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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
If you find XBLA's other number-crunchy-crawlers (hello, Torchlight) a bit too soulless for your liking, then this is unmissable stuff. Don't be fooled by the identikit visuals: Crimson Alliance is frantic, fresh, and utterly brilliant.
90 (Sep 06, 2011)
Where Crimson Alliance could have joined the white noise of dungeon crawlers, Certain Affinity has managed to design a solid and - more impressively - distinctive game.
Game Chronicles (Sep 12, 2011)
Summer of Arcade had some good titles this year but the real gem for me was Crimson Alliance. It’s simple, addictive, and a good old-fashioned modern dungeon crawler. The combat is engaging, the levels are beautiful and full of hidden locations to explore and it’s a lot of fun to play over Xbox Live. If you’re looking for an awesome co-op experience then Crimson Alliance is a must have.
Game Informer Magazine (Sep 06, 2011)
Certain Affinity's excellent fantasy adventure soars above the competition as one of the most enjoyable cooperative games in years.
GamingTrend (Sep 21, 2011)
All in all, Certain Affinity should be proud of their creation: Crimson Alliance is a solid game that keeps the pace moving and balances the three classes very well. With both Live and local co-op, natural ranking tie-ins with your friends list and a visceral and fast-paced action, it is most certainly worth the price of admission. Whether grinding for or buying gold is your choice, I’d rather have seen bigger payouts from the game rather than the marketplace. I’d recommend Crimson Alliance to anyone who’s looking for a game that doesn’t bog you down with a lot of overwrought characters. If you enjoy beating your friends high scores, playing co-op or just having a game that you can sit down and enjoy in small excursions, this is definitely a keeper. Is it deep? No – but it doesn’t really pretend to be either.
Worth Playing (Oct 09, 2011)
Crimson Alliance is a simple but entertaining and deceptively addictive hack-and-slash title. It's very light on the RPG elements but makes up for it with a very satisfying combat system. There aren't too many enemy types in the game, but they get smarter as they try to fight with tactics instead of pure muscle. The character types are varied enough that you'll want to play them all, and multiplayer- specific puzzles make this a game you'll want to experience with your friends instead of solo. Those who already have the game because of the Summer of Arcade promotion are no doubt enjoying it, but for those who didn't, give Crimson Alliance a shot at scratching the hack-and-slash itch. Just be sure to know what kind of purchase you want to make beforehand.
Armchair Empire, The (Dec 06, 2011)
There are plenty of hidden secrets and scoring/upgrading incentives to replay levels, especially on Xbox Live with a few fellow dungeon crawlers. That combines with satisfying old-school hack & slash RPG action in a dark, dank and deeply buried dungeon realm that’s visually appealing along with a not entirely original but certainly captivating story for a completely entertaining XBLA adventure.
Gaming Age (Sep 21, 2011)
That's why it's a little disappointing to feel like one is part of a market analysis experiment. The trial is free, but at every moment it's clear you need to buy one of the characters ($10) or all three ($15) to finish the game. And while spending loot in the weapon shop, the biggest button, by far, is one that offers a gigantic pile of in-game gold in exchange for real life money. It's easy to focus on what that means to players who don't spend more money (both local and online co-op are available, competitive and awesome), but one also must wonder how closely the conversion of players is being tracked: From free, to paying, to paying even more. It seems like a safe bet someone's watching and planning ahead.
XboxAddict (Oct 26, 2011)
I'm sure now you are wondering what ever happened to our three brave adventurers and what happened that made the kingdom of Byzan the way it is today. That my friend will have to come at a price. Journeys start with a single step and if you wish to know more and how the story ends, then it is up to you. Is it worth 1200 MS Points? When you and your friends join up to discover the treasure and mystery that abounds in these lands, then it is a steal. So what do you say adventurer? Care to make a deal?
Joystiq (Sep 06, 2011)
Crimson Alliance could be a delicious piece of peanut butter and s'mores toast with raspberry jam, it's just that the proportions are distracting on this first attempt. Basic genre expectations are fulfilled, delivering an approachable, action-RPG dungeon crawl -- but with a bit more careful measurement, Certain Affinity could have made this good game great.
Official XBox Magazine (Sep 06, 2011)
On your first run-through, you can stampede through the world of Crimson Alliance in just over four hours, and you’ll know most of its killing fields like your own backyard not long after that. Nevertheless, it’ll take a good long time before tearing it up with a few pals loses its allure.
MondoXbox (Sep 07, 2011)
Crimson Alliance è un ottimo gioco, ben studiato in ogni sua componente e che riesce a far convivere ottimamente sia l'anima giocoruolistica che quella prettamente action dei combattimenti. La durata è assolutamente ragguardevole, dalle 6 alle 8 ore per completare i livelli standard con un solo personaggio e senza contare i livelli bonus sbloccabili, la personalizzazione dei personaggi è appagante e, soprattutto, il gioco è assolutamente divertente. Peccato solo per l'antipatica propensione del gioco a volerci sfilare più grana del dovuto, che dimostra una non intelligentissima applicazione del modello freemium già visto in giochi per PC e mobile.
ZTGameDomain (Sep 08, 2011)
Crimson Alliance never tries to be something it is not, and I actually enjoyed that part of it. The game is not as deep as other games like it, and the levels are fairly straightforward. The combat is smooth and the visuals are actually pretty good. The story is hit and miss with some rather amateur voice work and a typically clichéd story. Still, I had a great time with the game and recommend everyone at least give the demo a whirl. If you can live without the immense customization and progression that most of these games pack in you, will find something more akin to a modern day Gauntlet, and to be honest, sometimes that is all we really need.
Spazio Games (Sep 07, 2011)
Tirando le somme, per quanto Crimson Alliance non riesca pienamente nell’intento di staccarsi dai canoni del genere e inventare qualcosa di nuovo, grazie alle piccole novità inserite dagli sviluppatori di Certain Affinity il titolo risulta estremamente godibile e divertente da giocare sopratutto in compagnia di 4 amici. Unica pecca, la mancanza di un sistema drop in/drop out che avrebbe agevolato il multiplayer. Consigliato a tutti gli amanti degli action RPG ed a chi vuole avvicinarsi senza troppo impegno al genere.
GamePro (US) (Sep 08, 2011)
Still, Crimson could stand to be a little more robust and varied. Its comparatively paltry three classes beg for DLC, as does its four hour campaign; similarly, there are only a few enemy types per themed map, and the game doesn't seem to rebalance unit numbers for multiple players. Perhaps next time Certain Affinity should concentrate just a hair less on arcade simplicity; until then this is still a worthy note in a crowded genre.
Game Watcher (Sep 12, 2011)
With everyone focussed on October and November’s packed release calendar, Crimson Alliance is the perfect game to squeeze in before gaming gets busy again. It’s also a great title to return to when you’ve got fifteen minutes to kill, and kill you will.
Gamereactor (Sweden) (Sep 07, 2011)
Crimson Alliance gör inget nytt eller revolutionerande, men det behövs inte när man gör det så här bra. Det klassiska spelupplägget fungerar finfint och i samarbete med online- eller soffkompisar är Crimson Alliance vid flera tillfällen briljant. Även om det är begränsat i karaktärsutveckling och vapenanpassning, så överväger lättillgängligheten och den eleganta presentationen det.
Vandal Online (Sep 07, 2011)
Crimson Alliance es una interesante propuesta en un género, el de los hack'n slash, muy concurrido últimamente. Realmente, y aunque siendo sinceros, el juego no aporta prácticamente ninguna novedad, tras probarlo durante horas, os podemos asegurar que la sencillez y la acción continua que ofrece, bajo un entorno técnico muy notable, le hacen muy digno de encontrar un pequeño sitio en el disco duro de nuestra Xbox.
Gamer Limit (Sep 16, 2011)
At its surface, Crimson Alliance is a bit shallow. But if you take advantage of the tools provided, tweak the difficulty at times, and play with a group of friends, the depth starts to show. It won’t deliver in areas that other action RPG games do, but there is no denying this title is an absolute blast to play.
Atomic Gamer (Sep 18, 2011)
Crimson Alliance’s main failures are its story and characters--serious issues for an RPG. Still, this is a modest little $15 XBLA game and it probably isn’t fair or appropriate to compare it to something like Dragon Age. So let’s just end by saying that for what it is and what it costs, Crimson Alliance offers some good-looking, undemanding fun and with its class-specific gameplay and multiplayer modes, a respectable amount of replayability. We’ll just ignore the schlocky dialog and focus on racking up kills and stacking up gold. Because really, isn't that what we play dungeon crawlers for anyway?
