Quick Thoughts: Crimson Shroud
We were so so lucky over Christmas we're in the ridiculous happy situation of having a stack of games to play through. We picked up Starship Damrey, Crimson Shroud, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Star Fox 64 3D, Fire Emblem Awakening, the Pokemon typing game and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. It's a great place to be, we're not taking this wonderful wonderful situation for granted. The only downside is what do we play first? Unfortunately, it looks like Nintendo eShop title, Crimson Shroud won't get a look in for a long time. We've played 6 hours of it so far. It got great reviews, technically it's an astonishing feat but with so much other gameplay to get through it's too.... well here's out quick thoughts (tm).
What we liked
- The aesthetic. It looks like a lovingly detailed tabletop game complete with branded characters bases.
- The ridiculous depth of the statistics.
- You get to roll virtual die. Second only to rolling real die.
- The story unfolds like a Dungeon Master reading narrative.
- It reminds us of the awesome Heroquest game on the Amiga.
- It reminds us of epic Heroquest sessions back in the day.
- There's a lot of game for a fiver (we picked it up during the Guild sale on eShop).
What we didn't like so much
- Grindy old school RPG mechanics.
- Really old fashioned RPG battle dynamics: balance healing, buffs, debuffs and damage. Rinse. repeat.
- Limited enemy character types in the first six hours at least.
- Long drawn out battles that don't suit the handheld format.
- Long battles that you sometimes end up losing and having to redo.
- Die rolls are only used for combat, could have been used for searching, perception tests etc.
Ultimately, it's just too long for me. A lot of people didn't like Starship Damrey for how short it was and reviewers praised Crimson Shroud for how long it was. Crimson Shroud could have benefited with tiresome padding being cut out but, well we're not the 13 year old gamers with too much time on our hands we used to be and I much prefer a tight 'short story' experience than one that is unnecessarily made longer by having to repeat battles to 'level' up to get past the next sticking point. If you do have oodles of time on your hands and like old school RPGs then go for it but with Fire Emblem and Bravely Default providing huge time sinks on the 3DS, gamers are somewhat spoiled for choice and short on time.