The obvious truth is I play a lot of games, but not all for an extensive time. I actually end up trying more games than you could probably guess, but only just that–for a dabble. An hour at most, or just seeing if it runs on my computer and messing around with it for a few minutes. I thought about maybe doing a roundup post, where I could talk a bit about each game I’ve dabbled in recently, but to constantly have a stream of content here on Grinding Down, I’ll just continue to give them a post each until I run out of things to say. For those curious, here are a few games I’ve played at varying lengths over the last couple weeks: Darksiders, Offspring Fling, Torchlight 2, Snapshot, Titan Quest, Vessel, and Wario Land 4. Sure there’s more, but can’t seem to remember any at the moment, a problem you get when you only try a game out briefly and then move on.
Now, I have been playing one game I bought back in late December a little more, and that lucky prize is called Crimson Shroud. It’s for the Nintendo 3DS and was the last part of the Guild 01 collection, a project from Level-5 that collected four very different games under one heading. I didn’t pick up the other titles, as they didn’t interest me, but bringing pen-and-paper dungeon-crawling to the portable system sounded like a fine idea. I mean, for one thing, I never have to worry about dice rolling off the table or doing any math to make sure I added them up correctly. That, my friends, is well worth the entry fee.
So, plot-wise, Crimson Shroud takes place in a realm where magic was discovered during the Dark Ages after war broke out, which changed lives dramatically. Giauque and his band of Chasers–people who hunt down gods and deities–are searching for a relic that will bestow upon them “The Original Gift”, which is said to be inside the Sun-Gilt Palace of the Rahab. Now, truth be told, I got all that from looking up a description online; I’m positive this is conveyed within the game’s text at some point(s), but it’s rather hard to see the forest for the trees. Text is presented in huge chunks over top of your characters on the top screen, as well as told in second person, much like a DM might do, with all the dramatic flair you would expect. That said, a lot of it is boring to read, and really bogs down the pacing. It also doesn’t help that the characters are literally game figurines, meaning they don’t move or emote in any way, other than you being told that they do. I rushed through most exposition, as it is more exciting to battle and explore the ruined castle than listen to someone describe how old those walls look or the screechy sounds heard on the other side.
To me, the plot is this: explore dungeon floors, kill goblins, gain loot, and move on. Which is enough. Like I said, it’s more fun battling than reading the somewhat unclear narrative, even if the battle system appears a bit basic at first. There are many ways you can customize your three characters–Giauque, Frea, and Lippi–with different gear or special abilities, and you can also add to attacks or effects by rolling combinations of 20-sided, 10-sided, 6-sided, 8-sided, and 4-sided die. It’s surprisingly more fun than it sounds, rolling die on your 3DS. You can attack with your weapon, use magic, use a special skill gained from gear, or use an item, and depending on how well you did, you gain some MP to spend next turn or continue saving up. In the end, you are given a list of gear to pick from, but you only have so many Barter Points to spend, so you have to select carefully. Characters don’t gain levels, so getting better gear is vital to surviving tougher fights.
Just finished off the Zombie Minotaur last night and looking forward to what the next floor holds. Not in terms of story, but rather encounters and lootable treasure chests. Frea needs some kind of offensive magic spell like woah.