Azur Lane Crosswave
Top Critic Average
In the end, that's the real draw of Azur Lane: Crosswave, rather than its gameplay, which is more of a formality. As such, your reaction to it will likely depend on your on how receptive you are to Azur Lane itself. Existing fans and open-minded lovers of cute anime girls gabbing will find much to dive deep into, but everyone else is probably better off taking some shore leave.
Azur Lane: Crosswave has a well-written story mode that runs as deep as the ocean, but the combat that strings these story scenes together is as shallow as a kiddie pool. It's wonderful to see fan favourites interact, and the voice acting adds a lot to the already charming story mode, but it's a shame that the gameplay fails to leave as much of an impression as the narrative and art did.
Azur Lane: Crosswave is a game that was best left on smartphones. The visual novel sequences are perfectly fine, and the story itself – while utterly bonkers – is interesting enough to keep you engaged, while the characters are both charming and unique. Sadly, the naval combat sequences bring down the entire experience. They're slow, repetitive, rarely require much strategic thought, and look incredibly bland all at once. This is a game for hardcore fans of the genre only; everyone else ought to look elsewhere for their naval combat needs.
Azure Lane Crosswave is a poor 3D shooter, with a lot of grind to unlock everything, and poor visual novel sections. Despite the game is quite sexy, some caracters look too young to appear in it. A shame.
Review in French | Read full review
Azur Lane Crosswave is a tale of two games. On one hand, you have the story mode, which features a chunky, entertaining narrative that also doubles as a visual novel with nice art and excellent Japanese voice acting. On the other hand, you have the 3D combat, which starts out promising but eventually feels a bit sparse and shallow. That being said, I still enjoyed my time with Crosswave. It won’t be for everyone. But if you love the lore behind Azur Lane, it might be worth dipping into this pool for the story mode alone.
There is enough variance to make sure for a large majority of story battles you have a way of coming in with a fresh look, but the battles kind of always play out the same way, so it’s frustrating when the build you brought isn’t good enough and you struggle to get through what you were clearing before without any problems.
Despite the rather negative sounding review, Azur Lane: Crosswave isn't a bad game, it's just nothing particularly special. Fans of Neptunia will likely enjoy the silly antics of cute girls, but others will probably fail to see the appeal. It's a character-driven adventure with rudimentary gameplay and a hollow story that manages to be oddly dialogue-heavy. Beyond that, enjoyment will come down to how interested you are in upgrading your ships or figuring out why one character might be better than another. If this sounds good, odds are you'll enjoy Azur Lane: Crosswave, whereas everyone else need not apply.
At first glance, Azur Lane: Crosswave may look like a fan service-filled experience, and while there is a bit of truth to that in both character design and some conversations in the story, it is also a title filled with intrigue, rivalry, and cooperation. The depth of the story and character growth coupled with the easy to pick up, hard-to-master gameplay make it perfect for the portability of the Nintendo Switch. Post-game content is just as important as the main story, whereafter dozens of hours can be put into creating a dream team whose power is unstoppable against the Sirens.
On the other hand, Crosswave already features Neptune from the Neptunia franchise--and I have to assume that the other Goddesses will move in eventually. That's probably not enough to keep me coming back, though. If you like anime-based visual novels, you might get something out of Azur Lane: Crosswave. For me, though? I like a little more "game" in my video games.
Azur Lane: Crosswave is essentially a visual novel with some brief moments of action. Everything works as intended, and there's no need for a combat strategy, but the equipment and upgrades systems are cryptic. The visuals look good, and the chibi characters are adorable. The game can be a decent way to pass a weekend. However, Crosswave and all games under the Azur Lane banner espouse views on females — especially young girls — that I cannot look past, and it's troubling to me that this title is deemed appropriate for teenagers.