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GRAND CROSS: ReNOVATION Review

Official Score

Overall - 80%

80%

The battle between light and darkness never looked so good in GRAND CROSS: ReNOVATION. The Sun Blade mechanic is a much-needed breath of fresh air in the shmup space, one hardcore fans will enjoy mastering.

User Rating: 4.6 ( 1 votes)

The almighty Sun Blade is yours to dcontrol with Eternal Sphere 4 and Henteko Doujin’s new shmup GRAND CROSS: ReNOVATION. A super-aggressive vertical shooter with a battle between light and darkness, should players pick up arms and fight?

GRAND CROSS: ReNOVATION Review

As NEXALTS, players have quite the task ahead of them – the almighty goddess Laevateinn has commanded an uprising, and it’s up to players to stop it. Her army is mighty, and the forces of darkness have overtaken the world.

There is one light shining in the darkness though; the Sun Blade. Setting out to retell the narrative, this weapon can easily turn the tides of battle. With a press of a button, players can shoot a steady stream of energy that can dish out massive damage, negate enemy projectiles, and can be angled for the perfect shot. There’s also the Super Charged Sun Blade for added firepower, along with the Sun Blade Scatter that can easily dispose of any nearby threats.

However, there is a catch; using the Sun Blade consumes your life. When everything is out to kill you, every last hit point is crucial. However, the standard shot just won’t cut it (literally); the Sun Blade is needed to dispose of even the tiniest mook.

This makes for a compelling mechanic, with players rationing out their life for the perfect shot. While HP recovers after not firing for a while, figuring out when to go full steam ahead and when to hold back is right up there with Ikaruga’s color swapping system and Risk System’s Barrier Breaker attack. It’s a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant genre.

This is doubly so when using the Super Charged Sun Blade – this is a serious piece of weaponry that can clear out minibosses with ease. It’s especially unique in that it can be used when you’re on the precipice of defeat – one can fire when there’s no health in your reserves. Sure, it means that one mistake will lead to your doom, but it creates a risk-reward dynamic that encourages offensive play and “getting good.”

And getting good is an absolute must. GRAND CROSS: ReNOVATION pulls no punches, with the screen full of flash, foes, and firepower. It can be tough to gauge where things are with its constant scaling and flood of power-ups, but it does make for a grandiose presentation. While its doujin roots pop up with typos and the occasional low-res asset, it still makes a lasting impression during its one hour duration.

Outside of the main mode, there’s also a Stage Select, a Boss Rush, and a way to compete for high scores for each level on the leaderboard. While the core game is a bit on the short side, those looking to one-credit clear this title will be in it for the long haul.

The battle between light and darkness never looked so good in GRAND CROSS: ReNOVATION. The Sun Blade mechanic is a much-needed breath of fresh air in the shmup space, one hardcore fans will enjoy mastering.

This review of GRAND CROSS: ReNOVATION was done on the PC. A digital code was provided by the publisher.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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