Impulse Gamer (Sep 19, 2011)
Crimson Alliance is a great game to pick up. Grab some extra remotes because it’s teamwork time. You can buy this game when it comes out for Xbox Live Arcade.
GameFocus (Sep, 2011)
Regardless of the minor quibbles I have, Crimson Alliance still offers plenty of good times. While the story could have been highlighted a bit better and the “RPG” side of things is thin at best, the action is constant and there are loads of hidden cashes of gold along with puzzles requiring more than one player to solve. Featuring both local and online, 4-player co-op spread across 13 story-based stages and a handful of survival-like challenge rooms, players will have plenty to be busy with for their $15. Throw in the point scoring and the leaderboards and the competitive edge will bump the replay value. It won’t quite scratch the Diablo or Torchlight itches, something I suspect only their respective upcoming sequels will accomplish, but it will provide some good old fashioned hack-n-slash adventuring. So if you are a fan of the genre, there’s no reason not to give this one a spin. Just be sure to come in looking for more of the “Action” and less of the “RPG”.
GamingXP (Sep 17, 2011)
Die Vorfreude auf „Diablo III“ ist groß, doch bis der Hit direkt aus der Hölle kommt, dauert es noch eine Weile. Microsoft schickt derweil auf der Xbox LIVE Arcade mit „Crimson Alliance“ ein Action-Adventure ins Rennen, das Spieler, die alle fünf Summer of Arcade-Titel gekauft haben, gratis als Draufgabe bekommen. Ein Action-RPG als Wegzehrung mit neuartiger Preispolitik.
Gameplanet (Oct 05, 2011)
A game perhaps lacking in substance but not combat heft, Crimson Alliance offers a fun five hours of single player or excellent five hours of co-op goodness. The graphical style is very Diablo, and the sound is passable, although some variations on the Mercenary’s grunting and the damage bell wouldn’t go amiss. Our advice is spend the full 1200 up front and enjoy varied play with each of the characters. Just don’t expect a lot more than some slick fantasy-style arcade brawling and it’ll be money well spent.
Destructoid (Sep 06, 2011)
Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.
3D Juegos (Sep 09, 2011)
No es el más original de su categoría pero ha sabido crearse un hueco ofreciendo una fórmula de juego tan directa y desafiante que, tratar de conseguir las mejores puntuaciones en cada nivel supone, a expensas de recibir Torchlight II y Diablo III, un fantástico pasatiempo muy recomendable para los seguidores del género.
GamingExcellence (Sep 10, 2011)
Despite a bit of glitching, I think Crimson Alliance is a welcome addition in my household. Sure, it's not the prettiest girl in town, but she's charming, easy to get along with and still violent enough that your mother would not approve. What more could you want from a Sunday morning date? The game is available for purchase on September 7 via XBLA for 1200 Microsoft points (all three character classes) or just 800 Microsoft points (just one).
Whether you're just killing time until Diablo III comes around, looking for some fun multiplayer co-op action, or aching for a leaderboard challenge, Crimson Alliance is a great time at a great value.
RPGFan (2011)
During my time with Crimson Alliance, I was left with a hollow feeling - the game never did anything to capture me. The whole experience felt so formulaic that it really had no soul, and it was hard to be impressed by a game that essentially forces you to play through twelve similar-looking dungeons. As an XBLA title, Crimson Alliance didn't need a lot of depth, but a touch here and there would have made all the difference. There is some good though, as there are no big issues with the controls and the combat's smooth. Playing with a friend will help make the journey less tedious, but it doesn't fix how generic the game is. Had Crimson Alliance had a little more in the way of flavor, it might have been pleasing to the senses; right now, though, the flavor is only mildly satisfying.
NZGamer (Sep 16, 2011)
Crimson Alliance is the perfect example of a game that copies a well known formula, but doesn’t add anything of its own. If you have a group of 3 friends you could play with, then I could definitely recommend getting the free version to try out together. Then - if you like it - upgrade to the full game and have a blast. If you are only flying solo or plan on running with strangers online, it is simply not as a good a game when played this way. So like my mother always said, stay close to your friends and be wary of strangers.
