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OXM's E3 Impressions of Crimson Dragon

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Francesca Reyes from the Official US Xbox Magazine has posted her impressions of the E3 Crimson Dragon demo. No new information here. She concludes with the following:

Though our time with Crimson Dragon was brief, the good news for Sega and Panzer Dragoon fans is that this fluid-feeling rail shooter has all the right moves in place to scratch that classic series’ old-school itch – but with the visuals and a sense of scale that’ll make it feel at home in this generation (and the next) of games. And now that its controls aren’t tied to Kinect-based gestures, we’re hoping it signals the start of something beautiful and different on Xbox One and for Japanese indie studio, Grounding.

However, even though you can play with a gamepad, the game is still tied to Kinect-based gestures if it is to support both control schemes - unless Grounding chooses to offer radically different gameplay under each control scheme.

Game Revolution Previews Crimson Dragon at E3

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Vince Ingenito at Game Revolution has written a preview of Crimson Dragon, based on his experience with the E3 demo. Overall his experience seems positive, although he did have some issues with the controls:

The first thing I noticed was the use of separate analogs to control movement and aiming independantly, which, while different from past entries in the series, isn’t a bad thing on its own. But the reticule movement didn’t feel quite so crisp as I remember it being in Panzer Dragoon Orta. There’s also no way to control your speed, or where the camera is facing relative to your dragon… it’s all handled “dynamically” I was told.

This is likely to accommodate both gamepad and Kinect controls. Vince goes on to write:

Rather than hold a button to initiate lock, moving your cursor over a target will apply lock immediately. Again, none of these differences are world-ending on their own, but together they represent a significant speed-bump to clear on your trip down memory lane.

Of course, Futatsugi and his team are still fine-tuning the controls, so things could yet be improved. He concludes the preview by writing:

Whether the changes made to the controls will be a help or a hindrance to the experience will be something to keep an eye on, but until then, I’m just going to be happy that one of my favorite franchises is getting as close to a sequel as I could have ever hoped for.

I’ll share more Crimson Dragon previews from around the web as they’re written.

Polygon Interviews Yukio Futatsugi About Crimson Dragon

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Polygon has interviewed Yukio Futatsugi about the recent reveal of Crimson Dragon for Xbox One. The interview contains lots of interesting information; I recommend that you read the whole thing. Highlights: You can play the campaign in three player co-op mode (or with AI dragons based on your friends save data). It will still be a download only title, rather than a retail game. Futatsugi plans to expand the game with new levels (released as DLC) if the game sells well enough. The game can be played using either the gamepad or with Kinect; this, apparently, has created quite a challenge:

Asked how he’s compensating for a game design originally built around Kinect controls, with all the subtleties that involves, Futatsugi acknowledged that balancing the game to support both interfaces is a challenge. “Balancing the game is the most difficult part of development at the moment because playing it with Kinect and playing with the gamepad are two totally different ways to enjoy the game,” he said. “That’s what I’m suffering through right now.”

Futatsugi also confirmed that it was us fans who made him change his mind about including gamepad support:

Speaking this week, Futatsugi told Polygon fan reaction was the main reason he wanted to put gamepad controls back in, which he was able to do when he found himself with extra development time in the move to Xbox One.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Xbox 360 version “has not officially been cancelled”; Futatsugi says that Microsoft will make an announcement regarding the status of Crimson Dragon for Xbox 360. My advice: don’t sell your Xbox 360 just yet.

IGN Plays the Crimson Dragon Demo at E3

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Check out this video from IGN playing through a larva level of Crimson Dragon. I should warn you that this video contains spoilers, particularly if you are familar with Crimson Dragon: Side Story.

The video also shows off Crimson Dragon’s controls. Unlike the Panzer Dragoon rail shooters where the left analog stick is used to move both the reticule and the dragon, the left analog stick only moves the dragon, while the right analog stick controls the reticule. It makes sense that Grounding made this change to be consistent with most other modern shooters. The right trigger is also used to fire, another change which suggests that familiarity is something Grounding considered when designing the new controls. There was no mention of the Kinect gestures in this video.

Crimson Dragon Will Be Played With a Control Pad

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Published by Solo Wing in News

I know most, perhaps all of you wanted for this: the ability to play Crimson Dragon with a regular Xbox control pad. Today, that wish has come true. Joystiq reports:

Crimson Dragon, originally designed as a showpiece for Kinect, is now controlled primarily with a controller. The once Xbox 360 and now Xbox One exclusive abandoned full Kinect control after feedback was received from “passionate fans” – possibly from an accidentally released demo – Microsoft Studios lead producer Yutaka Noma tells Joystiq. The game will still feature Kinect support alongside the traditional control, though it will be used for “intuitive” gestures.

