If any Xbox One launch title seemed destined for guaranteed success, it would have been Crimson Dragon. Despite its turbulent development cycle, Crimson Dragon's pedigree should have seen it through. Yet somehow, of all the games available at the console's debut, Crimson Dragon is only saved from being the objective worst by the disastrous Fighter Within. It's certainly the most disappointing launch title.
Crimson Dragon hails from no less than Yukio Futatsugi, one of the creators of the legendary Panzer Dragoon. As such, the game has decades of Sega design power behind it, tangentially touched not only by the Panzer series but by the likes of Space Harrier and Rez as well. Yet nothing about the game equals the appeal of its forebears; Crimson Dragon found itself badly outclassed just days after its release by M2's remake of Space Harrier for 3DS. When a 25-year-old game on a handheld system chugging on hardware a generation out of date handily shames a marquee release for a brand-new console, something has gone horribly wrong.
The most offensive flaw in Crimson Dragon comes in the form of its tacky emphasis on microtransactions. The game bombards you with free-to-play-style monetization hooks and prompts from the moment you boot it up (you're immediately greeted with a "daily" play bonus, even the second or third time you play in the space of a day). The game runs on multiple currencies, one of which -- gems, used to revive -- can be purchased with real money. It's basically Candy Crush's pay-to-win mindset dressed up to look less rapacious, but that genteel appearance is an illusion; Crimson Dragon wants desperately to be a F2P game, albeit one you pay $20 for before you can download it...
Read the rest of the review at US Gamer.
And check out a video of Crimson Dragon's (subpar) gameplay below: