CROSS†CHANNEL review

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Name: CROSS†CHANNEL
Developer: FlyingShine
Release date: September 26, 2003
Related links: Galge, Getchu, Walkthrough, Walkthrough (English)


Opening

Cross Channel is an ADV by FlyingShine that follows Kurosu Taichi, a member of the Broadcasting Club at a school for troubled kids, Gunjou. Stuff happens. Unfortunately, any more than that and I’ll be spoiling the story. This review will be free of major spoilers. This was quite a hard game to review since I really couldn’t say much without ruining the story.

I was lazy, so this review is based off the English translation. I didn’t bother extracting the images, so the shots are lower quality screencaps. This will probably be the norm. To see what’s in the box, go to the unboxing.

Scenario

This is likely be my shortest ever section on scenario since elaborating will ruin the story. More than anything, the story is about one’s relationship with oneself and others. The ability to love yourself, the need to be connected with others, and what you impose on each other.

“What friends require from each other is nothing.”

With all their personal problems, the students at Gunjou are all extremely unsociable. The Broadcasting Club members have grown apart, and Taichi just wants to bring them back together to have some fun memories, but things are obviously not as easy as they seem…

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What Taichi wants

This is one of those games where you must complete everyone’s path for the true end, but Cross Channel does it in its own way. This isn’t a game about romance. Don’t play it for that. Lots of sex scenes seem sudden and are unnecessary.

Another warning. This game is dense and confusing. The writing is often purposely confusing and random. Be prepared to be frustrated or have headaches.

“Everyone is born alone and dies alone.”

Characters

Kurosu Taichi

cc3Quite a pervert

Taichi has the most serious problems out of anyone in the school. What’s his problem? Well, I can’t tell you. Play it and find out.

Other than that, Taichi is probably one of the biggest perverts I’ve ever seen. He takes every opportunity he can to sexually harass the girls in the game.

cc4He’s

cc5always

cc6skirt-flipping

Hasekura Youko

cc7She’s always watching.

My favorite character. Youko is cold and never shows any emotion. To everyone in the club except Taichi, she’s their respected Senpai. She’s known Taichi since they were kids, so she’s always watching over him. She’s extremely perceptive, smart, and strong. She’s not one you want to cross.

cc8This is pretty much her only expression.

Not only is she overprotective of Taichi, she also gets VERY jealous. She’ll even resort to using flashbangs to stop Taichi from doing something she doesn’t want.

cc9A jealous Youko. How cute.

Youko and Taichi are very physically intimate. She won’t even mind giving him a BJ to wake him up. But they’re not even going out.

cc10Wouldn’t you love to wake up to this?

Yamanobe Miki

cc11Delicious flat chest

Miki is probably my second character. She’s Taichi student in perversion, and she’s the only one who doesn’t get flustered or upset by his sexual harassment. She’s also the most loli out of all the sexable girls, but she’s not a true loli. She even admits it.

cc12She says awesome lines like this.

Miki is a girl who comes from a poor family, and like most other girls in these games that come from poor families, she’s on the energetic side, though I wouldn’t say she’s a genki girl. She sounds extremely cute, and I just want to bring her home~~

cc13She seems tsurupeta.

Kirihara Touko

cc14The legendary Kirihara blade.

Touko is your typical tsundere. I usually like tsundere, but for some reason, I didn’t find her that appealing. She’s a rich girl who eats caviar on a daily basis, doesn’t know what canned food is, and has never been to a konbini.

cc15Her typical tsuntsun face, but feed her…

cc16and she turns super deredere.

I think that’s one of the main reasons I don’t like her. She turns extremely deredere, and she does it pretty much literally overnight. Tsundere are only cute when they retain some of their original self.

cc17

Miyasumi Misato

cc18Nice view

Misato is the president of the club, and she’s Taichi’s senpai. She’s an onee-chan type of character, and she’s a bit airheaded. Her redeeming quality is having the biggest breasts in the game. She’s Tomoki’s sister, even though their last names are different.

cc19She’s probably the only one in the game who can do this.

