I wanna be the Crimson
I wanna be the Crimson takes place in a bizarre parallell universe filled with danger. As a player you take control over a redhaired boy possessed by inner demons on a journey to cleanse himself and find harmony.
Right at the start you find yourself standing above a clear pool of a liquid, in appearance oddly reminiscent of regular water but unusual in behavior in a small circular room. You don't know where you are, how you got here or where you are going but as the story unfolds many horrific truths will start revealing themselves.
With further exploration you will soon discover a path eventually leading to a peculiar little room housing eight uncanny looking grey objects which upon investigation will turn out to be (please mind the spoilers) quite complex contraptions warping the boy to distant places. A grand adventure begins here.
Having a central with these 8 apparatuses is a brilliant concept to create a sense of an open world with myriads of options and opportunities despite the actual areas being relatively linear by design. Each "level" has a unique setting and theme to it and not only are they inherently fascinating places to visit thanks to the artwork and layout, they are also manifestations of the redhaired boy's damaged consciousness and symbolize different parts of his psyche along with sporadically scattering various hints to prior events in the boy's life.
The platforming design in I wanna be the Crimson is on a level of its own. Each block, each spike, each tiny, tiny little obstacle is carefully considered and placed to create an immaculate experience. However, the game's creator goes even further taking an original approach to the I Wanna be the Guy legacy by adding a layer of traps so cleverly hidden they are often impossible to predict or even suspect. The game keeps you on edge, immersing you into a world where danger rests behind every subsequent corner. It is not only ingenious by itself but also made with such care and masterful precision that I at times find myself just leaning back; staring at my screen in awe of the intelligence at work.
Obviously it is always a difficult task reviewing music by itself as it is such a subjective matter but I must say that, to me, the song picks in I wanna be the Crimson are nothing short of perfection. Melodic pianostrings are mixed with rhytmic drums that definitely brings out the air-instrumentalist in all of us. It should be noted that I wanna be the Crimson has so-called "restarting music", something often scoffed at among the fangame community. The usual criticism doesn't apply here, however. Because the level design so heavily revolves around moving objects and having to time your movement to dodge aformentioned objects, being able to rely on music cues becomes an invaluable tool to assists you on your journey.
Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of I wanna be the Crimson is how cohesive it is. The various areas may be separated by invisible seams but the atmosphere is intact throughout and entering the game's final chapter taking place in the creator's twisted vision of hell is simply an out-of-this-world experience.
In traditional review format you often want to add a short segment where you mention the review subject's flaws before you move on to the conclusion. In this case there is none to discuss, I wanna be Crimson is simply a flawless piece of art in the word's most literal sense.
In the end I wanna be the Crimson will always be with me, partially through the countless times I have and will replay it but mostly thanks to the plot which fundamentally altered my perception of love, pride and life itself.
I really like the use of the moving spikes in this game, the stages have an interesting design and the visuals are mostly nice (Exception for the Water Stage, that one was horrible). The last boss is also really interesting, allowing you to use lots of different strategies in order to kill it. And those are the good things I have to say about this game.
The biggest issue with this game is the huge amount of generic traps. Flying spikes, one or two invisible blocks, and maybe one or two interesting-ish traps. Some traps actually have a purpose in the platforming, but most of them are just there to kill you once and waste your time. Classic.
Most secrets are hidden in terrible ways. Many of them are the standard fake block stuff, and most of the remaining ones are randomly placed triggers that open a path somewhere, forcing you to backtrack. Among the leftover secrets, one of them involves jumping into a random pit (One of those that usually kills you), and the other one is the only kinda decently placed secret (Although the stage where this secret is placed at shouldn't really have any secrets at all).
The secrets themselves are a mixed bag. Some are simple, interesting platforming stuff, and then some have either, annoying traps or backtracking. And some have both. The water secret (Where you have to do the same screen two times and a half in a row, the second time involving randomly placed generic traps and the last part involving an underwater double diamond) and the sky secret (An extremely lengthy platforming section with five screens and a couple cheap traps where you have to backtrack through the same five screens after getting the secret. Obviously, there's no Save other than the one at the beginning) are easily the worst ones.
It's nice that the screen flips when the gravity changes, but the stage that uses the gravity changers uses way too many of them, so the stage ends up being extremely headache-inducing.
Once you get all the secrets, you have to get through a sequence of platforming 'trials' (Mini-stages with one Save and one or two screens). More boring generic traps, but now the platforming is much harder, around the same difficulty as the secrets had, so each trap weighs a lot more, which makes them even more annoying. After a few 'trials', you reach the last stage, which isn't too bad, but is still mostly annoying when it involves traps.
And while the last boss is quite interesting, I can't say the same about the first one. Way too much HP, whether you hit it or not is up to your luck, and it follows the boring concept of slowly getting harder as the fight progresses, taking a long while to start getting challenging.
I kinda of liked some parts of this game, but for the most part, I just wanted to finish it as soon as possible. Wouldn't recommend.
I don't see what's so good about this game.
I like the sprite
Lots of needle mixed with bullcrap traps, (once I had about 9 or so in one save, and the pink keys secret is awful)
Seriously everyone, what's so good about this game?
My only complaint is the bat boss which requires some luck to beat it, but the rest of the game was wonderful. Highly recommended if you like classic fangames.