January 1, 2013 8:14pm.
First of all, a happy new year to all the Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon fans out there! As luck may have it, we have some interesting news to share with you at this start of the new year. It appears the Crimson Dragon demo was mistakenly made available for a short amount of time on the Japanese XBLA (thanks, Lifelower, who was the first to notice and tweet it to her followers). Luckily, I had enough time to download and try the demo before it was taken down. The result of my playthrough of the demo can be seen here.
Your browser does not support the video element.
It seems to be the same demo that was shown at PAX East 2012 so there’s nothing really new to be seen, although this did give us the chance to actually to deliver much higher quality footage. It remains to be seen how much the latest version of the game actually differs from the one shown here. The demo seems to have been designed to accompany the full game, which was supposed to be released on June 13, 2012. The game was delayed shortly before release and we haven’t heard any details regarding the reasons for the delay or the state of the game since then. In the meanwhile, Crimson Dragon: Side Story was released on Windows Phone and Microsoft stated that Crimson Dragon is still in development and that it’s an important franchise to them.
We can only speculate as to what’s going on, but the most plausible theory is that the game has been moved to the rumoured Xbox 720 and Kinect 2.0. Indeed, it seems there’s not that much point in releasing the game on the current Kinect especially after the rather spectacular failure of Steel Battalion, a game which painfully illustrated that the Kinect’s controls are simply not precise enough to provide the complex controls that the game required. It could mean we got our hands on a demo of a game that may never actually be released on the Xbox 360, making it quite unique. Of course, this is all just speculation at this point.
Having played the demo, the game seems to have more potential than Child of Eden. Unlike Child of Eden, you have limited control over the dragon itself, although unlike the Panzer Dragoon games you have no control over the camera. The controls worked about as well as one would expect, the only thing I found somewhat troublesome was dodging some of the attacks when the camera and enemies were moving about. Given what I’ve played so far, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing and playing the final version of the game.