One of the most exciting things about this year’s E3 Expo is the new consoles. Last year we had Wii U, but this time Nintendo has some serious competition from Sony and Microsoft. As I ran through the halls, I tried to find an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 game to try first. When I waddled through the crowded Xbox Show Room, I was greeted with Crimson dragon. It’s an Xbox One exclusive and comes from the genius Yukio Futatsugi, the creator of three previous Panzer Dragoon I even got a chance to meet Mr. Futatsugi when he was standing right behind me watching me play his game. So how was the title? Funny, but it seemed pretty buggy. Please note, this is a work in progress – this game is not an Xbox One launch title, so it still has a long way to go before its release.
The first thing I noticed was that the controls seemed a bit dull. The dragon he was controlling seemed a bit floating, again, it’s a dragon, right? You also have the ability to play games on the Xbox One’s new Kinect Sensor Bar if you want, but according to a Microsoft representative, they wanted to give the consumer both options. Every time I asked a question they greeted me with the standard “It’s a work in progress, but everything is getting better.” This game was still a lot of fun to play.
The E3 demo begins with your dragon running out of a lava-filled cave. There’s a lot to shoot at with your scaly friend, like the ferocious floating jellyfish-like creatures that I unleashed my beast on. While holding the right trigger, you can lock enemies on the screen and once you release the trigger, you release energy to the baddies. There was also a lightning-based attack that I didn’t really bother with as it seemed a bit underdeveloped.
If you are familiar with the Panzer Dragoon titles, then you know they’re rail shooters. You really don’t have to worry about where you are going to advance, the game does it for you; you just have to be able to dodge numerous projectiles and things in the environment. There were stalagmites hanging from the ceiling of the cave that my character cut automatically without taking any damage. I found it entertaining to watch my horrible dragon go through the rocks. Again, this game has a long way to go in development.
The Microsoft representative told me that this game is about scoring against your friends. This will no doubt have an online leaderboard where you can keep track of your best times and scores with other people on Xbox Live. This game also has cooperative multiplayer, in case you and your dragon feel lonely and lonely.
Another cool feature is that you can evolve your dragon. It will visually change and obviously become more powerful. I mean, dragons already look more intimidating than the ones found in Skyrim; We’ll see how crazy they’ll get once I max level with them. This is the feature that I am really excited to try when it launches.
While playing the demo, I finally came across a mini-boss. It looked like a huge fire dragon creature that emerged from the lava. The main way to beat him is to dodge his fire projectiles with the left and right bumpers; that way you can twist and turn around her bangs. It was easy enough and we set off again. The final boss of the show rushed in and was unbelievably beautiful. The light seemed to shine off his scales and white teeth. To defeat this enemy, I generally used the same tactics that I used with the mini-boss, but took a significant amount of damage. Once defeated, the demo ends and shows an even larger dragon eating this one.
This game was originally set to appear on Xbox 360, but they switched gears and decided to simply update the game during development to an Xbox One title. You can pretty much see that it was an Xbox 360 game. The graphical power of Xbox One it didn’t really show itself; some of the lava textures seemed a bit bland. They told me they would take advantage of the new hardware and add a lot more enemies to the screen than the original Xbox 360 version could have included.
I was impressed to see that this game came out of nowhere and is already playing pretty well. It will be interesting to see how this fan-favorite series plays out in the next generation. I’m intrigued to see how they’re going to use the new Xbox One’s Kinect sensor as well. Only time will tell, but the future looks incredibly bright for Crimson dragon.