70 (Sep 20, 2011)
Il risultato finale è che Crimson Alliance piacerà sicuramente ai "malati" come me, mentre per tutti gli altri potrebbe risultare alquanto scialbo e senza personalità. Siamo dunque su livelli nettamente superiori a quelli del pessimo Dungeouns & Dragons: Daggerdale, ma un paio di gradini sotto a quelli del già citato Torchlight.
Extreme Gamer (Sep 20, 2011)
Crimson Alliance is a decent hack and slash game with a few questionable marketing tactics. It's a fun romp with friends as long as you aren't too concerned with high scores or achievements.
Darkstation (Sep 05, 2011)
Gaming Nexus (Sep 21, 2011)
While there's nothing wrong with Crimson Alliance form a technical standpoint, it's a shame that a game with this much hack and slash action is so boring. The lackluster presentations, repetitive gameplay and generic story don't help anything. You're better off buying one of the better Diablo-clones currently available on the Xbox 360!
Gameplay (Benelux) (Sep 28, 2011)
Je kan je personages niet uitbouwen en er is haast geen buit te verzamelen, maar verder is dit een prettig spelende, ietwat repetitieve co-op hack & slasher waar de fans zeker lol mee zullen hebben.
Console Monster (Oct 17, 2011)
Overall, if Certain Affinity had pushed their ideas further, Crimson Alliance could have been a truly fantastic title. Nevertheless, despite its repetitiveness and generic story, the game is great fun, especially in multiplayer.
Digital Chumps (Sep 07, 2011)
And, in the end, that’s what Crimson Alliance felt like, a reward or an experiment. Certain Affinity took few risks in constructing a bare bones, workman like hack ‘n slash and left experimentation to its pricing structure. Whether that was their call or Microsoft’s isn’t likely to be known, but it’s definitely rendered Crimson Alliance an afterthought, or something to play if you’ve completely exhausted Torchlight and need something else in the console space.
60 (Sep 13, 2011)
Crimson Alliance bietet solide, aber auch sehr simpel gestrickte Action-Rollenspielkost, die zudem viel zu schnell vorbei ist. Von den 28 Schauplätzen sind über die Hälfte optionale Kampfarenen und Geschäfte. Die eher notdürftig inszenierte Story hat man bereits nach wenigen Stunden abgefrühstückt und es bleibt lediglich die Hatz nach verpassten Schatzkammern oder besseren Ranglistenplätzen. (...) Die simple Steuerung, das überschaubare Ausrüstungs- und Aktionsrepertoire sowie der jederzeit anpassbare Schwierigkeitsgrad erlauben vor allem Anfängern einen leichten Zugang. Auf Dauer mangelt es Spielmechanik und Charakterentwicklung jedoch an Abwechslung und Tiefe. Auch Charaktereditor, Klassenangebot und Matchmaking lassen teils zu wünschen übrig. Unterm Strich dennoch ein gerade noch befriedigendes, wenn auch sehr kurzes und unspektakuläres Vergnügen.
GameOver (Greece) (Sep 16, 2011)
O Σάββας δεν παίζει videogames από τότε που θυμάται τον εαυτό του. Δεν ξέρει πως είναι από κοντά ένα NES πόσο μάλλον ένα SNES. Παρόλα αυτά καταφέρνει και ανέχεται τον εαυτό του ως gamer και που και που, μεταξύ Heavy Metal και Χέβι Μέταλ, παίζει και κανένα παιχνίδι. Επίσης είναι ερωτευμένος με τη Liara T’soni και θα ήθελε κάποια στιγμή να μετακομίσει σε μία καλύβα κοντά στη Firelink Shrine, ένα τσιγάρο δρόμο από τις Κατακόμβες αν και δεν καπνίζει.
GamesRadar (Sep 20, 2011)
Slow to start but fun to play, Crimson Alliance can serve as a tasty snack if you find yourself between games. While the leveling mechanics are a little too shallow to keep true RPG fans invested, the dark cel-shaded visuals and easy-to-pick up combat system can make for a fun weekend with friends. Just be sure to make the right choice if you’re only willing to buy one character.
Gry OnLine (Sep 15, 2011)
Crimson Alliance, choć jest grą bardzo poprawnie przygotowaną, nie do końca spełnia pokładane w niej nadzieje. Rażą liczne uproszczenia, które w rezultacie stanowią o tym, że grze znacznie bliżej do zręcznościówek w rodzaju Gauntleta niż pełnoprawnego hack'n'slasha. A nawet gdy rozpatrywać tytuł tylko w tych kategoriach, oferuje on troszkę zbyt jednostajną i mało zróżnicowaną rozgrywkę, którą na szczęście ratuje tryb kooperacji. Tyle, że też z wadami. Zapowiadało się dobrze, a wyszło tylko nieźle.
