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Evan Duetzmann

Crosscode is a twin-stick shooter RPG that is currently available on PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. You play as Lea in the VRMMO Crosscode. Your goal is to follow the path of the ancients, which is the format the in-game VRmmo uses for progression.  It has a skill tree based leveling system that goes very in-depth. Crosscode also has Zelda-like dungeons and complex puzzles. The story is also amazing and easy to follow. 

This is an amazing game with a couple of elements that make it frustrating at times. First, the combat system is fleshed out, with many ways of tackling every fight. You can use your melee weapon, your ranged weapon using a  twin-stick shooter style of aiming and moving, or you can be defensive with your shield. One challenge with the combat is the menu for communicating with your teammates to determine who to attack. There are three choices: attack my enemy, attack other enemies, or attack random enemies. If you have other enemies selected but there is only one enemy left, they don’t fight, at all. 

The second challenging component is the puzzles. Most puzzles use the Twin-stick ranged weapon. The challenge is that the puzzles are very precise, they have no margin for error. For example, with one challenging puzzle I had to shoot ice into a furnace to send steam down a path. The issue was I was one level higher than the ice and had to use a weird aiming system to hit it. Unfortunately, if I hit it slightly off, I had to reset the puzzle. Many times the solutions of the puzzles are not obvious. Once you figure the solution out, it still will take many tries. 

Can a kid play this game?

Yes and no, it greatly depends on the age and skill level of the player. The puzzles are hard without a guide and can get frustrating. The combat is also challenging at times. Luckily, Crosscode a  large number of assist features. You have three main options for the assists.

  • Puzzle speed: which changes how long things stay. For example: how long the platforms that are timing-based stay up, or how long until bombs explode
  • Damage taken: how much damage you take.
  • Enemy attack frequency: which changes how often enemies attack

You can change all of these on a percentage slider. I for one played with everything at 80% and still had trouble, though if you set everything to 20% it gets considerably easier.

Should a kid play this game?

Crosscode is rated T by the ESRB.

The rating summary is as follows:

This is an action role-playing game in which players assume the role of a fighter playing an MMORPG as she tries to regain her memory. From a ¾-overhead perspective, players traverse platforms, solve puzzles, and battle various enemies (e.g., rival players, robots, creatures). Characters use blaster-like weapons and melee attacks to defeat enemies; one-on-one fights and boss battles can be frenetic, with explosions and over-the-top special attacks. The word “sh*t” appears in the dialogue.

ESRB

Conclusion

All said and done Crosscode is a great game that thought is challenging makes for a fun time. The mechanics are fun to use. The puzzles are hard but fair. The game is very immersive and keeps you engaged the entire time. This is a great purchase if you like 2d Zelda games.


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Animal Crossing New Horizons was released on March 20 2020, and it was perfect timing with all of the stuff going on. I have played many, many hours and so have my brother and sister. Here is my opinion: The game is really good. The graphics are great, the gameplay loop is fun, and honestly we all need an escape from the real world. Animal Crossing provides that. 

The game is simple: you move to a deserted island with two other animals and you live together. You decorate your home and the island with cosmetic items that you craft with the resources that regenerate daily. 

While doing that you also pay off your debt to Tom Nook, expand your home, and just live a happy life with your neighbors. That is literally the game. 

Now.. that sounds like it would get boring, but the game has this nifty feature that gives you what are, essentially, quests to do that make it so you keep playing.  They aren’t lame either. They feel rewarding to do. 

It rewards you for picking the weeds and gathering materials.  There is a rock that literally gives you money somewhere on your island! Why wouldn’t you want to play every day. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons encourages appointment gaming, where you stop by once a day to gather resources and check the shop. It rewards you for picking the weeds and gathering materials every day.  There is even a rock that literally GIVES you money somewhere on your island every day. Why wouldn’t you want to come back? 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons also has a multiplayer mode where you visit your friends islands and they visit yours. This experience is honestly one of my favorite parts. I love going to my brother and sister’s islands and helping them make money or sharing cool new crafting recipes.

Can a kid play it? 

Yes most definitely. The game is simple, there are no moments that are difficult, there are no complicated button presses to pull off a jump and or anything like that. You just walk around, pick things up, and sell them. 

There is a little reading involved, but if they are not able to read then the parts of the game that they will be playing, running around the island and picking stuff up, don’t involve reading.

Should a kid play it? 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

This is a simulation game in which players explore a deserted island, interact with animals, and engage in various activities (e.g., fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting). Some bugs can sting players, causing them to become dizzy and collapse. Players can bonk characters on the head and/or push them into holes. One character is seen with mucus dripping from his nose; the dialogue also contains comical references (e.g., “Whoever smelt it dealt it.”).

ESRB.com

Should you buy it? 

Yes and no. It depends on your family. 

If you are an adult buying the game for yourself and a young child then yes! This is a great game to share! You should make sure that the adult (or whoever is most game savvy) boots the game up first though. This way they become the main player on the island and aren’t held back by the other player. 

If you live in a household with more than one Switch, then we definitely recommend buying a copy for each Switch. Each Switch will have separate islands and there will be no issues sharing resources. The different players in the house will be able to play multiplayer together. 

However, if you are buying the game for two kids that are around the same age and gaming ability who also share a Switch, then you may want to think about it. Each Switch only has one island, and this can lead to frustration. The first person to play the game and name the island is the Island Representative, and is the only person who can do some of the quests and activities. You’ll definitely want to have a plan for how they will share the island. 

Conclusion

All in all Animal Crossing: New Horizons is amazing. Anyone can play it, there is no inappropriate content, and the game is just fun. Even though there are some issues with players who join after the game has started being able to make decisions about the island and all that, the game is great!


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