Jan 14, 2013I played Crimson Shroud for a total of 6.5 hours before I got frustrated and gave up because five hours of that playtime was spent fighting the same group of enemies over and over for the random drop which never appeared. Holding back rare weapons or magic items is one thing, but it's incredibly disrespectful of a player's time and a waste of a consumer's money to make forward progress reliant on pure luck.
Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings
Jan 10, 2013Crimson Shroud harks back to the days where video games were operated with quarters and playing an RPG required you to gather 2 or 3 of yourCrimson Shroud harks back to the days where video games were operated with quarters and playing an RPG required you to gather 2 or 3 of your buddies for a night of dice-rolling and imagination. For those of us who can remember those days, this game is a wonderful pseudo-trip down memory lane. For those of you who are too young to have enjoyed that era, Crimson Shroud is probably more of a miss than a hit. CS uses several novel aspects of game play and presentation to accomplish its table-top RPG feeling. In terms of its appearance, you are presented with a map on the bottom screen and a still scene on the top screen of the 3DS (with party members having a base at their feet as if they were figurines on top of a paper map). You can move your party using the d-pad or by tapping on a room on the bottom-screen map. Little footsteps represent your movement to the new room while the top screen loads a new scene as well as a set of text that tells the next snippet of story. All-told it's an interesting and novel approach to bringing the table-top feel to a hand-held gaming device. It is worth noting that nearly all of the story is delivered via text that is displayed upon entry to a new room and after an event has occurred (be it combat, or finding treasure, or the occasional flashback). If you aren't into reading, you'll have a hard time getting the full enjoyment out of this story.
Combat is interesting enough to keep the player engaged, but really smacks of a traditional turn-based JRPG. You have initiative (determined in part by the weight of the equipment you wear, but entirely behind the scenes) and you take turns selecting actions from context-sensitive menus much like nearly every JRPG combat system for the last 20 years. It does deviate from the norm in several interesting ways though, the most obvious of which are the dice rolls. Certain actions require the player to roll the dice during combat. This is accomplished by picking them up (touching the lower screen), swirling your finger around to shake them, them letting them go by lifting your finger. It's a nice, visceral feeling. I think Level 5 did a good job of balancing the number of times you roll dice. Too few opportunities to do so and you would wonder why that mechanic exists at all. Too many rolls would make combat tedious. The developers did a very nice job of finding the sweet spot. You will find yourself looking forward to your rolling opportunities, not bogged down by them.
Combat keeps the player engaged by granting each character the ability to perform two actions in a given round of (one attack, and one of magic casting, combat skills, or item use). This extra action is tempered by a combo system that lets you earn extra dice that you can add to any given roll to enhance its chance at success or overall effect. Performing an action out of sequence is sometimes necessary to ensure the survival of your party, but at the cost of losing your combo.
There are several other minor novelties that I'll leave for you to discover, but I have one last neat little addition I'd like to talk about. After you have completed combat, you are awarded a certain number of treasure points based upon how well you fought. You are also presented with a rather lengthy treasure list. Each item of treasure is assigned a value and you have to spend that many of your treasure points to acquire it. It often forces the player to make a (sometimes fairly difficult) choice after combat about what to take and what not to take. I should mention that you can spend your bonus dice (earned through combat combos) to bolster the number of treasure points after combat as well. This might allow you the edge you need to get an extra piece of powerful equipment for your party!
All told, I found Crimson Shroud to be a wonderful trip back to days of pen & paper RPGs. The story is engaging (provided you read it all), the combat is varied and fun (especially the dice rolls), and the item system kept me hunting for that next battle! This game is a solid A for old timers like me, but it's certainly not for everyone. Due to that, I can't quite justify giving it a 9/10, but 8/10 doesn't seem like enough. If you're a fan of the old school role playing experience, then this game is a must-play! And even if you're not sure whether this game is for you or not, the $8 price tag makes it a low-risk purchase. I heartily recommend Crimson Shroud to any fan of RPGs!… Full Review »
Feb 7, 2013Crimson Shroud ia presented as a table-top RPG: the characters and the enemies are represented by static figurines, the exploration isCrimson Shroud ia presented as a table-top RPG: the characters and the enemies are represented by static figurines, the exploration is accomplished by selecting which room to go in a featureless map (as if it was drawn on paper), the story is delivered via text and resembles a novel, and there are some gameplay mechanics with dice involved. I find the story and the storytelling particularly compelling, with two narratives and a convoluted plot that is kinda mature for the genre. The long turn-based battles have great depth (also excelent soundtracks), but the dice rolling is, in fact, a very secondary aspect of it: you'll spend much more time micro managing your stats, magics and skills (which is done via your equipaments), which I think is for the best. The game's other elements probably do better in actual table-top games, but since the game is kinda short, it never really became a hindrance. I'd recommend it only to RPG fans, as there are certainly rewarding moments.… Full Review »
Aug 3, 2013I am just going to come out and say this; Crimson Shroud is my game of the year. Now, I admit, my tastes probably fall pretty far out of theI am just going to come out and say this; Crimson Shroud is my game of the year. Now, I admit, my tastes probably fall pretty far out of the mainstream, but I genuinely enjoyed this game immensely. Combat is old school turn based RPG fare, but this is the best implementation of that style that I have played since Final Fantasy X. After Final Fantasy XIII, I felt that the idea of an RPG without mazes could never work, but Crimson Shroud totally pulls it off. You don't direct a character around in a typical fashion; instead, you select any room in the dungeon, and your characters go directly there without random battles, it doesn't matter if it is the room next door or three floors away. Now, in order to proceed to the next level, you will have to find the room with the trigger, but that is part of the fun. Several things about the production really grabbed me. The US translation is top notch. There is a lot of text in this game. Every room and item has a detailed description and they are written in a way that really pulled me into the fantasy atmosphere. I also fell in love with the soundtrack, which definitely has a deep Final Fantasy Tactics lineage. I have read other reviewers mention short play throughs of Crimson Shroud, but it took me 12 hours to complete my first time, which is a perfect length for a busy guy like me. Save anywhere also fits well with my lifestyle. This is the game I have been silently begging for for ages. This game feels like an evolution of the original NES Final Fantasy, if they had decided to forget about flashy cinematics and focus on telling a story through limited visuals with solid writing. If the idea of a turn based RPG by the Final Fantasy Tactics team sounds at all interesting to you, I highly recommend you download Crimson Shroud.… Full Review »