Action RPGs have flooded the AppStore over the last couple of years. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In my case, it’s driven me back towards Turn-Based RPGs, which I use to love as a young teen, but kind of feel out of until earlier this year. Anyway, with the insane amount of Action RPGs available to iOS gamers, it’s hard to think that any of them can really bring anything new to the table, or generally impress gamers to the point where they’re given hope for the genre again. Enter ANBSoft. Their title, CrimsonHeart, might just wind up being the game that changes your perspective.
CrimsonHeart puts you in a world where Humans and Demons have fought for control of the world, with Demons trying to control the Humans with force, and the Humans trying to fight them off with intelligence. Dragons act as judges, having both intelligence and strength beyond that of both races, they limit themselves from getting involved. Dragons are immortal, but fall into deep sleep every 200 years, which is when the fighting between Humans and Demons is in total chaos. You’ll play as Pochi, a young warrior who has all of this going on around him, and Ann, a young mage, who has no memory of who she is, or what is going on in the world around them.
The game starts you off in a Prologue , which is the game’s beginning tutorial. Here, you’ll control Sire Ka’arin, a level 90 character who will not die during the gameplay in the Prologue. You’ll be able to control your character with a joystick in the bottom left corner, and attack with a button in the bottom right, along with having 4 spells and spell attacks around the basic attack button, all of which use SP, which is displayed in the top left along with the character icon and HP gauge. In the bottom center of the screen is where you can find the healing and SP potions. One thing you’ll notice right off the bat is that your character has 360 degree movement. It feels very natural at first, but if you play CrimsonHeart for a while, and then go back to almost any other Action RPG, the movement will probably end up feeling clunky and un-natural. It’s a very big plus for CrimsonHeart’s gameplay.
Now, CrimsonHeart does have your typical main quest, then talk to people throughout the villages, and complete quests for them to get little items, or some extra experience, and that’s fine. But what also really helps out with leveling up and becoming stronger, are the additions of the Arena, Forging Equipment, and the Card system. With the Arena, you’re able to pay to battle it out against a certain amount of enemies. Once you beat all of the enemies, you’re sent back to the village where you entered the arena from. As you level up, and progress through the game, more arenas are opened up and made available for you. What’s nice about this, is that if you’re having problems with a certain part in the game, instead of going out and grinding in the fields, you can just pop into an arena a couple of times. The experience gained is carried over back out of the arena, as well as all of the equipment you might get from the battles. As for Forging Equipment, you can visit a blacksmith, and give him items to forge, which has the potential to make them stronger. There is also a potential that they will become weaker, but it’s a great thing to try out if you’ve got a bunch of extra items that you’ve picked up from going on quests. You never really know what you might end up with. The blacksmith is also able to craft items. If you have enough materials, he will be able to make some very strong items for you to use. The Card System is one of the more interesting mechanics of the game. If you’re familiar with Infinity Blade II’s Gem System, the Card System shouldn’t be too hard to grasp. Every town has a Card Master. This Card Master can combine cards, which can result in rare cards, and yes, getting a RARE anything in an RPG is always great, and the Card Master can also attach the cards to items that are not equipped, making them stronger.
The graphics and animations are also a huge selling point for the game. The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen within the genre, with loads of detail, and an insane amount of color. As you attack enemies, how much damage you’ve done shows up above their heads, a-la Borderlands, which I always thought was a very cool graphic addition for games. If the enemies hit you, the same thing happens, but the numbers are in red instead of a pale yellow. The environments are very well done, with great path layouts, and wonderful objects scattered around the worlds. The trees, water, grass, bushes, rocks, flowers, everything that’s in the game adds to the overall atmosphere somehow, which does help immensely when becoming immersed within the game. The world that ANBSoft has created is beautiful, and the creatures within it are all designed perfectly. On top of this, the animations for moving, walking, running, dashing, attacking, everything is so fantastically well done that after playing CrimsonHeart, pretty much all other Action RPGs are dull and boring by comparison.
With all of these great selling points, it’s easy to see why the regular price for CrimsonHeart is $4.99. But right now, it’s on sale for $0.99! Did I also mention that the game is UNIVERSAL? So if you’re a fan of the genre, or use to be a fan of the genre, and have been disappointed over the last year by the onslaught of Action RPGs released in the AppStore, CrimsonHeart is definitely a game that you NEED to check out. ANBSoft has become a development team that I will be keeping a very close eye on in the future. If their next games are even half as entertaining as CrimsonHeart, they’ll be worth buying. Also, a huge THANK YOU to the developers, for re-igniting my love of Action RPGs. I really can’t thank you guys enough. I hope those of you who end up checking this out will feel the same.