With the release of any new console, you have a plethora of what amount to forgettable titles. The current launch is no different. That said, there are also a few examples every launch which stand out, sadly Crimson Dragon is not one of these.
Crimson Dragon follows the story of a new dragon riding recruit. This young man has the mission of saving the world from an infection called crimson scale, which basically turns humans into scaly dead things, aside from the few who survive and are subsequently able to bond with the dragons. The story has its ups and downs, but overall, it is very forgettable. You run some side missions for a former rider to obtain info, run some missions for the counsel, and run some missions on your own, but again, throughout all 25+ of the missions, there isn't a lot driving you story-wise to draw you into the plot.
In terms of overall content, this game has more than enough to warrant the $20 tag. I personally cleared it in casual mode, then in classic mode in order to get a better feel for the difficulty. There are 6 or so dragons and 3 evolution's per dragon, meaning you have around 18 dragon types to deal with. As it takes 10 levels per evolution, if you want to see all the dragons maxed it will take you around 60 hours. Luckily, the game itself consists of short missions which do not feel too rushed and if you die, you can always use a re-generator to fully revive your dragon mid-mission, though at times that might create issues during medal hunts. Medals are awarded for specific tasks and once achieved, provide bonus gems which can be used to purchase dragons or upgrade item packs.
After just a few missions, you will find that you want a wing man as well. These guys can be used via voice or the d pad and essentially are on their own in terms of attacking. If you position them in front, they attack the front, if in back, they lay waste to the enemies behind you. If your wanting to destroy a boss or group of enemies, you can press X to unleash your team attack, which varies depending on the attributes of your dragon and the wing-mans dragon. Wing men are nice, but I found that remembering to hire them and select them became a bit tedious at times.(Though its likely because I'm quite forgetful)
I'm going to be as straight as one can be, this game does not have next gen graphics. The dragons feel low res, the stages are spotty at best, with some being beautiful, but most coming off as rather bland. The game runs very smooth, and the weapons all have their own unique feel, however again, there are only a few types of weapons which are really different.
The biggest complaint across all the reviews out there is on the control. This is the area which I have the least understanding for, as outside of some nuances with the free mode controls, which appear only 2 or 3 times the entire game, the controls are exactly like panzer dragoons. If you enjoyed panzer dragoon's controls, then you will have no issue at all with crimson dragons.
The game has great sound effects, ok voice acting, and decent music. Outside of that, there isn't much to say. The highlight here are the sound effects, which are perfect representations of the dragons, shots, enemies, and ambient noises.
While Crimson Dragon is most certainly not a next gen quality title, it is a quality title. The game offers around 15-20 hours of fun gameplay for a price of $20. It may not be the best title, it is not a poor title. With multiple dragons, hundreds of collectibles, decent controls, great sound effects, and multiple game modes, this game is worthy of a purchase, though only in relation to the rest of the launch lineup. If your looking for a shooter and enjoyed panzer dragoon saga, then you will not regret making this purchase. If you didnt enjoy panzer dragoon saga, then this game will likely not be for you.