It remains to be seen what these gestures will be. Hopefully they’ll be kept to minimum so that players can experience Crimson Dragon in a relaxed position. The problem with motion controls is that the added interaction often breaks immersion because of the increased gap between the player’s thoughts and what’s happening on the screen.

It’s also nice to know that feedback from “passionate fans” like ourselves was taken into consideration. Although the cynic in me also believes that Microsoft no longer required Crimson Dragon to be controlled with only the Kinect because they no longer need core games to sell the Kinect on its own; the Xbox One will come bundled with the new Kinect.

In any case, this can only be good news. As Richard Mitchell at Joystiq writes:

The game is being developed by Yukio Futatsugi and Grounding Inc, and it shares a great deal visually and mechanically with Panzer Dragoon, Futatsugi’s most well-known series. Now that it’s primarily controlled with a standard controller, it shares considerably more.

I cannot agree more.

Crimson Dragon Trailer (With Audio) and Screenshots

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Published by Solo Wing in News

I’ve uploaded a version of the Crimson Dragon E3 2013 trailer to The Will of the Ancients. Due to a technical error by Microsoft, the live trailer did not feature audio, however this version (taken from the Xbox YouTube channel) includes sound. Here is the trailer in glorious 1080p:

Video Details for "Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Trailer"

If you’re struggling to stream the 1080p version, lower resolutions are available on YouTube.

The music featured in the trailer is usual “epic” soundtrack that is often featured in movie trailers. The soundtrack used is “The Sorcerer” by Charles Ian Evans (thanks Draikin for this information); I don’t expect it to be used in the actual game, given how different it is from the music composed by Saori Kobayashi featured in Crimson Dragon: Side Story and the Xbox 360 demo of Crimson Dragon.

We also have some screenshots of Crimson Dragon for Xbox One. The first four were captured by Draikin. The remaining five were taken from Gamersyde:

Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 01 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 02 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 03 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 04 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 05 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 06 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 07 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 08 Crimson Dragon E3 2013 Screenshot 09

Still no word on whether Crimson Dragon will be playable with the regular Xbox One control pad, or if can only be played with the new Kinect. There was no mention of Kinect in the trailer. Also, the release date remains unknown at this point, although I suspect Crimson Dragon will be an Xbox One launch title given the amount of time that they’ve had to work on it.

Crimson Dragon Confirmed for Xbox One

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Crimson Dragon is coming exclusively to the Xbox One Microsoft revealed during their E3 press conference today. I’ll post more details later along with my impressions; for now, I just want to get to the news out there.

Check out the trailer. There is no music or sound effects, but the sound of the audience’s reaction says all that is needed.

Yukio Futatsugi to Present Crimson Dragon at E3?

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Yukio Futatsugi posted a tweet earlier today from Tokyo, containing a link to a photo he took at Haneda Airport. A Google translation of Futatsugi’s tweet reveals the following:

It just so happens that E3 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center this year, from the 11th of June until the 13th. The timing of Futatsugi’s tweet fits very well with an intention to arrive at E3 on time. Although all we can do is spectulate, this also fits nicely with the claim Microsoft made that they will show some of the 15 exclusive Xbox One games at E3. If indeed Futatsugi is going to E3, and if Crimson Dragon is now an Xbox One title, I think it’s likely that we’ll be seeing him present the long awaited spiritual sucessor to the Panzer Dragoon series at E3.

F4F Polls Sega Community About Character Statues

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Published by Draikin in News

First 4 Figures recently released a statue of Ryo from Shenmue, and because it was very well received they posted a poll on their forums where people can vote for other Sega characters they’d like to see a statue for.

The NiGHTS and Shenmue community have already been busy spreading the word and voting for characters from their respective franchises. At the moment there’s no Panzer Dragoon character on the list but they’re open to hearing other suggestions. I created a post saying I’d like to see an Azel statue, given how (to the best of my knowledge) there’s never been an officially licensed Azel statue. If you’re interested in seeing a statue for Azel (or another Panzer Dragoon or Sega character), consider signing up on the forums and letting them know.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on Intel Ultrabook

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which features a Panzer Dragoon themed track, is coming to Intel Ultrabooks. Check out the trailer:

Video Details for "Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Ultrabook Gameplay Trailer"

There is a blog post on Sega’s website detailing the Ultrabook features. The game is being enhanced to work with multiple input types, including touch:

Ultrabook devices bring a new level of flexibility and interaction to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. In regular laptop configuration, players can go head-to-head with up to four controllers for chaotic split-screen racing, while a convertible device allows for play in tablet setup, making full use of both touch and tilt interfaces. Players will find a game that has been carefully optimized for play in either configuration.