Sakura Kiri

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Kiri is my least favorite character out of the bunch. She hates Taichi pretty much throughout the game, and even ignores logic when it disproves her reason for hating him. She has a grudge that she can’t seem to let go of. Also, she’s cold to pretty much everyone except Miki since they’re best friends. Though she looks it, she’s not really the athletic type.

Nanaka

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Nanaka is a mysterious girl who usually shows up out of nowhere to run Taichi down with her bike. She seems to know Taichi’s name, even though it’s Taichi’s first time meeting her. She often says mysterious things and seems to know a lot about what’s going on. She’s genki, which I usually dislike, but I can tolerate Nanaka for some reason. She’s not a sexable character.

Shima Tomoki

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Tomoki is Misato’s brother. Though he’s serious siscon, he’s fighting with his sister and they rarely talk. They even participate in different clubs so they don’t need to interact. He’s a serious guy and tries to help everyone out later.

Sakuraba Hiroshi

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One of the least significant characters in the game. As a rich kid, he’s usually pretty laid back and spontaneous. He’s the type of guy who loves curry bread but hates curry.

System

The game is getting old, so the engine it runs on seems outdated now. There’s no way to replay voices (hence the lack of voice clips). It has all the usual features like CG album, H-scene playback, and BGM player. It has 100 save files, but you can’t put comments on them.

Translation

The overall text flows pretty well, and there aren’t any major errors. There are still loads of minor grammatical errors, but 99.9% of people won’t notice them. The original text is supposed to be vague and hard to follow, so the translation follows it.

There’s also a lot of translation notes in the game to explain a lot of obscure things. It was pretty helpful.

Overall

The game is definitely one most people should experience, but it’s also not a game recommended for newbies to the genre. It’s ridiculously difficult to follow at times and it defies a lot of conventions of the genre. Its story is well fleshed-out. Each character’s motives are usually clear by the end, and that’s a pretty important aspect of the game. Finding out the past of each character and why they all behave the way they do. That’s why my character profiles are sparse on info.

The game is a very heavy, and I recommend it for people who are looking for a more psychological game. If you’re looking for a pure love game, look elsewhere.

But I also never truly cared about any of the characters in the game. This combined with hard to follow text brought the game down a notch for me.

“See you next week.”

Score

My scale will probably be a lot different from most other people’s scale. My scores will be from 1 to 5, integer only. I don’t understand why people need to use a 10 point (or shit, a 100 point) scale. Do you really care about the difference between a game that gets a 3 or a 4 out of 10? Can you really tell me the difference between a 8.5 and an 8.6? Decimals are usually assigned purely on a whim. My score also is based on the overall game. My enjoyment of the game is the primary deciding factor. No subscores are given.

I also give games scores based on what they’re trying to be. For example, I won’t ding a slice of life game for not having  an epic story. It’s simply not what the game is supposed to be.

The meaning of my scores and their rough equivalent in a 1-10 scale.

5 – Excellent. Must play (9-10)
4 – Good. Play if you’re a fan of the genre (8)
3 – Average. Play if something about the game really attracts you. (7)
2 – Below average. Only play if there’s something about the game that really really interests you. You need to have a die hard fetish for it or something to make it worthwhile. (6)
1 – Crap. Avoid no matter what. (1-5)

4/5

Where to buy: Erogeshop

Random comments: Sorry for the low quality pictures in the beginning. I didn’t realize saving at jpg would make it that bad. I’ll try to reupload some as png. Note: quotes from the game are from memory and may not be exact.

Update: I added info about two more characters. Also, I’m currently tweaking the layout and style of the review, so the page may change if you come back later.

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22 Responses to CROSS†CHANNEL review

  1. m3rryweather says:

    Dang, everyone and their grandfather has played this game BUT ME. I never play these ‘old classics’. Reading this is making me seriously consider playing Cross Channel for the sake of saying so.

    I don’t understand why people like writing up scores because everyone has a different standard. I usually point out what a game’s strengths and weaknesses are and leave it at that. I don’t feel a numerical score is adaquate enough to describe the merits of a game or anything in general but that’s just my personal opinion.

    And people like BIG numbers because it makes the “grade” look more complex and sophisticated.

