unique art, animations, and move sets. Again, the trade-off is that the animal feels a bit limited, even if, gram for gram, there’s a lot of variety.

There’s a sort of clean, geometric design that I find a bit lifeless, maybe even corporate, but I never felt that way with Cris Tales. On the contrary: I love how this game looks. A few dungeons feel a bit flat and gaunt, but overall, there’s detail and warmth throughout. Technically consistent but with a witty side that keeps me entertained every time I find a new area.

Cris Tales shines brightest as you explore its towns, meeting its inhabitants. As Crisbell raced through ramshackle slums and ornate cathedrals, the screen splits into clean pieces showing the future ahead of you and the past behind. The NPCs in the background become flip-flop stories. Just by moving from one end of the street to the other, you will see an unlucky witch go from a child with a pet penguin to an adult mounted on the same creature, grown. completely done. A few yards away, a salesman will fade and disappear, leaving a silent outline, begging questions about your ability to change your own destiny. Sometimes, you can, and you will see visible and immediate results.


In general Cris Tales, including the soundtrack is more than just a collection of pleasant tunes, knowing that it is a JRPG. It knows that you also know it is a JRPG. He knows he can name his daughter and mother Fira and Firaga and you will grin. But it’s more playful than parody. Bullshit instead of satire. Respect rather than reference.

It is also idealistic and serious. Out of habit, I’d like to end the sentence with ‘error’, but that’s not my fault, although it may be for some people. I feel that if I had these powers, I would probably use them to cook french fries in the oven very quickly, so I’m glad these kids all want to save the world with the power of love. friend. Cris Tales has many heart packs, but I never found it too lumpy or saccharine.

“It’s idealistic and serious. Cris Tales has a lot of heart, but I never found it too complicated or saccharine.”

The only time I felt this kind of accessibility for younger audiences as a problem was in the simplicity of the quizzes. I think about Chrono Activator, The Sexy Brutale, Humiliation 2, and how more time can be bent here. Cris Tales is breathtaking in its use of time to tell stories about the environment, but on the puzzle and exploration front, it never gets more involved than noticing there’s a chest behind a pillar ruins that you might want to get before restoring the very same pillar to cross the bridge. Elsewhere, time-jumping adventure game-style puzzles are basically explained to you, without thinking.

While I’m getting it, I’d say the bosses – and there are some great bosses – yes, probably 15% more health than they could possibly have compared to how much you calculate the iteration sequence back to defeat them. Cris Tales also has my favorite RPG stuff, specifically colored slimes that are weak to certain types of spells and actively mock you for trying to do damage with anything else. Why are you like this, slimes? Who hurt you? Not me, because I haven’t unlocked the thunderbolt yet.

Even those slimes are part of why I love my time with Cris Tales, though: it makes me feel like a kid again, and that’s why I play JRPG from the very beginning. I had a great time with Dragon Quest 11, Bravely Default II, and Octopath Traveler, but none of them made me feel like I was 10 years old, curled up in bed on a day of pretending to be sick while playing Final Fantasy. This happens often.

There is certainly disappointment in those memories. Crushing, running around looking for NPCs whose name I can’t remember, banging my head in the face of a boss because I was zoning out one time the game explained some confusing features to me. All that happened here, too. It’s not perfect. But can time travel go by without a hitch?

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/cris-tales-review | Cris Tales review: a beautiful and heart-filled JRPG

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