No release date has been revealed for the Ultrabook version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. It is also unclear if the Ultrabook features will be available as a free update for those who have already purchased the game on Steam.

Eurogamer Interview With Yukio Futatsugi

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Published by Draikin in News

Eurogamer posted a new interview with Yukio Futatsugi where they discuss his career in the games industry. Among other things, he mentions the difficulty they had in creating Panzer Dragoon Saga and the various companies he worked at after leaving Sega. Crimson Dragon is of course also mentioned, although Futatsugi would only say that the game is still scheduled for release when asked about the delay. The article is definitely worth a read for Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon fans.

EA Buys the Panzer Dragoon Franchise

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Published by Solo Wing in News

EA announced today that it has acquired the Panzer Dragoon license. “Sega hasn’t made a Panzer Dragoon game in over ten years. They sold the license to us for next to nothing”, an EA spokesperson said. “Copies of Panzer Dragoon Saga on eBay cost more than we paid for this.”

With the acquisition, EA announced their plans for a new title in the Panzer Dragoon series. Titled simply Panzer Dragoon, the game will be a reboot of the series. EA plans to recreate the series as it always should have been. “Although Panzer Dragoon was traditionally a solitary experience, a boy and his dragon exploring a desolate world, we felt this scenario didn’t take advantage of the amazing range of social features available on the Origin platform,” EA told us. Panzer Dragoon will feature in-game alerts notifying you of your friends’ pattergo kill count and popups every time they pet their dragons. Panzer Dragoon will require a constant Internet connection to support these groundbreaking new features.

Panzer Dragoon will also finally provide answers to some of the long running mysteries of the Panzer Dragoon universe. “Nothing should be left to the player’s imagination”, EA told us. “So we’re finally going to give players the opportunity to learn the answers to mysteries such as how the Ancient Age came to an end”. Answers to these mysteries will be available through in game transactions and downloadable content. “You’ll be able to remove the mysterious Sky Rider’s helmet for just $4.99”, EA revealed. “We think these expandable story elements will really add to the immersion of the Panzer Dragoon experience.”

EA also didn’t rule out re-releasing older Panzer Dragoon games, such as the critically acclaimed Panzer Dragoon Saga, on Origin in episodic instalments rather than as one monolithic game. “If fans are willing to pay $200 for the game on eBay, we can save them money by offering individual areas as DLC. Imagine paying just $9.99 to travel through a worm tunnel under the Garil Desert. Amazing value!” EA also stated that if it re-releases Panzer Dragoon Saga it would improve the game by making it more accessible to modern gamers. “We would remove the cryptic Panzerese dialogue and replace it with English voice acting. The laser breathing dragons would confuse causal gamers too, so we would replace them with fire breathing dragons similar to those featured in our Dragon Age franchise.”

Panzer Dragoon Saga, Twelfth Most Requested Game on GOG

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Published by Solo Wing in News

A week ago, Panzer Dragoon Saga reached twelfth place on the GOG.com wishlist of the most voted games in that week. Although the game has since gone down in the list, this is a great sign that fans are interested in a re-release of Panzer Dragoon Saga. Together with our Panzer Dragoon Revival petition (which has reached the 750 signature mark), the evidence is there that fans really want to see this classic game return. I’ve uploaded a screenshot of the wishlist with Panzer Dragoon Saga at twelfth place to this website for posterity.

Vote for GOG Re-Releases of the Panzer Dragoon Games

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Published by Solo Wing in News

As our Panzer Dragoon Revival petition nears its conclusion, I thought it would be worth sharing another option which could lead to the Panzer Dragoon games being re-released. GOG.com, formerly known as Good Old Games before they started adding modern games to their catalogue, have done a fantastic job at bringing back older games to modern PCs and Macs. Many of the games in their catalogue were incompatible with modern versions of Windows (and OSX), but the developers at GOG.com have succeeded in making them playable again via bundled emulators. The result is a clean, DRM-free package which can be downloaded and installed on modern computers.