  2. Reikon says:

    The score really is only for people who are too lazy to read. The scores aren’t really meant to be compared to other people’s scores. I define what each score means, so hopefully people pay attention. But they probably won’t. It can also sometimes be hard to convey how the strengths and weaknesses are relative to each other, so a score can be an easy way out to give an overall feel for the game.

    I don’t know if that argument about being sophisticated is true. For example, look at the Michaelin Guide. The Michelin Guide is some super high-end and sophisticated restaurant review guide, but they only rate out of three. Someone randomly choosing ten makes sense since we use the decimal system, but almost nobody actually uses the whole range, so it’s pointless.

  3. m3rryweather says:

    Hmm, you’ve got a point there. Though the Michaelin Guide is not exact since you can’t tell which ‘one star’ restaurant is ranked higher than another. I don’t think most reviewers use the whole range of say out of a hundred but I think there are some who do use the entire 1-10 range if they can stomach playing bad games. Micchi and Zen are weirdos.

  4. Pingback: Verbal Rubbish » Blog Archive » Old and New: With More Banter

  5. Micchi says:

    After reading m3rry’s review too, I think I probably wouldn’t like this if it’s as psychological as made out to be.

    I can’t help it. I have an urge to attach numbers to everything >_<

    Well, Zen's scoring system is different, but I tried to make mine as objective as possible and break it up into different categories, so if someone wants a game with a good plot or just good graphics can see it at a glance off the review score comparison page. Of course, no scoring system is perfect, so I'd give the scores a ±5. I don't anticipate getting scores outside of the 60-90 range though, since I won't intentionally pick up games I probably would hate.

    I think scoring is fine so long as you're not only just writing down numbers and not giving a more detailed qualitative support.

  6. Reikon says:

    Micchi, Akismet thinks your comment is spam. 😛

    It certainly is a very psychological game, so it’s not for everyone. It certainly isn’t for someone who doesn’t like struggling to figure out what the hell the game is talking about. It’s not about figuring out what’s happening (it’s pretty clear) but literally figuring out what the text is trying to say.

    My scoring is actually different in that it’s completely subjective, which is something I should probably make a disclaimer about. I think overall, reviews of media are always subjective. There are only a few superficial things that people wouldn’t be able to argue over — the basic scenario, amount of art, length of story, description of characters, amount of h-scenes, etc.

    Once you to get to the meat of a game, I think it gets pretty subjective. One person may find the pacing of all slice of life games too slow, so they can argue the game is badly paced while another person who likes the genre can argue it’s well-paced. Other important things like quality of the scenario, likability of the characters, gameplay, quality of the music, quality of the art (or at least whether you like it or not), and other important factors can greatly vary between each person. I don’t think they’re inherently objective things, and I don’t try to make them so.

    Your point about using 60-90 is exactly why I changed my scale. If half the scale isn’t used, what’s the point? To you, a game rated 50-60 would be among the worst games you’ve played, so I think it should deserve your lowest score. But then again that only really works if you make your scoring system subjective.

  7. kgptzac says:

    I’ve read the novel adaption (in Chinese) of CC as I thought I could never get my hands on a translated version since I knew the diction and all is hard to understand… then here comes the English version and I already knew most of the plots T.T I agree that this is one of the must-plays in text ADV genre, but I think to actually bare with the protag’s pervertness is something… not easy to do. Somehow I get really turned off if the male protag’s pervertness is over a threshold… anyway, I personally consider that all Tanaka Romeo’s games are worth trying ^^

  8. Alexander 'Hypno Pants' G. says:

    Ah, so the psychology around it is as confusing and hard to understand(I assume purposefully) as Ever 17 was?
    Makes sense, Cross Channel is another Infinity Loop-archtype storyline. (apparently I’m not ruining this for you since it’s in the wikipedia description anyways).

    So then, even as a beginning, I’ll go for it.
    Well, beginner to VNs… not to psychology 😀

    Thanks for the Review, I’m beginning to like the Infinity Loop Archtypes… it could just be me but… I think the Japanese are obsessed with Quantum Physics… even in magical fantasy storylines… Schrödinger’s Cat shows up.

