Review: Crescent Pale Mist
Developer: Rocking Android
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Release Date: September 14, 2010 | September 15, 2010 | September 8, 2010
Price: $5.99 | £3.99 | €4.99
Rating: Everyone 10+
What I Liked:
Epic Boss Battles
What I Disliked:
Unforgiving Difficulty; Confusing Level Layouts
Combat is unrewarding
Crescent Pale Mist is a foreign indie title that came out in 2006. You take control of Yunou, a magic chick that can harness the power of the Pale Mist. Apparently the pale mist is seeping into our world! Yunou is the only one that can stop it! What follows is a convoluted story in which you visit bizarre locales and talk to other magic users who eventually fight you.
To summarize the experience, Yunou shows up in the level, runs through a gauntlet of enemies, encounters a bunch of frustrating platforming segments, runs through more enemies, gets lost, backtracks, finds the boss, and dies three times trying to kill it. Rinse and repeat 7 times and that’s your game.
For a six dollar game, the visuals aren’t too bad. Sprites are 2D while the environments are 3D. During boss fights things get a little crazy with a bullet hell kind of look. During the normal parts of the levels, Yunou is able to jump into the background and foreground at specific points. This makes for an interesting layer effect to these levels, but more often than not, it just ends up making things confusing. Each level has its own identity (ones a palace, ones a purple cave, etc) but for the most part, you’re not going to be able to tell the beginning of one level from the middle from the end. Because the environment in each level is so uniform, it’s difficult to get your bearing. I certainly got lost numerous times. A map would have been nice. The tunes have an indie dev sound to them. They’re not bad per say, but they’re nothing mindblowing.
Controls are floaty and complicated. To put it this way, Chris K couldn’t beat the tutorial (Editor’s Note: I did eventually beat it after I found out you had to jump into the foreground at a spot). If you’ve listened at all to the podcast, you’ve heard me complaining about some of the jumps that the game makes you attempt. Some are so difficult that the Rockin’ Android guys put teleport portals right before you are to attempt them. That way, if you end up messing up, you can retry. Combat is just as crazy. Yunou has a blade and throwing knives. There are different magic attacks you can do with these weapons, which are based around the pale mist that pops up as you damage enemies. These make for some impressive looking combos.
Besides the unforgiving boss battles, the levels in CPM are largely forgettable. You can actually reach each boss by dashing past all the enemies within a level. It’s cheap, but eventually I got so fed up with the combat I found dashing past it was better. This game might look like a steal for 6 bones, but that’s only if you’re in the mood for some crescent pale rage.
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