Although Sega has yet to release any of their games on GOG.com it is not out of the question that the Saturn Panzer Dragoon games could be emulated and re-released in this manner. To help GOG.com and publishers decide which games to re-release, the site contains a handy wishlist section which allows users to vote for individual games. Some of GOG’s users have already added Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Saga to the wishlist, and I’ve added an entry for Panzer Dragoon Zwei myself. You can vote for the Saturn Panzer Dragoon games by following these links:

A re-release of Panzer Dragoon is the most likely as a native Windows version already exists. Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Panzer Dragoon Saga re-releases are less likely, but maybe aren’t out of the question if a mature Saturn emulator is used. There’s also an entry for Panzer Dragoon Orta, however I think a re-release of Orta is much less likely due a lack of mature Xbox emulators.

Crimson Dragon is "Not Far Off"

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Eurogamer has posted some comments from Yukio Futatsugi, specifically relating to Crimson Dragon. Here’s what he had to say about the game’s release:

“Well, the game has been delayed and I know people are waiting for it, but it is definitely moving ahead,” Yukio Futatsugi told Eurogamer at last week’s Bitsummit meeting in Kyoto. “Microsoft will announce it when they’re ready.”

And how far is it away from completion? “I can’t say,” said Futatsugi. “But it’s really not far off.”

My guess is that Microsoft will announce an updated Crimson Dragon for Kinect 2 alongside the next Xbox at their event in April. This is of course speculation; officially the game is still announced for Xbox 360, although I think a 360 release is very unlikely now.

Futatsugi also confirmed that it was Microsoft who suggested he make a game similar to Panzer Dragoon for Kinect:

I gave them several proposals but Microsoft said, ‘No, how about a dragon game?’ Originally I had intended to make something totally different, but they said, ‘Something similar to Panzer Dragoon would be great.’

The full article is worth reading. He talks about how nostalgic it feels to be working with members of Team Andromeda again on another dragon game. He also addresses the concern that fans may not respond as well to Crimson Dragon as they did to the Panzer Dragoon games:

I’m working hard to make sure no one says, ‘The old one was better!’ But Panzer is Sega’s IP and this game will be different from that. The design concept of the dragons and the environments is very different. All I can really do is finish it. Anyway, games are made differently these days, so I hope people will see this as the sort of game Panzer Dragoon might have been if it had been made today.

While Panzer Dragoon may have been a Kinect game if it had been released today, I think the primary concern fans have is that Crimson Dragon won’t control as well. To many, being exclusive to Kinect is perceived as a step backwards. Let’s hope that if Crimson Dragon is released for Kinect 2 it will control better than the leaked demo, or that Grounding will include controller support.

The Guardian Reviews Crimson Dragon: Side Story

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Some slightly old news. Earlier this month The Guardian published a review of Crimson Dragon: Side Story. Here’s part of it:

The dragon is upgradeable as the game goes on, with new secondary and special attacks unlockable to help progress through the Story and Mission modes, but it’s the visuals that really impress. The gorgeous 3D backgrounds are beautiful, and make it a pleasure to look at. The occasionally awkward controls could do with tweaking, but it’s a solid effort from developers with an exciting background.

The screenshot is from the unreleased Xbox 360 game, Crimson Dragon, so the comment about the visuals being impressive is misleading, however it still stands in relation to Crimson Dragon: Side Story’s graphics.

Luminous Engine Showcase Parallels Panzer Dragoon

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Those who have been following the PlayStation 4’s unveiling may have come across Square Enix’s Luminous Engine tech demo.

Does the ending to the Luminous Engine showcase remind you of a certain other dragon riding series? I can’t help but be reminded of the way in which both Edge and Orta were whisked away from danger by the dragon of legend.

Panzer Dragoon Saga Turns Fifteen

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Published by Solo Wing in News

On January the 29th, 1998, fifteen years ago today, Panzer Dragoon Saga was released in Japan. Known as Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG in its country of origin, Panzer Dragoon Saga was released near the end of the Saturn’s lifespan when the system was spiralling towards its demise. Because of this, Panzer Dragoon Saga was overlooked by gamers, while the majority flocked to Final Fantasy VII and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on competing systems. Nevertheless, Panzer Dragoon Saga has received overwhelmingly high praise from the few who have experienced it.

