Crimson Dragon: A Doctor’s Diagnosis

KSI Doctor 7 contributes this review of Crimson Dragon, a free game available to Xbox Live Gold members.

Microsoft’s incentive for members with an Xbox Live gold subscription, Games with Gold, has people anxiously waiting on the two free games that they will receive on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Today, we will be covering one of the releases for the Xbox One, Crimson Dragon.

Crimson Dragon is an On-Rails Shooter where players ride a dragon and defeat enemies, bosses, and whatever else might come your way. This is also one of the launch arcade games that debuted on the release day of the Xbox one. From what is understood from the story, you are on a colony named Draco.

It is quite possibly the most original and clever name in the history of games with dragons in it, and the creative lead deserves a cookie.

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Witty names aside, the colony hasn’t had contact with Earth in several generations, so they’re all on their own with whatever may come their way. Also, if things couldn’t get any more crazy, you have something called the White Phantom killing your fellow dragon riders and just ruining what is supposed to be a normal patrol.

The supposed main objective of the game is to defeat the White Phantom and make the planet safe again for the human race. Sounds easy, right? Well, you’d be surprised. Starting from the beginning, you are thrust into situations that are difficult to get a handle on.

The controls are touchy, so your reticle is going to be all over the place when it comes to trying to free fire at the enemies. You’re better off using the auto-targeting fireballs that you have available to you. It’s awkward at first to switch abilities/attacks, but once you get used to it, it’s really not as bad to do. You’ll be doing this a lot, so get used to it.There are also small objectives that have ratings, such as games like Devil May Cry and Sonic Generations.

You can rank anywhere from “D” to a “S” rating, depending on your performance throughout the level.  There are a couple of issues with these though, as it seems like it is impossible to completely perfect these objectives until you get to higher levels with your dragon and purchase new upgrades, (which I’ll get to in a moment). So, there’s a feeling of inferiority and that your dragon isn’t awesome anymore, but just a lizard with some wings.

In addition to the objectives being difficult, they are extremely redundant. This means that no matter what mission you’re doing, you’re going to see the same objectives. For those who like variety in their levels, you’re not going to experience too much of it here.

Now here is the part that you’ve all been eagerly waiting for, the upgrade system! Please, hold your applause until the end, we’re not finished yet. You earn experience from completing missions and doing the sub-objectives within the missions as well.

This experience not only goes to your overall player level, but to your dragon’s level as well. With leveling up the dragon, you increase stats, gain access to new abilities, and overall just become sexier. Everyone loves a sexy dragon or two. You can also earn credits within these missions to purchase new dragons, items to feed to your dragons so they can evolve.

For Pokemon fanatics out there, there is not Charizard in game, so don’t get your hopes up. Evolving your dragon does what you’d expect, increasing stats, giving it a new name and look, as well as going back to being a total beast. There is also the option to utilize the micro transaction system they have in place to buy new items, equipment, and dragons more quickly for those who are impatient and have gratuitous amounts of money to spend.

There is a multiplayer option, but it’s only for 2 people and it is Co-Op through campaign missions. Other than that, expect to be playing single player a lot to get what you want.

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Overall, the game experience isn’t bad, but it isn’t good either. With the grinding you have to do to overcome the difficulty that is provided, lack of a true story and character development, and the awkward game-play system, you’d have to be kind of a die hard to complete this game in terms of achievements and unlocks.

The graphics are about average for a game such as this. The textures on the dragons are well rendered and are nice to look at. As for everything else in the game, it’s at the standard for this generation’s potential. If you’re a fan of the On-Rail Shooter genre, and you haven’t played one in a while or just need your fix, then this might be for you.

One thing is for sure, if this game wasn’t free, this would probably be something that you pass up. Next time, instead of making instant potatoes, be sure to take the extra time and mash some real ones instead. You might get somewhere.

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