Dream Factory is starting to get on the right track with this game despite the obvious problems in it.

User Rating: 8 | Crimson Tears PS2
It’s been a long time since I’ve played a Capcom game. Four years to be exact. While the gaming industry is pretty diverse with all it’s different companies, Capcom remained to be one of my least favorites when they continued to keep making regurgitated Street Fighter, Dino Crisis, and Resident Evil games. Still when I was browsing the self at my local video store I noticed this game on the bottom. When I first picked it up, I didn’t really think much of it. Not only that, but since Spike TV is the king of retarded cable programming, I was pretty skeptical about the game. Still, since I’ve already played practically the moral majority of the games at the store, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try this one out. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised that this game lived up better than my previous impressions. While it’s not the greatest game in the world, it’s far from being the worst. In the game you play three characters, Amber the badass leader, Kadie the blonde who loves to talk big, and Tokio the mute, clam gunman. Together the three must battle the forces of evil, while fighting for their freedom. It’s your typical anime action plot. For the most part the story is kind of weak. I mean there really isn’t a lot to it, but then again it’s a lot better than some gaming plots. (Namely GTA III which doesn’t have a plot at all, then again who needs one?) While the story could be better, it doesn’t get in the way of the game play, which is a plus. The last game that got in the way of game play was Metal Gear Solid 2: Son’s of Liberty, and I’m not in the mood to start my debate on that game. Game play the game is close to that of The Bouncer and Ehrgeiz. Of course it’s made from the same people Dream Factory. However, despite their previous titles, this one doesn’t suck that much. Actually I would like to think of this game as a huge improvement over the previous games. While it still needs some work, it’s a hell of a lot better than the other titles. When you start off in the game, it plays much like a RPG with the town you’re in. It’s interactive with people, and you can buy and sell items, weapons, etc. When go back to your base you select dungeons to play in. When you are warped to them you’ll noticed that almost every location and level you go to will look almost exactly the same. While this is a bit aggravating, the level design for the most part is pretty nice, and you’ll eventually either like the backgrounds or ignore them. Another nice thing is, instead of 99 levels of the same dungeon, you have only 4 to 8 levels. Your characters level up much like in an RPG, and you’ll find items in the game that will help their attack skills by making them new weapons at the local smith shop. You’ll find your character leveling up quickly at first, but slowing as you get higher much like you would in a RPG. This means you’ll have to go back to some of the same dungeons to level up. A bit of a pain, but it’s not that bad. You’ll also have to go back to each dungeon at least once to help out the local shop owners in acquiring new items. While it sounds mundane, it’s not as bad as you think since obtaining said item that the owner(s) want will get you special items in return. Not bad for the repetitiveness that the game has. Your character also can “overheat” in the game thus making them go into blitz mode making you practically super human in your attacks. However, your defense goes downhill making you very vulnerable to attacks from behind, and strong attacks from your opponent. A bit of a double-edged sword, which is pretty nice if you ask me. Probably the biggest gripe I have from the game is the fixed camera. You can either put up with it, or curse it to hell. When you enter new areas from a side door, you can’t see what’s in front of you. This of course gives monsters the chance to attack you with your guard down. Usually you can fix this problem by firing your pistol off from the entryway. Since it’s set up with auto aim, it shouldn’t be hard hitting the enemies that are the closest threat to you. It can also give you the opportunity to make your combo level good up, gaining points which is not a bad thing at all. If you can overlook the camera, the game play for the most part is pretty nice. The fighting elements are a nice touch, and pulling a finisher on your enemies, and watching them fly around the screen can be satisfying. However, you need to watch out, as doing finishers will raise your “overheating” bar, so use it when you absolutely need to. Sound wise the game is not too bad. The voice acting is pretty nice for the most part, and the VA’s are all veterans in the anime industry. Musically the game has a really kicking opening them, but most of the songs in the game can be over looked. While some of the songs are catchy others, are just not that memorable, and you’ll eventually ignore it, spending more time killing monsters. Other sounds including the sounds from weapons and your enemies are pretty distinct, and well done for the more part. However, the pistols all make the same sound when fired, which can be annoying at times. (They add variety to everything else but that. Makes you wonder sometimes doesn’t it?) If you can look over the obvious faults, the game for the most part is pretty solid. While it’s not the best in the world, it’s definitely a lot better than some of the most recent titles that have been released. The game does have a decent fun factor once you get into it. It also shows that Dream Factory is on the right track. If they continue to improve from this point on, I see some of their future games actually being some nice hits. Until that point arrives this is about the best they’ve done. At least it’s not like The Bouncer or Ehrgeiz, both games that should have never been made in the first place. The only reason why I'm giving this game an eight for a score is because the gameplay is pretty nice in here. Some of you might not like it, but remember this is how I feel on the game so take it for what's it's worth. Buy or Rent? : Definitely a rental. If you can’t get past the problems in the game, then you don’t need to waste your time or money playing it. Then again If you can it’s definitely worthy of a weekend rental. If you actually get into it a little deeper, you’ll find that the game play is a lot more fun than you’ll initially think. With that in mind, I believe it’s a definite purchase when the price drops. I know I will be buying it when the price drops. ($20 sounds about the right price.)

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