I love old-school action platformers and I'm happy to say that Flynn: Son of Crimson is one great entry in the genre so let's get to it.
Flynn: Son of Crimson has you play as the titular Flynn who's on a journey to save his island of Rosantica after The Scourge unexpectedly begins to invade with many monsters coming along for the ride. Right off the bat, I was thoroughly impressed with its graphics and sound from its pixel-perfect environments and well-animated characters to its orchestral soundtrack and gratifying sound effects. It's one superbly-presented game and after exploring its towns and stages while meeting plenty of memorable NPCs, I'm sure you'll agree.
To play Flynn: Son of Crimson, you simply run and jump around levels while performing melee and ranged attacks. As you progress, you'll unlock additional weapons and spells such as an axe and claws as well as magic that can freeze enemies or break their shields away. Each stage is full of puzzles and enemies and the balance of carefully putting the pieces in place and fending off monsters is handled beautifully. Plus, there are plenty of branching paths, hidden treasures, and goodies waiting to be found if you keep a keen eye out for them.
Controlling Flynn is a treat as his moves are handled intuitively so whether you're swapping weapons and spells in the heat of battle to take advantage of enemy weaknesses, shimmying across overhead lines, swimming through maze-like caverns, pushing blocks into place, or searching for a key; you're bound to have a great time. You'll even get to ride Flynn's giant dog named Dex from time to time which is awesome because she can tear down certain walls and is immune to spikes. There's a lot to do and it's all satisfying stuff.
On your travels, you'll amass currency and discover treasures that you can trade with a friendly fellow for more gems. After doing so, you can unload your cash at a skill shop which features an upgrade tree that can extend your health and crimson meters as well as grant extra moves that can be executed with specific button presses. Speaking of which, Flynn can enter an overdrive mode referred to as Crimson Control whenever its gauge is full which makes him much more powerful. Plus, there's a clever healing system where gathering green orbs fills your healing slots which you can then utilize at any time. Obviously, expanding all of these aspects via upgrades is worthwhile.
Although I loved my time with Flynn: Son of Crimson, it does have its drawbacks. First, I found the campaign to be a bit too linear. Even though the levels have branching paths, the ones that don't lead to advancing the story merely go to something brief like a battle arena. I also didn't find much of a challenge throughout. Don't get me wrong; it's not an easy game but combat is simple as long as you roll to dodge with good timing and use a bit of strategy. In other words, I never felt like I was ever overcoming anything substantial. Finally, you can finish the whole game and unlock everything in a handful of hours and once you do, there's no reason to keep playing.
Flynn: Son of Crimson is one of the best 2D action platformers out there so if you love the genre as much as I do then I highly recommend giving it a go. From its gorgeous presentation to its tight controls and rewarding upgrades, it's one satisfying adventure.
- + Tight 2D action with a solid blend of combat, exploration, and puzzles
- + Excellent music, sound, and pixel graphics
- + Rewarding collectibles and upgrades
- - Doesn't take all that long to unlock everything then there isn't much replay value
- - Could use less linearity and more challenge