Tag Archives: Crimzon Clover

On Honorable Mentions

Recently, Aggrochat discussed our Games of the Year for 2014. It’s been an interesting year for game releases, but we still managed to find a large number of games to talk about. My personal top 5 for the year is Transistor, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Spphire, Shovel Knight, and Infamous: Second Son, but I feel like there were some other games that came out this year that deserve recognition. Some of them got mentioned in the podcast (most notably Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Divinity: Original Sin, which I am not talking about because I haven’t played as much of them as I’d like), but here are 5 more games that were not mentioned in no particular order that make the GOTY Honorable Mentions list.

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U

This one couldn’t make the main list because I haven’t given it as much time as I’d like. A lot of the annoyances in Brawl (like tripping) are gone, but the changes aren’t entirely favorable to the characters I played most in previous games (Marth & Pikachu). I find the game a bit awkward to play on the 3DS, but the Wii U version already feels like an old friend. The new characters are pretty cool, especially Bowser Jr. and Mega Man. I haven’t tried online play, but I hear that’s also much improved from Brawl. There are a lot of interesting new ideas (Great Cave Offensive, Crazy Orders, 8-player Smash) but some that fall flat (Smash Tour). Overall, I do think this is the best version of Smash Bros. to date, and it’s a welcome addition to the Wii U’s library.

Crimzon Clover: World Ignition

I wrote about this one already, but I think it’s the best scrolling shooter currently on Steam. This version of Crimzon Clover is a re-release of a game that technically came out in 2011, but the World Ignition release is the game’s first release in English, so it counts for this year. The variations between the modes and ship choices keep the gameplay interesting, and the difficulty levels mean that it can be played without getting your face immediately punched in. That said, it’s no walk in the park, and I’d have a hard time recommending it as someone’s first game in the genre. I do recommend it to anyone who likes flying small objects into showers of bullets while wielding overwhelming firepower.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

I wrote about this one already, too. If Game of the Year were decided by how much time I played any given game this year, the winner would be Final Fantasy 14. The runner up would probably be Theatrhythm. I really love rhythm games, and I don’t think any other good ones came out this year. The RPG-structure and soundtrack for this one also increases its personal appeal. Playing along to things like “Torn From the Heavens” is awesome, and tracks like “Tempus Finis” make me look forward to Type-0 HD this upcoming year. I hope there’s a Theatrhythm Kingdom Hearts at some point in the future; Theatrhythm Dragon Quest was recently announced.

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 deserves recognition for a few reasons. It presents exactly what’s expected of a Mario Kart game (although it is thankfully a bit lighter on the Blue Shells than Mario Kart 7). It’s fun in local multiplayer and online, and it’s had one of the better DLC releases I’ve seen from any game in a while. It’s also worth noting that the game is really pretty with a lot of detail in both the courses and the racers (who interact with each other in small ways when close). The course selection (both new and retro) is pretty awesome, including one of my favorites from the DS game, Tick Tock Clock. The antigrav mechanics work well and change things up just enough to make it interesting.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

If you like South Park and Paper Mario-esque RPGs, you should play this game. It’s funny, inappropriate, and quite fun. It’s somewhat easy to forget about because it came out in March, but I found it entertaining all the way through. In addition to all of the things South Park normally makes fun of, it also likes to make fun of RPG and video game conventions while cheerfully making use of them. It picks up where the Black Friday episodes of South Park leave off, so watching those is recommended. It’s probably not as strong of an RPG mechanically as Divinity or Dragon Age, but I still haven’t beaten either of those, and Stick of Truth kept me going until the very end.

Farewell, 2014

It wasn’t the best year for AAA releases, but it wasn’t a bad year in games, all things considered. I hope some of the issues of this year stay in this year (which is just wishful thinking) but there are lessons to be learned going forward. Here’s hoping that 2015 doesn’t disappoint (and that Ori and the Blind Forest gets a solid release date).

On Crimzon Clover

I mentioned it a bit when I was talking about other shooters, but I feel like I should give Crimzon Clover a good writeup. It’s made me interested in the Japanese indie scene again, when previously I ignored every part of it that wasn’t Touhou.

The Basics

If there’s a story, I don’t know it. You fly through 5 levels firing massive amounts of bullets at things that fire almost as many back at you. In this context there are 4 modes and two difficulty levels, although two of the modes are only available on “arcade” difficulty. (One of the modes, Unlimited, is just standard with everything turned up to 11, with a few special rules that allow you to theoretically survive everything being turned up to 11.) You have your choice of three ships at the start, with a 4th unlockable. The Type-I is the balanced ship, with a wide spread primary attack and homing lasers for a lock-on attack, The Type-III (my personal favorite) is much faster but has a narrower primary fire and a slower-charging lock-on attack. The Type-II is somewhere in the middle, with the fire spread being determined by how you position the Gradius-style options. The final ship, the Type-Z, is better than the others in almost every way, and you can consider it your reward for playing the game for long enough to unlock it.

Seriously, this ship is broken.
Seriously, this ship is broken.

