Flynn: Son of Crimson review — The stone of night that weighs you down
Flynn: Son of Crimson raised over $ 60,000 on Kickstarter before being collected for distribution by Humble Games. We all love a good success story, but that also depends, of course, on the end game. This one isn’t going to wow anyone, as it’s short and familiar to fans of 2D action platform games. What Is what sets it apart is the high level of quality of its controls and its level design. The game doesn’t have an ounce of fat, doesn’t like to repeat itself, and has a cleverly fine-tuned difficulty curve on top of everything. All in all, this is a worthy little title that will satisfy those looking for a short but powerful adventure.
The game has quite a few stories, some of which I gleaned from its Kickstarter page. Flynn is the son of the goddess Sorrell and a human man. Sorrell comes from another dimension and ended up sneaking against the will of his comrade Zealock, who despises humans and wishes to subjugate and destroy them. He attempts to do so, but Sorrell and his beloved sacrifice themselves to send him and his ilk back to where they come from. But he makes new forays and threatens to restart his invasion.
It’s up to the player as Flynn to stop his vile plans in their tracks. Despite all of that, there isn’t a lot of storytelling here, although the dialogue is up to the task and sometimes funny, depending on which character you interact with. Pixel artwork is sharp and does a good job of manufacturing Flynn: Son of CrimsonThe areas all feel different. The game takes around five to six hours if you stick to the story, but there are challenge areas that you can find for extra cash by locating alternate exits on certain levels.
At the next test
Speaking of which, if you were hoping it was a Metroid-as I was, you might be disheartened to learn that Flynn: Son of Crimson is really a matter of level. Flynn Is acquire new abilities that allow him to return to a few previous places to progress when he previously couldn’t, but don’t expect to find the levels littered with alternate pathways that open up as you strengthen your character. The emphasis here is on close combat and responsive navigation. Oh, and boss fights there are several, although you’ll fight one more than once.
You choose the levels on a map. Completing a level is ultimately achieved by interacting with a statue of Sorrell at the end, unlocking the next map node. Some nodes lead to completely separate map sections. The levels themselves are simple side-scrolling affairs where you usually move Flynn to the right, dodging obstacles and fighting enemies along the way. At first, Flynn only has a simple wooden sword before he finds the Crimson Sword. Defeating successive bosses also earns him a Crimson Ax and Crimson Claws. Both older weapons are slower, while the claws are fast and have an aerial combo, which the others lack.
Flynn also has magic, which he can shoot normally for minor damage, or which can be charged to trigger special effects. They are purple energy, ice, electricity and fire. Ice can freeze enemies as well as some places with water, electricity somehow deselect shocking enemies, and fire can light torches and burn enemies. Flynn can also dodge roll, which has a noticeable cooldown to prevent players from spamming it. Enemies flash briefly to signify they’re about to strike and your dodge has a lot of i-frames.
Let me chop something for you
There’s a surprising amount of variety in level design here. There are some autoscroll levels, some combat-oriented, some heavy platform levels, submarines, and dark levels. As you move forward, each level locks, and Flynn must head to a flogged version of the level. It changes things so much that I never recognized the flogged versions. Several of them feature a giant floating green ax that follows you. Your objective here is always to get to the end of the level and destroy a shining orb which eliminates the threat.
By exploring the levels of Flynn: Son of Crimson, you will come across red and green crystals which can be broken. Red crystals give you red gems, the in-game currency. Green fills your healing items in small or large amounts, depending on the crystal. It takes several to give you one healing charge, but one big one. Red Gems can be spent on upgrades to Loretta, the game’s skill trainer. These add new attacks, more health and healing charges, as well as changes to the game’s “rage mode”. that you can trigger after filling a meter. Rage mode gives you increased speed and damage for a little while. There are also some golden trinkets hidden in the levels which can be sold to a collector in the same town as Loretta for 1000 Cool Red Gems.
Honestly, I don’t have much negative to say about Flynn: Son of Crimson. Combat is pretty straightforward, I guess, and it can be hard to tell an enemy is blinking if Flynn’s sprite obscures them. I had trouble in a couple of the dark areas, just because they were so dark I couldn’t see. I also almost completely stopped using the sword and ax once I got the claws because they really outclass them. Plus, the bosses are neat, but they’re mostly on the easy side. None of them took more than two tries. Yes the game is short, but I feel like it is as long as it needs to be, so I have no problem with that.
Flynn: Son of Crimson maybe not a lot of new stuff, but I had a pretty good time playing it. The controls and the level design are both top notch and I loved the variety of the levels. I also loved riding Dex, Flynn’s watchdog. I wish Dex showed up a bit more, as summoning them on statues and riding them across the rest of a level was a nice change of pace, but he’s more of a nit-picker than anything else. If you’re looking for a polished and engaging 2D action platformer, you can’t go wrong with this one.
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