Developer: Marvelous AQL
Price: FREE
Version: 1.00
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

crosshorizon02Asking questions is human nature. Most are looking for an explanation for, to borrow a line from Douglas Adams, “Life, the Universe and Everything.” The quest for knowledge extends to video games as well, whether it means unraveling a plot or simply trying to figure out where to go. Unfortunately not all questions are pleasant. While I was initially impressed with Cross Horizon, I had to ask myself why a game with so much potential was being held back by irritating freemium paywalls.

Cross Horizon is a mix between an open-ish world JRPG and a real time “slash n’ block” combat game (i.e. Infinity Blade, etc). From the castle town players can take on guild missions, buy new gear, manage their friend lists, draw random items in a special lottery, and even combine equipment to make their preferred gear stronger. Outside of the castle town they’ll have to wander the surrounding hills and valleys, scour dungeons, and otherwise wander around killing monsters and grabbing loot. All so that they can cash everything in once they get back home, then begin the process anew.

The animations are a little simple but the actual character and monster designs in Cross Horizon are quite good. The environments are also varied and fairly large, which makes them ideal for exploring in order to find hidden treasure chests and such. And I have to say that the way equipment is treated almost like a mini collectible card game is pretty cool. There’s the expected allure of card gathering and upgrading, but it also blends into character and inventory management which makes it feel a lot more worthwhile.

crosshorizon07So Cross Horizon is pretty cool. However shortly after the tutorial I stumbled into a roadblock. I mean seriously, why do we need to spend premium currency on two separate items in order to make fast-travel possible? I have to buy a special item in order to pop back to town once a quest is complete, as well as buy another in order to “unlock” a newly discovered location. Without either getting around is a pretty big hassle that requires trudging back and forth across several sizable areas while constantly tripping over monsters. These items aren’t cheap, either. It’s possible to save up what little premium currency is earned very slowly, but to do so requires even more time spent wandering back and forth.

I really wish I could enjoy Cross Horizon to the fullest but that’s just not possible when so much of my time is spent running back and forth between town and whatever my objective is. Getting around faster is certainly possible, but it either requires a decent chunk of change or a ton of patience to make it so, and I’m simply not willing to sacrifice either at this point.

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