By Steve Baltimore / February 16th, 2021
|Title||Azur Lane: Crosswave|
|Developer||Idea Factory, Compile Heart|
|Publisher||Idea Factory International|
|Release Date||February 16, 2020|
|Platform||Switch, PC, PlayStation 4|
As many of you know, I am a big fan of Azur Lane. I was really excited when when Azur Lane: Crosswave launched on the PlayStation 4 and Steam last year, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Nintendo Switch port of the game. It doesn’t add anything story wise, but it does have an updated photo mode with additional camera angles and up to six Kansen on screen at once. I was actually more interested in how the game would perform on the Switch hardware. Will it be a smooth experience, or will it sink into the depths of framerate hell? Let’s find out!
Before we dig into the performance, let’s cover the story of Azur Lane: Crosswave. It takes place in a world where powerful Kansen from each of the four nations protect the world. The world was in relative peace until one day a new group known as the Sirens appeared. Their technology was far more advanced than anything the Kansen had ever seen. Each nation went on alert until they could figure out if the Sirens were friend or foe. Their movements seemed to be at random with no real goal in mind. This mystery deepens when one day new Sakura Empire recruits Shimakaze and Sugura encounter a Siren and she drops mysterious cubes in the water. The Empire decides to bring all the nations together and have a joint military exercise. This will allow them to collect and study the cubes faster, but there could other motives afoot as well.
As I said in my previous review, if you are a fan of the mobile game you will get a lot more out of this. Seeing the girls interacting and showing off their wonderful personalities is always a win. The episodes you can view when unlocking certain Kansen are very entertaining. You get even more episodes in this release since they have included Taihou and Formidable. They were DLC Kansen in the Steam and PlayStation 4 releases, but here you can see them in all their glory right off the bat. At the end of the day these episodes remind me why I love this franchise and the characters so much. Just like in the mobile game, marriage ceremonies have wonderful dialogue. Nagato may be even more adorable this time around! It does take a bit of work to get the materials to view these, but I felt the payoff was totally worth it.
Graphically, Azur Lane: Crosswave has taken a bit of a hit on the Nintendo Switch. The character models aren’t quite as detailed, the explosion effects have been reduced and you can tell the resolution has been lowered a bit. The game looks great on the Switch screen, but these things are noticeable when playing docked. The good news is the game runs at a solid frame rate. I won’t say it’s 60, but it has be close and constant since the action is pretty smooth. In photo mode you can still pose the girls and change their facial expressions. The additional characters and camera angles give you a lot more control in this mode this time around. You can get the camera to some really interesting places, if you catch what I mean! Overall, the game still looks pretty good despite the trade offs, and I’m glad they were able to keep the gameplay a smooth experience.
Since I covered all of the modes and combat in depth in my previous review, I’m just going to go over the basics here. You can check out that review if you want a more detailed look at how each of the systems in the game work. The story is divided into chapters, with a set number of event battles in each one. Each of these will have simple objectives such as: destroy X number of ships, shoot down X number of planes, or survive for a X amount of time. Even on hard difficulty this is a pretty easy game so long as you keep your Kansen leveled up and their equipment up to date.
Outside of story battles, there are over 100 Extreme Battles you can participate in. This mode is just a series of 100 battles that increase in difficulty. These battles drop valuable materials you will need to upgrade each Kansen’s weapons and skills. These battles will also drop the heart tokens you will need to marry your favorites later on. You will need to gather at least 25 from the over 100 Extreme Battles in total. Story missions drop these materials as well, but instead of heart tokens players receive cognitive isomers. You can trade these for a cognitive chip for each Kansen at Akashi’s shop and this will allow them exceed level 100.
All in all I think the Switch port of Azur Lane: Crosswave is pretty solid. While it doesn’t look quite as good as the other versions, it plays well and the additions to the photo mode are pretty fun to play around with. Neptunia fans will also have the bonus of getting a swimsuit version of Neptune as a playable character for a limited time. If you own this on other platforms, unless you’re a huge fan or want to play this on the go, you may want to wait for a sale rather than pick up this version at the $49.99 price tag. If you haven’t had a chance to snag this up on the other platforms, you should give it a shot. You may find this world of cute warships really is a pure joy to play in.
Game was provided by the publisher for review.
Azur Lane: CrosswaveCompile HeartIdea FactoryYostar