Cross-Code is a plot-driven action-RPG with 2D retro-style graphics. Having played the tech-demo it feels like a mix between 2D Metroid and 2D Zelda games. While the setting is sci-fi themed and you\’ll be throwing energy balls at waves of enemies and everything in your environment, there is a heavy emphasis on solving puzzles and adventuring.

Currently, the game is in development for PC using HTML5, I got in contact with Radical Fish Games and we discussed the possibility of bringing the game to Wii U, especially because the touch screen would work really well for the controls. They told me that it would be awesome to be able to bring Cross-Code to the Wii U, although the current priority will be to actually get the game completed and only then they can possibly begin work on a Wii U version.

Since the new tech-demo was released just two days ago and can be played in your browser, I urge everyone to try it out for themselves and see just how promising this game is. [For a really cool treat, try the demo in the Wii U Browser!]

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Try the Tech Demo of Cross-Code Online

How I discovered Radical Fish Games and Cross-Code is a pretty interesting story in its own right.

I\’m guilty of having something of an obsession with hidden gems and obscure games. I was once researching the best RPG Maker games over the past 15 years and came across a Neogaf thread where they discussed at length their favorite projects over the years. More famous indie games such as To The Moon and Aveyond were mentioned alongside the hidden gems that only the RPG Maker community would be familiar with. I learned that there was a booming German RPG Maker community and the most famous of them was Felix Klein, known as \”Lachsen\” online, who made an RPG Maker game that was held up in those communities as the pinnacle of what could be achieved with the RPG Maker engine.

The game was called Velsarbor and it was a technical marvel and an immersive RPG experience in its own right. Everyone knew that Lachsen had an intuitive understanding of what made a great game. And technically, no game pushed the RPG Maker engine as far as Velsarbor. The caveat was that Velsarbor was only released as a 5-hour demo that was meant to give a taste of the enormously epic RPG yet to come. Another hurdle was that Velsarbor was only released in German, later translated to French. Still, English-speaking members of the community would play through the German demo, savoring every moment and maxing out their characters as they dreamed of what might eventually become of the full-version of Velsarbor.

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Lachsen had originally entered the RPG Maker development scene when he was 16 but by the time he was heavily involved with Velsarbor, he already finished his schooling and was training in computer science. He found that as his programming skills advanced, he felt much too restricted by the RPG Maker engine. Another issue was that Velsarbor was much too broad in scope as a project to be done by one man. He needed a team. That’s how Radical Fish Games got started, as Felix Klein joined with another member of the German RPG Maker development scene, Stefan Lange (known as \”R.D.\” online).

They put Velsarbor on hold and began working on Cross-Code, a commercial game that was being developed in HTML5. Following the trail, I found the first tech-demo of Cross-Code and played it on their website. Despite having next-to-no press coverage at all, I was very impressed and thought these guys were making a great product. The tech-demo only desmonstrated the simple gameplay mechanics, which I found to be quite addictive, but with their RPG background, I imagined how a great action-adventure would be coming from all this.

I contacted them and told them how I thought it would be a great game for 3DS or Wii U. They were excited about the idea but a big hurdle was the lack of HTML5 and Javascript support. That would mean the game would have to be completely rewritten in order to make a port — a difficult challenge for a small team with limited time and funding on their hands. We put the idea on hold and decided to revisit the idea closer to completion of the project.

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But then Nintendo changed everything. Around GDC 2013, Nintendo unveiled a completely overhauled set of policies for their eShops, removing most of the hurdles and risks for independent developers. They also showed off their Wii U Unity set of tools, and the Nintendo Web Framework, which would provide HTML5 and Javascript support for the Wii U.

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With that, we reopened the discussion of bringing Cross-Code to Wii U. The priority, of course, is to focus on completing development of the game. But, because it would be a much simpler copy-and-paste to bring over the game to Wii U, the port is looking like a much more viable option. Radical Fish Games said it would be awesome to bring the game to Wii U and hopefully their discussions with Nintendo will go well and result in us getting our hands on this promising title.

Even if it doesn\’t end up coming to Wii U, I\’d recommend everyone give the newest tech-demo a play-through and see what it’s all about. (When you think you got to the end of the demo, keep on playing. There’s still a much harder challenge with waves of enemies yet to come.)

Helpful Links

Play the new tech-demo of Cross-Code online

Check out the Radical Fish Games website 

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