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When the puzzles are integrated with the combat its awesome, several bosses have this going on. But instead most of the puzzles just kills the pacing of the game. Make no mistake: I can solve the puzzles just fine, its just that the way that the majority of the puzzles are made are not fun.
Its like Legend of Zelda but less well-made. The pace there is more constant. Breath of the Wild keeps its puzzles bite-sized, and even the big dungeons don't overstay their welcome. In contrast CrossCode just overloads you with puzzle after puzzle. Even if I admit some of the puzzles are creative and rewarding to finish, do too many at once and what was supposed to be fun turns to into a chore instead.
Personally I think the puzzles of BotW are rather disappointing compared to other Zelda games.
I agree that the dungeons in CrossCode turned out to be too long and that there might be too much puzzle solving at once for many players. So that's something we'll consider for future projects. CrossCode won't change in that regard, however.
I found that most of CrossCode was puzzles instead. (Amongst my favorite moments in CC was Polly duels and utterly destroying Not!Lea, especially when it was referenced by Emelie). I get that the majority may enjoy these the most, but the game advertised itself as an action RPG, so I approach the game expecting it to have more of the first half of that genre title than anything else.
I did enjoy CrossCode overall, I've just finished the game. But this kind of puzzles is not what I enjoy. I want dynamic puzzles, combat puzzles. The bosses are, again, a prime example of this. I have to defeat them using specific methods under pressure of death by their attacks. I have to balance thinking out how to do so whilst dodging, guarding, and other survival aspects. I enjoy that feeling of continous activity, whereas the puzzles in Crosscode amount to standing still and finding the one solution. Heck it actually amuses me that I could ignore some of the mechanics of CrossCode boss fights in favor of chip-damaging bosses to death by brute force. (Fire and burning essentially killed all of the bosses I could use it on).
What I enjoyed from BotW was that I could 'cheat' the puzzles. The puzzles don't necessarily have one solution. I often solved them by exploits, or did them in a way that was much much more difficult than the 'normal' way. That freedom is what I seek in a puzzle. Combat puzzles have it because of the flow of the fight. If puzzles in CrossCode employed multiple solutions, and methods by which clever or particularly determined players could bypass elements of the puzzle you'd be hearing alot of praise from me.
BotW physics approach and the option to often "cheese your way through it" made finding the solution less satisfying to me. I very much prefer puzzles that have one clear solution that asks the players to stop and think a bit.
That's also why this approach to puzzles won't change, not in CrossCode and not in future projects we'll work on.
Honestly, isn't the fact that it is my opinion just plain obvious? I don't get the point why anyone needs to state this nowadays.
Regardless on what you and I think on puzzles its still a fact that the puzzle gameplay and the combat gameplay are far too different in pace even if both use the same player actions to complete their objectives. Thats my main gripe with the puzzles. To compare it to the driving of a car the combat is like going 100KPH and the puzzles just breaks it all to a halt.
I honestly believe that if you include the option to simply replace ALL the puzzles in dungeons to a gauntlet of combat encounters with specific restrictions or difficulties instead the game would be perfect.
Still, now that this thread got me thinking over it, its bizarre how anyone could think CrossWorld (the game in the game CrossCode), would be good. Just from what the player (Lea) is shown to be able to do its amazingly barebones compared to contemporary MMORPGs.
1. No option to challenge or to kill other players, or at least your friends aside from Polly and Not!Lea, and the latter only occurs as scripted story events.
2. No guild vs guild wars, and no doable raids that aren't story events.
3. For all intents and purposes the mechanic of 'instanced quests and rooms' means that CW is primarily a single-player game.
4. Despite classes having descriptions of classic roles like 'tank' or 'mage' there is no real synergy or concept of teamwork. Classes such as Quadroguard or Triblader seem to only have cosmetic differences in how they work.
The game presents itself as something akin to Sword Art Online or dot hack, but it has nothing of the features and gameplay that those games have. Then again, based on player count CrossWorld is an extremely niche game at best. There are less than 100 players I believe, compared to the millions of any one mainstream MMORPG.
Then again if puzzles were the main mechanic it makes sense. Not really alot of people out there who would choose puzzles vs WoW, Warframe, Destiny, and so much more.
That being said however, there were definitely times when you go on for too long doing JUST puzzles. Interspersing some more interesting combat scenarious in between the puzzles would have completely alleviated this issue for me.
If the goal was to tell a compelling story, then the devs still fell flat. Why does Emelie, and the rest of the 1st scholars seem to be treated like there's some sort of 'bond' with Lea? Its an online game! We can't even be sure anyone really looks like they do! If I was one of the first scholars my first thought would be that this must be some sort of cool immersive quest or something, and go on for the hell of it rather than 'for friendship! and sentient rights!'. Heck I might even go full Hlin and tinfoil hat and wonder if this is part of the 'track' and I might have been volunteered into some new glimpses of the CW's lore.
Plus all of Emelie's and Lea's interactions are just small talk commenting on the things they're currently doing i.e. killing mobs. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that just because you did the same in the real world that you're going to have a BFF relationship with that person. Lea has even less connection with the rest of the first scholars since she doesn't interact with them beyond a few conversations.
To compare to other games, Undertale puts you through side activities to flesh out other characters like Papyrus and Undyne, most especially this involves hanging out with them. Its alot more than casual talk as you do in-game activities. Normal JRPGs like the Tales of- games or Xenoblade Chronicles have party members glimpsing deep personal moments for each other, building a genuine bond as they endure trials together. There's nothing like this for Lea and the other characters she meets. The fact she can't talk makes that even more weird that she manages ANY relationships at all.
specifically works on deceiving the player (supposedly even Sergei bought into it until the term ISHO was said) that they were in some real incident regarding real-life hackers and scammers, when actually it was an in-game quest. A quest that would be available to others, and thus publically known. Given that I can assume that the rest of the first scholars have taken and completed that quest, I doesn't make sense that any of them would not immediately suspect that Lea and Sergei's circumstances also fall into a similar category.
This is even more egregious when you consider that the entire group is one focused on the lore - they would be more self aware and genre-savvy than most.
What CrossCode does even better than Alundra is the synergy between the puzzle parts, the exploration parts and the stellar fight system. Most of all I really like the smooth feel of the gameplay.
One point where I, in my opinion, have to disagree with Lachsen, is the one regarding the dungeon length, as I actually think they are perfectly fine as they are, considering there aren't too many of them in the game in the first place.