Game Review #118: Double Cross (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Allan J.
Developer: 13AM Games
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Category: Action, Platformer, Role-Playing, Adventure, Metroidvania
Release Date: 1.10.2019
Price (at time of review): $19.99
Buy Double Cross from the Nintendo eShop here.
When I first saw the trailer for Double Cross, my first thought was, “This looks like Guacamelee! meets Kimpossible!” Just the fact that it reminded me of Guacamelee! was enough to sell me. Turns out that my initial assessment was not too far off the mark with this one. Double Cross definitely shares the same spirit animal as Guacamelee!, but with a few of its own unique twists that make it—dare I say?—even better than my (now-former) favorite Metroidvania game! Let’s talk about why I love this game.
An Inside Job…
You start out your story in the R.I.F.T. (Regulators of Interdimensional Frontiers and Technology) headquarters, an inter-dimensional law enforcement agency tasked with policing the multiverse against unauthorized inter-dimensional travel between the many different versions of Earth. You play Agent Zahra Sinclair, a young an enthusiastic agent of R.I.F.T.. After a standard and otherwise uneventful morning staff meeting, there is a break-in at R.I.F.T., causing a lockdown throughout the R.I.F.T. headquarters. You are tasked with making your way through the hidden HQ tunnels to figure out what is happening. You collect several pieces of evidence as you make your way to the intruder, who, as it turns out, may be a rogue agent of R.I.F.T.! Using the clues you have discovered, you, along with the help of your R.I.F.T. team, set out on a journey through several suspect Earths to get to the bottom of it all, ensuring the continued safety of the multiverse and its inhabitants.
The Situation Is Under Control
Control-wise, Double Cross already felt quite familiar to me, as many of the mechanics are the same as Guacamelee!, a game with which I have logged many hours. While you cannot suplex your alien opponents in Double Cross—which is a shame really, because it would be really fun to suplex a dinosaur—you do have another trick up your sleeve with the “Protein Slinger”, an energy gun which grabs onto anchors and launches you through the air, allowing you to perform some sick aerial maneuvers and fly through some otherwise impassible areas.
The controls feel very intuitive, and while the slinger can be a little tricky at times, it was easy to pick up the basic flow of it all. The game encourages speedy midair maneuvers, as the longer you take to aim the slinger before pulling the trigger, the more the trajectory to which the anchor will launch you moves off course, which can result in either missing your mark, or worse, falling to your doom. The quicker you move through some of the obstacle courses, the more likely you are to make it through. On top of that, it feels fantastic running off of almost pure feeling instead of trying to over analyze the situation, and when you complete a sick run, it is incredibly satisfying.
I mentioned a few times now that there are a lot of similarities between Double Cross and Guacamelee!, so let me expand upon that a bit. As you level up in Double Cross, you gain new abilities. These abilities are basically the same as the abilities you get in Guacamelee!, with a few variants. You have your slide kick (Down+X), your fly kick (Forward+X), your stomp (Down+X while airborne), etc.
Let me be clear, Double Cross is not ripping anything off from Guacamelee!, there are just a lot of very similar mechanics. Double Cross is its own game though, and the differences, while slight, make this game a unique experience all its own. It just didn’t take me long to assimilate the controls and the basic mechanics.
The graphics in Double Cross are great. As mentioned before, it looks like if Guacamelee! and Kimpossible were to have a love child. The colors are bright and crisp, and the different worlds you visit each have their own unique look and feel to them. One of the stages is actually an arcade with 6 mini-games. The look and feel in these mini-games is like playing a game within a game, and it was such an immersive experience that, when I beat it and started playing the next stage, I had to get used to the regular mode again.
The soundtrack is also quite nice. I was reminded of several classic games from my childhood, like Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, and even a little Mega Man at times. The songs did a great job of setting the mood and tempo for each stage, and never got old or repetitive throughout the game.
In case you couldn’t tell, I loved this game. Double Cross did not disappoint. I had so much fun playing this game—I’m still playing it, actually—that I am sure it will stay in a regular rotation for me. The controls are fluid and easy to grasp, but the mechanics, along with the thoughtful stage-designs, keep it challenging and intense throughout. If you like a good Metroidvania game—especially if that game is Guacamelee!—then I would absolutely recommend getting Double Cross for your Switch collection. I can’t think of a single thing wrong with this game other than the lack of a physical release, which makes me sad, because I would buy it in a heartbeat. Go get you some Double Cross right now!
Buy Double Cross from the Nintendo eShop here.
Follow 13AM Games
Follow Graffiti Games
*Review Code Provided by Graffiti Games