Looking back, there still hasn’t been a game quite like Panzer Dragoon Saga. Even though Panzer Dragoon Saga’s graphics haven’t aged well, its art style remains incredibly distinctive all these years later. Its music ranks up there with any great film soundtrack. While the current generation of consoles has moved game story telling forward in some respects, most modern games fail to convey the maturity and conciseness of Team Andromeda’s masterpiece. And in a world where humans are rapidly depleting resources and changing the very climate we depend upon to survive, Panzer Dragoon Saga’s environmental message remains more relevant today than ever.

Panzer Dragoon Saga deserves to be played by more than just a small group of core gamers. We’re going to hold off sending our Panzer Dragoon Revival petition to Sega until the fifteenth anniversary of Panzer Dragoon Saga’s US release in April. In the meantime, I encourage those who haven’t done so yet to sign the petition and share the link around in the petition’s final months.

Golden Oldies Video Review of Panzer Dragoon Saga

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Aspiring games journalist Alex Lemcovich has published a video review of Panzer Dragoon Saga:

I especially liked how Alex explains how Panzer Dragoon Saga’s characters as set apart from those found in more stereotypical Japanese RPGs. For example:

It’s a story that sets out with the simple theme of vengeance, then that seed grows and begins to spread into ideas of fighting for a just cause, and what makes it special is how Edge’s character doesn’t react in the typical Japanese RPG hero kind of way. None of this soul-searching or plucky bravado bullshit; Edge is completely down-to-Earth about what his motives are and who he’s dealing with.

He also makes a good point about Craymen’s role as the antagonist:

Another break from convention is that Craymen never appears in a boss fight. Being the apparent main bad guy you would never have thought this was feasible for a JRPG, where periodic showdowns with the villain are central to the experience.

All in all the just short of fifteen minute review nicely summarises what makes the game so special, so it’s worth checking out even if you’ve already played through Panzer Dragoon Saga. I’d also like to thank Alex for mentioning The Will of the Ancients and promoting of our Panzer Dragoon Revival petition in the video.

Related Content Now Linked From the Encyclopaedia

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Published by Solo Wing in News

The Will of the Ancients contains a lot of content, but much of it is buried away. The revised layout that we launched last year made things more organised, however when browsing by category or media type it can be difficult to find content related to a certain character or place in the Panzer Dragoon world. To help make the site’s content more findable in this way I’ve implemented a new feature which shows related content at the bottom of each encyclopaedia entry.

The best way to explain how this new feature works is with examples. The Azel entry is a good one because there’s so much content related to Panzer Dragoon Saga’s definitive character. Some other examples include Orta, the Dragon, Shelcoof and the Technology Destruction Faction.

It’s quite likely that we haven’t linked every piece of relevant content to the appropriate encyclopaedia entries, so if you notice any further content that could be linked please let us know.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed PC 10% Off

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Published by Solo Wing in News

The Steam listing for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is currently showing 10% off the price if you pre-order before the release date of February 1st. Green Man Gaming and Gamersgate are also offering the discount, and both of these stores allow you to activate the game on Steam. Seems like a good deal for PC gamers wanting the experience Dragon Canyon, although no doubt there will be further sales in the future.

The listing on Steam has also been updated with the game’s system requirements.

Possible Dragon Canyon Meccano Set Coming

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Published by Solo Wing in News

The Sonic Stadium reports that several Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Meccano sets are on the way, one of which may well be based on the game’s Panzer Dragoon themed track, Dragon Canyon. The Sonic Stadium quotes the January 2013 issue of Toy World mag which mentions a canyon set:

The Sonic 3-in-1 Vehicle is from the new video game ‘Sonic and Sega All Star Racing Transformed’. The model features a pullback motor and stickers. A screwdriver and assembly instructions are included.

Meccano is adding two further Sonic play scenes, which can be combined with other sets. Sky Sanctuary and Canyon Playset recreates scenes from Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing. Each playset comes complete with buildable character figures and motorised vehicles.

Although the magazine says that the ‘Canyon Playset’ is from the first game in the series, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, as The Sonic Stadium points out, this is likely a mistake:

According to Toy World Magazine, Meccano is expanding the range of toys with some new additions. Sky Sanctuary is going to be added as a playset and another stage which is just labeled as ‘Canyon.’ The magazine claims that these stages will be based off ‘Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing,‘ but, considering Sky Sanctuary isn’t in the original ASR, it might be reasonable to assume that ‘canyon‘ refers to the Dragon Canyon from ASRT.

