Cris Tales - Preview

Cris Tales - Preview

The summer that is about to begin is set to be loaded with captivating titles, including sequels and remasters of historical franchises and some promising new titles. In this hot period of releases, however, it would be a shame to look away from even the less noble productions, in particular Cris Tales promises to prove to be a great little gem for all RPG fans looking for something fresh and genuine.

Presented for the first time on the occasion of the PC Gaming Show E3 2019 by the publisher Modus Games, Cris Tales is the first work of Dreams Uncorporated with the collaboration of SYCK, both located in Colombia. It is a title that is openly inspired by classic JRPGs such as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Valkyrie Profile, Bravely Default and Persona 5; from some of these titles he took inspiration for the game mechanics, from others for the stylistic choices.

But don't think that Cris Tales is a mere collage of classic mechanics. The title gives off a character of its own already from the peculiar visual style. Just look at the images or the trailers to notice the very particular cartoon style with bright colors that paint a fantasy setting that the authors have infused with Colombian folklore.

Beyond the graphic aspect, the most interesting feature of Cris Tales is its gameplay focused on the relationship of cause and effect between various temporal moments. The protagonist Crisbell is in fact a time sorceress and she has the gift of simultaneously observing the past, present and future of the places she visits. Or rather: the possible future, still subject to alterations. Guess whose job it will be to fix the various disasters that seem to loom over the world? It will often be the case that looking into the future Crisbell will see that something over the years looks set to go wrong. To avoid this you will have to investigate in the present and try to change the course of events.

We saw a rather explanatory example during the demo that shows the first minutes of the game in Narim, the hometown of Crisbell . The girl makes the acquaintance of Matias, a talking frog who will guide her on her journey and that we can send to the past and the future to interact with them. Exploring Narim, Crisbell realizes that some buildings in the future will be destroyed by a mysterious plague. To warn of the danger, we spoke to the carpenter of the city, but he is a tired and disillusioned man, and the only way to put him in a position to work is a tonic that only the city pharmacist can prepare. This she in turn has a problem: she cannot prepare the tonic because the bottle of ingredients has been placed next to that of a toxin which, however, lacks the label, and now she is no longer able to distinguish them. Looking at the bottles in the past, however, we can see where the label was affixed before it was removed and therefore know which of the two bottles contains the toxin. After reporting it to the pharmacist, she tells us that to prepare the tonic she also needs a particular fruit of which we only have the seeds. It is not a problem for us: we plant the seeds and in the future we see them already become a fruiting tree; so let us send Matias to the future to reap the fruit and bring it back to the present. The pharmacist can then prepare the tonic that we will give to the carpenter to save the buildings in the city.

What we have illustrated is only one of the various situations that we will be able to solve using our trans-temporal vision. But Cris Tales is first and foremost an RPG and even more interesting will be the use of Crisbell's powers during battles. Basically we point out that each party character can increase the damage of their physical attacks or dampen the opponent's blows by pressing a button at the right moment of the animation, a bit like it happened in Super Mario RPG or in the various Mario & Luigi.

Speaking instead of temporal powers, Crisbell will be able to send his opponents into the past or into the future by effectively modifying their age and physical prowess; We must therefore be careful against who to use this skill: if an enemy is basically in the prime of life, sending him into the past will make him a fragile child, but if you send back an elderly enemy we could make him return to the apex of his physical form. >
The power to instantly create a time gap combines in a very interesting way with various altered statuses. Example: after poisoning an opponent, we just need to send him to the future to instantly decimate her HP. Or again: the first boss we will have to face are two young female soldiers with huge shields capable of canceling any physical blow. We then cast a water element spell on them that inflicted the moisture status, after which Crisbell sent them into the future; in this way the sisters have become stronger, but in the meantime their shield has rusted and broken, making them finally vulnerable.

The game formula of Cris Tales that develops both in exploration and in the battle system genuinely intrigued us for its great potential to create original situations and stimulate our inventiveness and tactical ability. If the conditions are translated into a well-balanced and varied system, we could really see some good ones. While we are fascinated by the particular visual style and the more than convincing tracks of the soundtrack, we remain curious to see what kind of story awaits the young Crisbell.

We look forward to reviewing the final version of Cris Tales in preparation for the will be released on July 20th for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch and PC.

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