Crescent Pale Mist Review
The intentions of independent game publishers may always be good, but that doesn’t always mean the game will be. Take Rockin’ Android, for example. The publishers of the satisfying Gundemonium Collection for PlayStation Network return with yet another import title for the service, Crescent Pale Mist. Upon the first few minutes of playing, you start to feel a vibe similar to that of Capcom’s Strider games. After the effect wears off, though, frustration rapidly sets in.
You play Yunou, a magician who specializes in the ability of controlling the pale mist and utilizing it into attacks. It’s a good thing he has such access to it, because it’s summoning all kinds of demons that are raising havoc in his world. It’s up to Yunou to set things right and shut down the power of the mist once and for all.
Crescent Pale Mist sounds promising, and with its 2.5-D style presentation (3D visuals set against 2D scrolling stages), it had the potential to be great. Unfortunately, all that potential is squandered through the game’s sluggish pacing. Far too often you’ll find yourself running back and forth across a stage, getting lost along the pathways while facing similar bad guys over and over. When things do pick up with some of the larger bosses in the game, it becomes too strenuous, as they’re nearly impossible to beat without sacrificing your pale mist powers to the point of near-death. Even if you manage to read through the game’s digital manual, you’ll still find yourself teetering too often between boredom and anger.
Another part of the game’s problem is the control. It’s simply not that much fun to play. Too often, you’ll find yourself drifting due to inept gravity issues, not to mention the hack-n-slash moves are outright clichéd. You’ll tap-tap-tap to victory and then do the same thing for the next fight, while occasionally discharging a projectile or uncontrollable super attack to take care of a stronger enemy. This mist never really resonates into anything solid.
Also, we weren’t too crazy about the game’s sparse checkpoints. Deaths are frustratingly frequent, and dying causes you to have to start way back at the beginning of the stage again. Considering the immense size of each level, this will have you wondering if there’s really a point of going through all of it again. And there really isn’t.
Rockin’ Android’s latest game also suffers from a drab presentation. The graphics aren’t bad, but the anime characters aren’t animated well in the slightest. Demons all look the same, and Yunou and his cohorts barely show any sparks of life. The 3D backgrounds aren’t that hot either, as there’s nothing that really differentiates them over the course of the game. As a result, you never really feel any progression – just hints of déjà vu. The music isn’t that much better, constantly repeating the same background tunes to the point that you’ll be reaching for your TV’s volume control.
Sorry, Rockin’ Android. While we respect your intentions, we simply can’t recommend Crescent Pale Mist. Its overbearing list of frustrations and lacking visuals and sound will leave you feeling red instead of pale.