Despite the good review on Gamespot, I found I tired of this game rather soon. I still haven't finished it...
I completed Crimson Dragon a little bit ago. Overall... The game was pretty lousy... But I did still like the way you could evolve your dragon, and some of the dragons looked pretty neat. I stuck with the default dragon for the entire game and never saw any reason to switch - I mean it looks the best anyway. And you don't really have the time to train all of them.
The story in this game was god-awful, and actually didn't make sense. It was as though the developers really wanted to make a serious story, but they went all-out generic and took a cue from the craptastic minds that made such console blockbusters as Earth Defense Force. And the ending was overly serious and depressing, which was really not what I would have expected when I thought about a game where people ride around on dragons through the skies, shooting stuff. I thought it would be much more fun and lighthearted!
The gameplay is meh, but I already expected that. I felt like many of the ability choices weren't worth trying out, and I stuck pretty much with my evolutionary abilities. Many of the abilities had similar names which made things confusing. I still don't understand why one weapon is better than another, aside from the power of the attack. The elemental stuff didn't matter one bit.
I kept 'renting' fellow players' dragons as my wingmen to help me conquer much of the game. You pretty much need to do that, it makes things bearable. I did not discover how to use gems until I had just about beaten the game.
My dragon was like stage 1, level 8 or so when I got home from work a few hours ago, and I just unlocked the forest area or something. As of 20 minutes or so ago, my dragon was stage 3, level 10, and my trainer rank was about level 18. I pretty much annihilated it. And it's funny because there was like hardly any gradual progress in power... Pretty much I just went from being really weak, to pretty strong in an instant. I'm almost certain it happned when I maxed out my stage 2 dragon and got its power - I ended up using that ability for pretty much the remainder of the game.
At $20, this game is not worth it at all. I would charge more like... $5 for Crimson Dragon. It had okay graphics at some points, the art direction was kind of cool, the gameplay got a bit addictive, and I had fun with the game for a few brief play sessions and one longer one. I would compare it to a movie you go and see at a theater - one that is totally crap, but has some awesome explosions and flat one-liners. Crimson Dragon will entertain you for a bit... If you're willing to sit through the mess for a few hours. But there are much better games to spend your time and money on, especially now.
I can't comment on multiplayer mode. I imagine playing with a friend makes the experience a bit better, though.
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