RPGamer Feature - Cross Edge Interview
Cross Edge
Developer: Compile Heart
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: 05.2008

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We've known that it's coming to North America since last year, but now we can officially talk about it. Here are some quick and dirty details about NIS America's newest localization project, Compile Heart's Cross Edge.

It started as X-Edge (though it has always been pronounced Cross Edge) but now its official title is Cross Edge. How was this decided?
Nao Zook: The official title is Cross Edge. We could've kept the title as X-Edge, but we thought people might literally call it "X" Edge, so we decided to go with Cross Edge. But we wanted to keep the feel of "crossing" into different world, so we kept "X" in the logo. I hope you like the US version of the title and logo!

We know that Cross Edge is a giant crossover game with some sort of tactical RPG hybrid gameplay. Who are some of the standout characters and what games are they from? And with all of these characters, how do they tie together into the game's story?
Nao: First of all, we must of course mention Etna and Prinny from the Disgaea series. You'll also notice Morrigan and Demitri from DarkStalkers, everyone from the first Ar tonelico crew, and even Raze and Lily from the upcoming Mana Khemia 2! As York, the main character created for Cross Edge, you'll travel the world meeting up with these characters as the story unfolds.

How did this match-up with Compile Heart begin? Are you looking to work with them in the future like for perhaps a game like Agarest Senki?
Nao: We work closely with Idea Factory, and we were able to get Cross Edge through them. So I think we were very fortunate that we were given this opportunity to publish this unique game in the US. We, of course, are looking forward to working with them in the future when other opportunities come up. We're not sure which game it might be though.

So, it looks like this game is coming in May? Did you really get delayed because of PS3 trophies? How much is Cross Edge going to retail for?
Nao: Yes, Cross Edge will be coming out in May 2009. Well, the trophy system definitely took more time than we expected. The retail price is TBD. (Editor's Note: Gamestop has Cross Edge listed as releasing on 5/19/2009 for $49.99, though this is unofficial and subject to change.)

So we want to know more about the combat. Is it fast-paced or does it focus on gaining as many levels as possible to create insanely powerful combos? What is going to make it stand out from the other RPGs on the market?
Nao: Each individual battle is definitely fast-paced, using a timing system to string together moves and combos. But there is also an emphasis on gaining levels and unlocking tons of new skills and attacks. One unique feature is the team attacks which are unlocked when you have certain characters together in battle and use certain moves together.

How is the difficulty level in Cross Edge? Folks around RPGamer call me Easystreet, because I like my games served to me on a silver platter. Will I have an easy time with this or will I have to call for help?
Nao: There is a normal mode and a hard mode. The normal mode is pretty standard, and the hard mode will definitely be a challenge, but not impossible!

Is there any kind of unique gameplay aspects outside of combat? Can you interact with party members for special scenes or other bonuses?
Nao: I must mention that the Costume Change system is one of the most unique gameplay aspects of the game. When you get different costumes, the characters will improve his or her overall attributes. And for the female characters, their looks will change accordingly, which is pretty cool. So, you can see Etna in a Japanese yukata, which you'd never see in the Disgaea series!

There are also a number of side stories and post-game bonus events, where you get to see "the other side" of different characters.

Is there going to be lots of voice acting in Cross Edge? If you need someone to voice a Southerner, I do a mean Hank Hill impression. You could fly me out and I'll record some lines for free. What I'm really trying to ask is will there be Japanese and English language options?
Nao: Haha, I wish you would've told me that before! I am sure you'd do a great job on it. But unfortunately, all the voice recording is done, and there is quite a lot of it in this game. All of the original Japanese voices are included, and we also recorded over half of the total voiced lines into English.

Who composed the music for Cross Edge? Does it bring together music from all of the game's different characters or is it mostly original?
Nao: The theme song is called "Blade of Tears", sung by Haruka Shimotsuki. And the person who wrote the lyrics is Kanae Aoki from Gust. All the music is original to this game.

What assurances are being taken with Cross Edge to make sure that the game receives the best localization possible?
Nao: We made sure that we had enough localization time and debugging period. As everybody knows, we wanted to release the game in early spring, but due to quality assurance we decided to move it back to May. We felt that publishing a high-quality game is more important than releasing the game earlier but with a lower quality. We are confident about the localization process for this game, and we hope you can all enjoy it.

Shifting gears a little bit, we've talked in the past about future games from NIS America in 2009. What upcoming games in your lineup are you most excited about and why?
Nao: There are quite a lot of games coming out from NIS America in 2009. And I have to say, one of the most exciting games for 2009 is a certain new PSP game. We will announce the game in April, and even though it might not be an RPG, you all should give it a try. And, of course, we'll have A Witch's Tale in the fall. We drastically changed the gameplay for the release. So now it is an RPG, and as you saw in the promotional movie in 2008, it is still cute as a button. We have more games up our sleeves, but let's talk about those as the release dates get closer.

Ok, so I have to ask. We have a staff member in Japan by the name of Michael Baker. He runs our Japandemonium column and does import impressions for us, and I've joked around by calling him the Localization Oracle, because every game he starts working on for a review gets announced for North America shortly afterward. He just started Atelier Annie for the DS, so is this game coming to NA? Is he really an oracle?
Nao: Haha, you guys have a smart little birdy over in Japan! Well, I cannot really say when it will come out, but yes, you can absolutely look forward to the game coming over to this side of pond. I really like the nickname you gave him though!

RPGamer would like to thank Nao Zook at NIS America for taking the time to help put together this interview. Cross Edge will be released May 2009 and is rated "T" for Teen. Also of interest is NIS America's Cross Edge best costume contest at where you can vote for your favorite costumes. The top two characters will be featured in a special Cross Edge Giclee print that will be given to participants who will be randomly selected at the end of the contest. Check it out and vote for your picks today.

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