“Story first and extras later, complete as you go, or a combination of both”
Wake up, become battle-ready, and be prepared for a fight! This is what Rai Reysend, our protagonist and mighty warrior, must do once again as the world gets plunged into disaster and destruction with no one knowing what’s happening. With mysterious and powerful cosmic barriers being formed by a meteor shower over numerous areas, denying access to anyone, it’s up to you to work out what is required to proceed and battle your way through anything that threatens your quest in Another Crusade. With companions able to join your team, the ability to gain experience to apply to your attributes, and purchasable gear to make you stronger – there is every reason to keep fighting and make all of the land safe again. Maybe uncover some truths along the way too? Another Crusade is a turn-based RPG which has been developed by Dragon Vein Studios and published by Limited Run Games where timing in combat is crucial. It looks like it’s time to delve into how I found the game.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
|Developer||Dragon Vein Studios|
|Publisher||Limited Run Games|
Striking my enemies with Rai and his thunder ability, causing significant damage to each one!
Things I liked!
- Timing mechanics | A gameplay element which becomes apparent incredibly early on which will mean everything when you are in the heat of combat is the ability to time your attacks and defences perfectly to cause extra damage and immune damage entirely. By pressing the correct button at the perfect time, this is possible in all combat scenarios meaning if you’re an absolute god, you could go through the entire game without taking damage but you have to be perfect – literally. When both attacking and defending, the game indicates how to improve if you don’t time your inputs at the right time. For example, when attacking you may have tapped the button but maybe a little prematurely, resulting in a great hit rather than a perfect one. When it comes to defending if you tap too slowly, you’ll be notified so you can improve on your future moves and fights. Get perfect and you can’t do any better. It’s a great mechanic and one that requires precision and concentration – one I’d love to see implemented into games more frequently.
- Dialogue and story | It’s always nice to have something that makes you smile and the dialogue in Another Crusade did just that; it had me giggling a few times too. It’s light-hearted and has great comedic value, making it fun to read through as opposed to feeling like a chore. It can also be warm and informative so I always paid attention whenever I spoke to any NPCs or entered any main quest line cutscenes. It effortlessly suits the fun style the title provides and isn’t too common, making it even more amusing when you get to experience the brilliantly silly lines some of the characters come out with. Just about the right amount to keep everyone happy as Larry. Well, Rai and others in this case. As for the story, it’s relatively straightforward to follow and has the heroic ‘save the world’ feeling as you save different regions from the monsters which threaten them, all while trying to solve the mysterious meteor shower which has just engulfed the world you reside in. It definitely raised many what, how, and who questions for me to wrestle with.
- Area design | On the way through Another Crusade, you will enter new areas of the map with stronger enemies and more resources the further you proceed. These were most definitely worth taking the time to explore, conquer, and grind when needed and do consist of different tiles and heights. Chests and crystals can be located although are usually well hidden and require you to search every corner of the tiles to find them all. Luckily, the map in the main hud tells you how many you’ve obtained from the total available and you can return to acquire them. Enemies are scattered through each zone and some will be tougher, plus more irritating, to fight than others. You could end up fighting one, three, or more but they can usually be avoided if you tread carefully enough or you can attempt to run if you don’t wish to engage in combat. It all depends on how the player wants to go about their journey – story first and extras later, complete as you go, or a combination of both. I found myself having fun looking everywhere, being careful not to miss anything of importance.
Progression into the Swamp area. Plenty of dangers ahead that I was not prepared for.
Neither good nor bad
- Simplistic visuals | My first impressions of the visuals were far from good. I didn’t get on with the quality, art style, or overall vibe it gave off. However, yet again, time is a wonderful thing and although the quality still hasn’t won me over, the art style did gradually start to grow on me with ideas of cuteness and childish puppet-like figures fighting to their strengths to conquer the evil that has spawned across the land. It’s extremely colourful and feels like I’m going through pages of a storybook, looking forward to whatever lies ahead. My other positive point was the animations which had great personality and presence, keeping me alert to how the enemies acted. However, with that said, I can’t ignore the quality of the graphics. Another Crusade has ounces of charm and sweetness but it’s not hugely appealing to look at. The textures and details of the environment were lifeless, failing to grab my attention for all the wrong reasons because of their low quality regardless of their colourful brightness. The enemies varied greatly in appearances as expected but also lacked in quality which did impact my enjoyment during combat segments.
