Much like its inspirations, Cris Tales is a stylish game. Its cheerful characters and world could have jumped straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon, its timing-based combat and 2D-style borrow some of the best parts of Paper Mario, and its sharp combat menus immediately pay homage to the anything-but-bland UI in Persona 5. But underneath those surface-level similarities is an RPG that uses time travel in a unique and exciting way that made it stand out from everything else I played at E3 this year.
While Cris Tales’ quest-driven exploration and turn-based combat might be fairly straightforward, it’s spiced up by your main character’s ability to alter time. Time travel in games isn’t exactly revolutionary on its own, but this isn’t a simple back and forth sort of thing - in fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen it presented in quite the same way anywhere else before.