60 (Sep 20, 2011)
Si tratta di un buon esperimento per la neonata software house Certain Affinity, ma sviluppato forse troppo in fretta. Le quasi sei ore di gioco non offrono picchi di varietà e giocabilità incredibili, risultando forse troppo semplice e lineare nelle sue componenti RPG, e molto ripetitivo in quelle Action. Non ci sono idee nuove, non c'è un gameplay fresco nè avvolgente, situazioni che ci tengano incollati alla tv o dungeon particolarmente memorabili. Il gioco scivola via bene ma non offre niente che non sia già stato giocato o realizzato meglio altrove. Da provare, se non altro, per l'ottima modalità multiplayer a quattro giocatori che offre un discreto numero di situazioni e quest da affrontare tutti insieme.
Game Revolution (Sep 14, 2011)
Crimson Alliance isn't a bad game, but with so many stronger dungeon crawlers around, it's tough to recommend it wholeheartedly. Its distribution model might work for you if you're tight for the virtual money or don't care about the other character classes. There is a fair bit of content to hack your way through, if you don't mind the repetitive and unfriendly-ness that this game hits you with if you decide to undertake your spelunking alone.
GameOver (Greece) (Sep 16, 2011)
Το ερώτημα είναι, “αξίζει ή όχι τα λεφτά του το Crimson Alliance;”. Η απάντηση είναι απλή. Αν σχεδιάζετε να παίξετε με φίλους, δώστε τα 800 MS points που απαιτούνται για να έχετε ένα χαρακτήρα (η δική μας επιλογή ήταν ο μάγος αρχικά) και θα περάσετε ευχάριστα. Αν προορίζετε το παιχνίδι για μία μοναχική εμπειρία, κάντε ένα καλό ψάξιμο στο Internet και θα βρείτε είκοσι φορές μεγαλύτερα και καλύτερα από αυτό παιχνίδια που κοστίζουν τα ίδια ακριβώς χρήματα.
Gamernode (Sep 12, 2011)
Crimson Alliance may be a “pass” for some gamers. The free-to-play structure is a good start, but forces players to either upgrade each class at 800 Microsoft points each or 1200 points for the All Classes Pack. Add to that the extra cost of future DLC, and this game gets expensive fast, putting into serious question its worthiness of the investment.
Thunderbolt Games (Sep 09, 2011)
All said Crimson Alliance is a pretty good – if not unexceptional – action-RPG where an arcade-oriented simplicity and an experiment with pricing structures are the orders of the day. That’s not an entirely bad thing and it’s good to see Microsoft willing to forgo these experiments, but it’s not quite enough to save the experience from its own foreboding sense of plainness.
GameSpot (Sep 08, 2011)
Crimson Alliance simply does the bare minimum across the board. Its tale of an evil sorceress returning from the dead is accented with a bit of humor that should have been taken further. If the game followed through with its halfhearted attempts at comedy (a crate that serves as a familiar, for example), it might have produced a bit of sparkle. But Crimson Alliance doesn't go far enough in this respect, or in any other. It's a hollow game that offers little more than mindless monster slaying.
RPGamer (Sep 13, 2011)
Crimson Alliance is a fairly competent, if completely forgettable game. For $10 players will be able to unlock the game, but only have the choice of one character to choose from. For $15, players will have access to all the game’s classes. The game can easily be completed in an afternoon, but it’s simply too short to justify the price tag. Sure there are unlockable challenge maps, secret areas and tons of loot, but this has been made before, and done better. There’s just not enough content to validate the cost of admission, and once the game is completed, it’s not one that many would go back to with any sense of fondness. There are certainly some interesting ideas, and if the game’s world had been expanded more, that could have been a point in Crimson Alliance‘s favour. As it stands, Crimson Alliance, though a polished experience, lacks the content and creativity to make it a worthwhile one.
Game Critics (Oct 05, 2011)
While girlfriend-friendly and action-ready, Crimson Alliance needs some beefing up to be a memorable experience. Booting up the similar Torchlight for just a few minutes is enough to show that while simple is good, elegant is better.