Developer Diary – 85 – Crimson Dragon

Here, I talk about Crimson Dragon and how it compares to my favorite games ever, the Panzer Dragoon series.

Hello, so I’m sure all of you who’ve listened to my blogs about my love of ‘Panzer Dragoon’ and my excitement for ‘Crimson Dragon’ would like to know what I thought about the actual game. I really, really enjoyed it but I don’t think it quite lives up to the ‘Panzer Dragoon’ series which I’ll talk about in a bit but first I’d like to talk about the idea of games as a service and reviewing something that’s in flux.

One of the interesting things about ‘Crimson Dragoon’ is that it got pretty poor reviews, I think a lot of that stems from the fact that people felt like it was challenging for the purpose of pushing the micro-transactions on you. So the developer changed the balance after the reviews but before it was released so the version I played wasn’t the same as what was reviewed so it’s difficult to say if I would have had the same complaints. An interesting trend in games as they become easier to update is “What does a review mean?” and “When is a review valid?” So it should be interesting to see how things like that are handled because I mean to some extent it can be frustrating if you change something and the review doesn’t incorporate those changes as to what people are basing their decisions on, so that’s just an interesting point with ‘Crimson Dragoon’. Why don’t I talk about why I felt like it didn’t quite live up to ‘Panzer Dragoon’.

I think there are a few reasons and I think one of the main reasons, at least for me, is that there’s a bunch of other characters and there’s a hub world. I just liked the isolation and almost how alienated the characters in ‘Panzer Dragoon’ felt, well there were very few characters which was probably just because “Hey we’re on the Sega Saturn, rendering characters is tough”. But you really felt like the world was alienating you, everything out in the world was out to get you and that there were maybe a few survivors that could handle this harsh world but they were really far between. I guess there was sort of an enemy civilisation that was trying to do something with the towers and what not but I don’t know I just liked the bleakness of being alone than being in a team trying to fight these alien creatures. I think they really did a really amazing job with the art design because that was one of the main appeals, just how alien, unique and lifelike the world felt and they still captured that. While it may not quite be up to the Xbox One bar of quality, I think they did a really good job with that.

There were others things like they had these missions where you had to collect beacons but the problem is that’s a really bad mechanic for something on a rail because essentially you don’t know where the rail is in relation to the beacon. So you can think your position correctly and then the rail moves and then you’ve missed the beacon so I found those a little frustrating. There are a lot of objectives and UI and things like that which, again this is more my personal preference but I like a cleaner simpler design and that’s one of the things we’re trying to do with Neverending Nightmares. That was another one of my complaints, in the hub world there are upgrades and I liked evolving your dragon but there were a lot of things like tonics and all these different items and things.

Honestly I never found the micro-transactions menu, I guess I just didn’t dig deeply enough. I never ran into it at all as I played on casual so certainly I can’t make the same complaint, I feel like if micro-transactions were a part of it they were definitely a very small part.

But yeah I think the storytelling, well the story was interesting-ish. I don’t know I mean the stories in the other ‘Panzer Dragoon’s were told through fragments and left sort of cryptic, more open to interpretation and whilst there are some…I don’t know maybe it’s open to interpretation or maybe it was just confusing, the ending of ‘Crimson Dragoon’, I don’t think it was quite as good as ‘Panzer Dragoon’. Again I loved the game and really enjoyed it so I didn’t feel the same way as reviewers but again I’m the biggest ‘Panzer Dragoon’ fan in the world so that might explain why, so thanks for watching!