Standard Mode

A key feature of the game is the Break Gauge in the upper right. If this meter is over the small line, you can use a bomb (although using one will cause the bomb line to move further to the right, making it take longer to earn the next one). Using a bomb destroys all shots and most small enemies on-screen and gives you temporary invincibility, so it’s a good way to get out of trouble. If the gauge is full, using the bomb button instead enters break mode, causing your firepower and max number of lock-ons to go up, as well as doubling the score multiplier (This still clears the screen of bullets and grants temporary invincibility). This lasts for a certain duration or until you use a bomb. If you manage to fill the gauge again while in break mode, you can enter double break mode for screen-filling ridiculousness in your firepower and doubling the score multiplier again. The downside to this is that your break gauge completely empties when this ends and you can’t use a bomb during it.

Other than this upgrade to the bomb button, this mode is fairly standard. The difficulty ramps up as you move through the stages and beat the bosses, with an EX-boss available if you can beat the normal boss of Stage 5 without using a continue. (Despite calling the easier difficulty “novice”, this is not any easy task in any sense.) Beat the EX boss to see the credits and beat the game (and join about 11% of the players on Steam).


Boost Mode

Boost mode works a little differently. Instead of being able to activate break mode, it activates automatically when the gauge is full and lasts until you either use a bomb or die. Instead, the UI element that normally counts down break duration has a timer that counts up, and enemies and bullets speed up based on how high it gets. Many attack patterns are slightly (or in some cases significantly) easier in boost mode to compensate for this. Dropping out of boost mode will reduce things to a normal speed, but it will go back up to full speed when you fill the gauge again, something that’s certainly going to happen eventually.

If you’re not playing for score, I think Boost Mode is easier, as you can bomb to slow things down and if you don’t need to do that, you have the increased firepower of Break Mode all of the time. I like it better, but that might just be because I’m better at it. If you have any interest in shmups at all, you should give Crimzon Clover a shot. It’s on Steam and is supposedly coimg to GoG soon, so it’s much easier to get than many other games in the genre out of Japan.

For more posts about… everything, check out the Blaugust Initiative.

On Current Shooters

I’ve been caught up in WildStar, graduations, and other things, so I haven’t gotten a chance to play most of the various shmups (or STGs, as they’re sometimes known) that have released on Steam in some fashion recently. I made a quick attempt at a few of them recently, so here are some impressions.


Crimsonland is a top-down shooter reminiscent of Smash TV, or Robotron. Many different weapon types are used to kill hordes of zombie-like aliens, and there’s some progression that involves unlocking different weapons (which vary in terms of accuracy, fire rate, secondary effect, reload time, etc.) and perks (if these did anything at all I didn’t notice). It’s apparently a remake of a game that released for PC eleven years ago, but I didn’t know that going in. Of the games mentioned here, I think I enjoyed this one the least. The player’s movement feels incredibly slow (although there are speed powerups you can find in the levels) and the weapons just aren’t that interesting.

crimsonland_1 crimsonland_2 crimsonland_results


An Early Access game, this one’s more like Geometry Wars or Super Stardust. You fly around as an odd dragon-thing and use customizable weapons to shoot down flying saws. I almost wish I was making that part up. I got this one because it has co-op, but I tried with Belghast last night and couldn’t get it to work. The weapon customization is interesting, but I think this is one of those games that would be much more interesting in multiplayer. It’s a bit basic without, or at least it starts that way.

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The “sequel” of sorts to Ether Vapor Remaster, Astebreed puts you in control of a flying mech with a giant sword. This (mostly) side-scrolling shooter is full of enemies and bullets, but has some additional mechanics, namely the lock-on and the sword. You can hold the fire button(s) to lock onto enemies and fire on them, but this reduces your ability to fire normally while it’s going on. The sword allows you to both make invincible dashes across the screen and to deal damage/destroy enemy attacks in a small area in front of you. The sword is a lot of fun to play around with, and it’s also quite useful and factors heavily into the scoring system. This one’s a little more expensive than the others on the list, but it carries correspondingly higher production values, graphics, and an actual story. (It’s crazy and Japanese, but it’s there.) If you have any interest in the genre, Astebreed is highly recommended.

astebreed_chaos astebreed_cutscene astebreed_results


A port of an arcade game which was ported from a Japanese indie (or Doujin) PC game, Crimzon Clover replaces Jamestown for me as the best scrolling shooter on Steam. Sitting squarely in the Bullet Hell category, Crimzon clover has more traditional aesthetics than the other games here, featuring a spaceship firing many bullets at other spaceships, as well as a “bomb” button (more on this in a bit). As a bullet hell game, you have a tiny hitbox, the screen is filled with bullets (both yours and the enemies), and the difficulty is through the roof (even on Novice). Instead of having a stock of bombs to deal with the swarm, there’s a “break gauge” that governs bomb usage. When over a certain point, pressing the bomb button uses a bomb, which clears the screen of bullets and damages all enemies on screen. If it’s full, you instead enter “Break Mode”, which massively increases firepower. If filled again while in break mode, you can enter Double Break Mode for further bonuses. This is extremely satisfying, and the resulting spray of stars and colors looks awesome. I have a hard time recommending this game to anyone unfamiliar with the genre (Jamestown is my recommendation for getting into it), but I think this might be the best shooter on steam right now.

cc_ship_selection cc_break_mode cc_continue

One final Note…

Yesterday, Rae completed a Blue Mage Ashgar chibi, which is now found both here and in the site’s header. I think it’s awesome, and you should check out her site for more.