I agree. Also, since Dragon Canyon has been at the forefront of Sega’s marketing strategy for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, including being shown in several trailers and in the game’s opening sequence, it makes sense that Dragon Canyon would also be featured in other merchandise based on the game.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed PC Release Date

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Published by Solo Wing in News

The PC version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is now available for pre-purchase on Steam. The game will be released on the 1st of February, 2013, in approximately two weeks.

The system requirements for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed have not yet been revealed. Steam lists local co-op mode being available, which is a welcome sight considering that many PC games drop local multiplayer altogether. Although the listing doesn’t mention achievements, leaderboards, or full controller support, it seems likely that these features will be included too (or at least partial controller support). Steam sometimes neglects to mention features even after the game is released, for example in the Sonic Adventure 2 listing.

In any case, it’s great that PC gamers will finally be able to experience Dragon Canyon, the Panzer Dragoon themed track included in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

Further Details Relating to the Crimson Dragon Demo

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Recently, a demo of Crimson Dragon was mistakenly posted to Xbox Live Marketplace (see previous update). Some additional information has emerged regarding the nature of the demo and the game.

According to XBLAFans, the full game was listed as purchasable for 4,294,967,295 Microsoft Points. That’s a lot of points (US$53,687,091.19 worth!), and it was obviously a mistake. It is unclear whether the full game could have actually been downloaded if the user had paid 4,294,967,295 MSP. Presumably there weren’t any Crimson Dragon fans rich enough to try!

Yukio Futatsugi also reportedly told XBLAFans that the demo was a dedicated demo, rather than a limited version of the full Crimson Dragon game. (Edit: lifelower, who conversed with Futatsugi, believes this means the final game’s data wasn’t included/wouldn’t work even if we could unlock it). Futatsugi has been in contact with Microsoft over the accidental release of the demo.

XBLAFans also reports that the names of some downloadable content packs for Crimson Dragon also showed up on the Xbox marketplace:

Perhaps more interesting to XBLA gamers looking forward to the spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon Saga than a demo they can’t play was the appearance of a trio of previously unannounced Crimson Dragon DLC packs on the Marketplace. The Accelerator Pack, Boss Pack and Rare Pack accompanied the game demo on its brief tour of Xbox Live on Sunday, but, unsurprisingly, none of them were able to be downloaded. No details about the DLC have been divulged to date.

It is unclear whether these DLC packs will appear in the final game. I hope that any DLC actually adds real value to the game and isn’t merely a way to extract real world money out of players (as with Crimson Dragon: Side Story’s jewel pack system).

Crimson Dragon Demo Playthrough

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Published by Draikin in News

First of all, a happy new year to all the Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon fans out there! As luck may have it, we have some interesting news to share with you at this start of the new year. It appears the Crimson Dragon demo was mistakenly made available for a short amount of time on the Japanese XBLA (thanks, Lifelower, who was the first to notice and tweet it to her followers). Luckily, I had enough time to download and try the demo before it was taken down. The result of my playthrough of the demo can be seen here.

Video Details for "Crimson Dragon Demo Playthrough"

It seems to be the same demo that was shown at PAX East 2012 so there’s nothing really new to be seen, although this did give us the chance to actually to deliver much higher quality footage. It remains to be seen how much the latest version of the game actually differs from the one shown here. The demo seems to have been designed to accompany the full game, which was supposed to be released on June 13, 2012. The game was delayed shortly before release and we haven’t heard any details regarding the reasons for the delay or the state of the game since then. In the meanwhile, Crimson Dragon: Side Story was released on Windows Phone and Microsoft stated that Crimson Dragon is still in development and that it’s an important franchise to them.

We can only speculate as to what’s going on, but the most plausible theory is that the game has been moved to the rumoured Xbox 720 and Kinect 2.0. Indeed, it seems there’s not that much point in releasing the game on the current Kinect especially after the rather spectacular failure of Steel Battalion, a game which painfully illustrated that the Kinect’s controls are simply not precise enough to provide the complex controls that the game required. It could mean we got our hands on a demo of a game that may never actually be released on the Xbox 360, making it quite unique. Of course, this is all just speculation at this point.

Having played the demo, the game seems to have more potential than Child of Eden. Unlike Child of Eden, you have limited control over the dragon itself, although unlike the Panzer Dragoon games you have no control over the camera. The controls worked about as well as one would expect, the only thing I found somewhat troublesome was dodging some of the attacks when the camera and enemies were moving about. Given what I’ve played so far, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing and playing the final version of the game.