- Mixed audio quality | Another case of liking one element but disliking others; the audio was far from the best feature in Another Crusade but let’s start with the good news. The soundtrack and music captured the game theme beautifully and changed depending on your situation/location to keep things interesting. The main map is incredibly peaceful allowing you to take in the calmness for a moment, the different areas all have varied music to enhance the theme within, and the combat always uses fast-paced music to highlight the intensity of battle. Sadly, the negative comes with the undesirable sound effects which just didn’t match the music quality. I found them relatively bland in comparison and do believe they could have been improved on to make the audio pop in every section of the gameplay.
- Character progression | Battling enemies does have its rewards of gold and experience after every successful fight. It’s worth mentioning, however, that if any companions aren’t alive at the end of the fight they won’t receive any experience. Gold can be used to purchase several things such as health potions, better gear, and elixirs which always find a way to bail you out so it was nice to stock up when possible. As you gain experience and level up characters, not all necessarily at the same time, you’ll be able to choose from a pre-selection of three stat/s to increase. Now, I anticipated having the ability to improve on my characters’ statistics but what I wasn’t best pleased with was being locked out of choosing for myself what I wanted to upgrade and instead being forced to pick from what the game provided. I’d rather be given points per level and given the choice of what stats I would like to invest them in.
- Lacklustre combat | Attack, heal, defend, and repeat! The combat was alright but when you’re doing almost the same sequence every time, it did become far too repetitive and quite boring to contend with. On the plus side, not only do you have the offensive and defensive timing mechanics but you also have special abilities which can be used if you have enough SP – almost like a combat currency which is recharged with each regular attack. These should be used wisely to make the most of whichever situation you find yourself in and can be a necessity when weighing up your victory and survival for any encounters you may face in the near future. Otherwise, it’s just making sure you keep up the damage while also sustaining your team enough so you can live to tell the tale.
A Hero to the people – just when they thought all hope was lost.
Things I disliked!
- Tough difficulty | Although I mentioned liking the timing mechanic which makes Another Crusade the game it has become, it’s also one of the main factors which has put me off playing due to how on-point you have to be or you risk taking massive damage. It’s a learning curve at the end of the day but one which can get a little annoying to master. I have also found that every time you progress into a new area or fight the next larger enemy/boss, you are always hugely under-levelled for the combat you must face and need to farm experience in order to stand even the faintest of chances at progressing forward. Plus, there’s little to no point going back to previous areas to level up as the experience and gold earned quickly became inadequate compared to what you need so you have to up your gameplay to get through some tough phases.
- Navigation and angles | While exploring and roaming the land, I did find myself having difficulties with the camera angle as it often hid enemies and points of interest such as crystals and chests a little too well for my liking. It also didn’t help when I was trying to avoid enemies and they’d pop out from behind a building unexpectedly. Yes, I’m talking about those sneaky-looking kangaroos bouncing towards me with their funky hammers! Also, there is no mini-map or fast travel to help you out when traversing different sections – only when moving between different named areas. Although far from essential to have included, it could have been helpful if these were added – fast travel, especially between save points, could have saved me lots of time faffing around with floating mushrooms and trees!
- Little to no replayability | Based on what I have played and the achievement list for Another Crusade, once you have completed the main story the only content you will have remaining is related to obtaining all items for your characters, destroying all the crystals, finding all the chests, and maxing the level of all characters. With no option of playing on different difficulties or changing in pathing of the main game, you should experience everything there is on offer in one playthrough which gives you no real reason to return to the game once all has been achieved. Thankfully, the game is longer than many will expect so there is still plenty of game time to be experienced but with one ending, that will be the end of the road for many.
How long did I play the game before publishing? Just under 8 hours
How long to beat the story? Approximately 25-30 Hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 0/12 – These all take many hours.
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 30-35 Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Turn-based RPGs and SMRPGs; Perhaps Costume Quest 2.
Another Crusade definitely has me divided on multiple factors within the game but in all honesty, it has swayed me more towards negative than positive but only slightly. Another Crusade had its fair share of enjoyable elements such as the timing mechanics and playful conversations but I wasn’t impressed with the hard difficulty or overall visuals and audio. Personally, this wasn’t the game for me but I’m sure I’ll return to it one day when I fancy something a little different to dive back into.
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!