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Crimson Dragon

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ToddHoward2010sm (cropped).jpg All of this just works.
― Todd Howard
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The following reason has been specified: This game has mixed reception, so be sure to change the headers, and add some more good qualities.

Crimson Dragon
"How not to make a full-priced console game."
Genre(s): Rail Shooter
Rating(s): ESRB: T
PEGI: 12
Platform(s): Xbox One
Release: November 22, 2013
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Developer(s): Grounding Inc.
Publisher(s): Microsoft Studios
Country: Japan

Crimson Dragon is a Xbox One game developed by Grounding Inc and published by Microsoft Studios and released on November 2013, and came out in Japan nearly a year later, on September 4, 2014. The game was originally developed for the Kinect on the Xbox 360, but got shifted to the Xbox One. It was developed as a spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon series.

Bad Qualities

  1. To begin, micro-transactions in a full-priced single-player game. It features things like daily logins, item packs that you can buy with real money, paid currency and overpowered dark-type Dragons. It doesn't help that the story is only four hours long, which is very short for that types of games. Plus, the game doesn't have very much grind as all you have to do is run the previous stages several times to max out a dragon. This wouldn't be a problem if it was a free-to-play live-service game, but nope, it's a $20 full-priced game that you can actually finish in only four hours, or if you're a speedrunner skipping through the story, only two hours. It feels more like a game that was once developed for the Windows Phone, but ended up going straight to a home console release.
  2. You can't level up your Dragons simply by playing through the stages, you have to buy Experience Seeds to level them up, which feels more like a mobile game trope than a proper console game.
  3. Weak storytelling, especially when the story is told in mostly images and characters talking via holograms without their mouths moving. Plus the fact that the White Phantom, who you meet in the beginning but end up retreating, is the final boss, which spoils the main villain way too early.
  4. The game is only 7 chapters long, with each chapter having 3-4 parts in it. It doesn't help that the chapters' environments are bland; caves, ocean, sky and sci-fi ships.
  5. The Wingman concept, where you can get an AI party member based on another player, renders online multiplayer pointless. The AI is often-times very broken, depending on what weapons/abilities the Wingman has.
  6. Very unbalanced weapons, especially when on the final boss the White Phantom is too spongy for lock-on weapons to work, forcing you to use different weapons.
  7. It has the need to shoehorn achievement challenges in a full-priced game. One thing to note that from said challenges, they gave out Dark-type Dragons (similar to LD monsters from Summoners War or Moonlight Heroes from Epic Seven) which are much more stronger than the normal dragons, but you can still beat the game without them.
  8. Bullets and obstacles are often times difficult to dodge as they often times would zoom in on the screen, and dodging isn't very good.
  9. Unreliable camera, which can cause weapons aside from the lock-on guns difficult to aim. It also can obscure you from bosses' weakpoints and makes the ability to slow down or speed up a waste of time.

Good Qualities

  1. The designs of the Dragons are pretty cool.
  2. The music is pretty nice to listen to.
  3. The voice acting is decent at best.
  4. The boss fights are pretty cool.


Crimson Dragon received mixed reviews. For a while, it was sitting at 50 (yellow) on Metacritic, just one point left from steering towards the red zone. Today it has a 55. It was criticized for feeling more like a mobile game at best than a proper console game and for having Xbox 360-standard graphics.


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