  9. Alexander 'Hypno Pants' G. says:

    ‘So then, even as a beginner, I’ll go for it.’**

  10. Alexander 'Hypno Pants' G. says:

    Hmmm… apparently I may have spoiled it anyways… oh well, I don’t feel bad… reading it on wikipedia spoiled it for me anyways >.<

  11. Alexander 'Hypno Pants' G. says:

    Ah, I don’t think wikipedia spoiled it too badly… From what I could tell, after the first hour… if you know your psychology(and a bit of quantum physics couldn’t hurt either) you’ll figure out the Mobius Loop effect is in play 😛

    Especially after the first ‘fit’ the protagonist has, his disorder/problem is an interesting one… but, I think I may know which field of Psychology Romeo got his ideas from.

    Still… it would have been nice if wikipedia’s plot synopsis didn’t outright mention it…

  12. Alex says:

    They’re more reasons why you disliked Touko than you are letting on. Maybe you don’t know, but if you actually played the game, you will know why she goes completely “deredere” when Taichi gives her the chance. But you said it yourself “Tsundere are only cute when they retain some of their original self.” However, that is the point–she is the complete opposite of that when she attaches herself to Taichi, or maybe anyone close.

  13. Reikon says:

    Uh, right. I didn’t play the game. I just made up everything in the review. Tomorrow’s review: Cross Days!

    So are you saying I have to like every character just because I understand their background or why they act? So I have to pretty much like everybody in every game after I play their path? That’s pretty ridiculous. Knowing why someone does something doesn’t make me like them.

    And you’re misinterpreting the point of the statement about when tsundere are cute. When I say original self, it means the personality they have at the beginning of the game. I don’t mean their original personality 10 years ago or their hidden true self. That’s pointless because I have no idea what that’s like until the end. I want some traits of the character I originally liked to remain.

  14. reika says:

    I’m not sure I quite understand about the game being psychological in nature. Please, help me here: If I enjoyed playing the likes of Kanon or Mizuiro, would I enjoy this one too?

  15. Reikon says:

    I can’t explain how it’s psychological without spoiling part of it. I’ve never actually played either Kanon or Mizuiro, but I have watched the Kanon anime. Cross Channel isn’t really anything like it. For one thing, there’s not much of a focus on romance. It’s not as… upbeat. There’s something wrong with their world, and they’re trying to deal with it instead of going through a happy normal life. And if you can’t figure out the style of the game from the other comments, I really don’t know how to explain it without completely spoiling the story.

  16. Alex says:

    I didn’t say you have to like the character. I said your reason for disliking for a character (Touko) is bad, or lame. I gave reasons why I think your reason behind liking Touko was bad.

    “And you’re misinterpreting the point of the statement about when tsundere are cute. When I say original self, it means the personality they have at the beginning of the game. I don’t mean their original personality 10 years ago or their hidden true self. That’s pointless because I have no idea what that’s like until the end. I want some traits of the character I originally liked to remain.”

    I am going to point this out and say ‘original self’ is such a vague description, and has many means towards A LOT of academic disciplines. But let me put that out of the way, since what you have said is largely irrelevant to what I have said. Am I to understanding that you’re against the character changing into a independent person that can sustain their emotional, and psychological well-being?

  17. SpaceGhost2K says:

    Reikon, this post isn’t about this thread, but about your Rin faceplate you made late last year. I’m not part of the subcostume guys who made your faceplate, but I do some things with them. I don’t use MSN but I tried to send you a message as an email, so I don’t know if you’ll get it or not. Anyway, drop me an email to mredwebb @ aol.com and let me see if I can do help you out.

  18. Abcdefg says:

    Hey. Do you know where I can get a copy of this game?

  19. Reikon says:

    Even though Erogeshop seems to be dead, there are still a few options. First you can do the easiest route and get it new from J-List or used from Amazon.jp Marketplace through one of the proxy services listed on my shopping guide. There are several other places you can probably get it, but they’re not in English.

  20. Abcdefg says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t understand Japanese. :(
    Is there any way I can obtain an English version?

  21. Reikon says:

    There’s no official English version. Buy the version at Jlist and download the English translation patch.

  22. Tingtong says:

    Grrrrr….. I wish Taichi will be killed by someone and I wish Taichi will get the worst brutal martyrdom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t stand of him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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