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Review: Crimson Fields
Author: MattB
Added: 20/10/2003

I downloaded this game expecting your run-of-the-mill quickie game, with only five or six sprites, bad animation, and a dinky plot that only exists as an excuse to make the game exist. And that's exactly what I got.

There is no element of this game that looks professional. The menu backgrounds are your normal gradients and their navigation isn't your standard "use up and down arrows to select" menu. Each item has a different key that you need to press. Which is in no way a hinderance. I'm not complaining, it' s not as if having to hit enter to look at the controls is slowing me down any. But this solidifies the impression of being a quickie game. The game has a single level, or if there are more, I havne't seen them yet. The background is a single image repeated over and over, as you can easily tell by glancing at the screenshots. Sprites are simple with the most elementary animation possible. Even the icon, the first thing you see before even playing the game, is just a few scribbles resembeling the title.

The sound is also nothing special. It does exist, it is repetitive, and it is the same thing you hear in every other game like this, but at least it's fitting. It does, however, get annoying after a while. While music exists, it's barely audible, and isn't very well done. But at least it's there. And if you don't like it, you can just turn the power to your speakers off. That's why they have a switch.

On top of all this, collision detection is horrible. If you shoot five times, chances are that you'll manage to get through the barbed wire at least once. And you shouldn't be surprised that, when attacking enemies, your shots often go right through. I'm not sure if this is intended, to simulate that it's quite possible to shoot through barbed wire, and also entirely possible for a shot to go, say, under an enemy's arm. But it's annoying.

Artificial intelligence is also nil. The enemies bounce around and shoot at set intervals.

But despite all of these, I found myself enjoying this game. I found myself playing again and again trying to beat my high-scores, just trying to get a little farther in the game to see what would happen next. It's the simple centipede-like gameplay that we used to enjoy not too long ago, but with a whole load of other guys on your team to help you out. That's actually what I appreciate most about this game, and what so many other games just seem to overlook: that a war isn't fought with one man. It seems every game forces you to fight against a horde of enemies, all by yourself. Except this one. This innovation, while not necessarily original, is rare and greatly appreciated.

As much as I did enjoy playing this game at first, the lack of change got old fast. Perhaps if environments would change in setting and in the placement of obstacles, this game would last a bit longer. But it just falls short of the addictive quality that games like this tend to have.

Despite its faults, Crimson Fields isn't an entirely bad game. While it lacks anything resembeling polish, it is enjoyable. For this and its incredibly small size, I can reccommend this game without hesitation, if only as a time waster.

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