Monday, September 12, 2011

Simple is not always better

There are a few bits of early praise for Crimson Alliance that must be rescinded. First and foremost, the pricing is not as revolutionary as fair as I thought. I was wrong about being able to purchase the characters that you didn't buy in the first place by paying the low, low price of the difference between what you paid and what the whole thing costs. Nope, if you spent 800 points on just the warrior as I did and you want to play as one of the other two classes it's 800 points apiece or 1200 for the other two. Again, once I finish the game I am never going to touch it again, but this little bit of disservice makes the future ignoring just a little bit easier.

Secondly, all the streamlining that makes it so simple to jump right in and start to kill beasties leaves out something that I didn't even know I enjoyed: agonizing over tiny pieces of equipment. Weapons, armor and shield are the extent of the upgrades available, and they are pretty cut and dried about what is better. There also isn't much of it, so even if I wanted to focus on sword moves to the detriment of my shield bash I can't, there just isn't enough loot around to do so. The characters don't actually level up in any way, they just gain health via pickups and better things to wear/wield. This lack of progression is a drag as it prevents me from developing any attachment to the character. Even Torchlight, a game so light on plot that it could have been called 'Click on things until they die,' had enough variety the make by bruiser just a little different than all the other bruisers out there. Crimson Alliance has gotten a little too simple. If I wanted to play Gauntlet I would wake up my PS3 and play Gauntlet 2.

Most damning of all (at least if you are as lazy as me): the mid-level check points don't actually do anything. Sure, if you die they start you over, but they do not actually allow you to return to a level if you quit before finishing it. They are not check points, just resurrection points. This would have been nice to know before shutting down for the evening last night.

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