PAX EAST 2020: ‘StarCrossed’ – Co-op Magical Girl Fun

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StarCrossed— But Why Tho

StarCrossed is a co-op arcade action title developed by Contigo Games and published by Whitethorn Digital. When space is in danger, it’s up to five magical girls to save the day. Quick reflexes, coordination, and the desire for fun is all players need to bring to face the challenges of this action title.

At first glance, StarCrossed gives the appearance of a psychedelic version of the top-down gameplay gamers have experienced since the days of such shooters as 1942. But, take a moment to look deeper and players will find something different. Instead of firing projectiles at enemies, players bounce a star between each other. As the star travels it will damage any enemies it hits. Players must balance lining up to hit enemies with keeping their characters out of danger. As the number of enemies builds up, it can become quite daunting. But also very fun.

Beyond the basic mechanics of StarCrossed there are a couple of other small wrinkles. A dodge maneuver is available to help players escape from tight situations. This dodge does run on a cool down so it needs to be used sparingly. The other mechanic is a bit more offensive in nature.

Just before the star reaches the player, if they time a button press correctly it will both speed up the star’s travel and charge a super meter. Once the meter is charged, a super attack can be launched. The nature of this super depends on which of the five playable characters initiate it. During my time with the game, I saw a homing attack, as well as the star transforming into a giant version of itself.

StarCrossed features an endless arcade mode for high score chasing, along with online leader boards so you can challenge the very best magical girls in the world. Along with arcade mode, there is also a campaign. While the campaign can be completed in about an hour and a half there is a good amount of replayability to it.

Between each level of StarCrossed’s campaign there is a brief interaction between the two characters being played. These interactions change depending on who the players elect to control. I was told these scenes are focused on positive messages like self-acceptance and learning about being a team. It’s always good to see gaming taking time from the action to reinforce some positive messages.

While I’ve talked about the co-op nature of the game, single-player is also a completely valid option. In single-player mode, the player controls each girl with a different joystick. While I was told people have completed the entire campaign this way, the thought of it blows my mind. There would just be so much to keep track of.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with StarCrossed. It’s beautiful aesthetic and themes of teamwork were a lovely way for me to wrap up a busy day of convention going.

StarCrossed is currently available on PC and will arrive on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch later this month.

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