Switch version tested
Review code provided
Many great video games are sealed behind the gate of a different platform, maybe even an arcade cabinet. Crimzon Clover was once one of those games but no more. Crimzon Clover is now available on Nintendo Switch and the shmup community has gone mad. Everywhere I look on Twitter, Youtube, or Google, people are loving this game. It breathed new life into the players that have never played it before, and has even brought console gamers together with those that have played a previously released PC version. Developed by Yotsubane and published by Degica Games, let’s get in the pilot seat for Crimzon Clover.
This vertical shmup is an arcade port and that arcade feeling is felt immediately when the game begins. With every enemy explosion comes a slew of stars that auto collect. I made a video showcasing my first impressions then popped my system into the flip grip for a deeper dive into the game, exploring the multiple game modes, ships, and difficulties. It has awesome tunes, good controls, fast gameplay, and I’ve been enjoying my time with it.
Modes of play include Novice, Arcade, and Arrange. The Novice mode is a great place to start for all and serves as the version I would recommend everyone start regardless of skill. It helps the player learn mechanics, improve, and understand the game. I’ve nearly beaten the game without using any lives but lost one on the final boss. Arrange is an oddball mode that has various settings and to me translates to a Gradius type upgrade system For that mode Unlimited is very interesting as the player can shoot oncoming bullets with their own shots. All of these modes cover the same levels and bosses but in different ways and have a short tutorial prior to play.
Players choose one of three ships to fit their playing style and work towards unlocking a fourth. Each ship has a choice of a different paint job and at first that just seems like a cosmetic thing but it will help keep the ship visible for whatever the pilot prefers. Speed and attack width vary with each option and I found type-II to be my favourite. It has a trailing shot that can be locked into place when opting for the secondary weapon, which slows down the speed of movement and fires missiles to targets when released. Shots are satisfying and it feels good to let off missiles while peppering foes while the gauge builds.
Movement also varies based on the ship and holding down B for the missile should be used often to steer through waves of bullets. I felt the slow down here could have been more drastic for a more controlled feel while in severe situations. Danmaku Unlimited 3 comes to mind when thinking of slower movements in bullet storms but I could just need more time with the game to improve. I have a few friends on Twitter already showcasing their 1cc scores and plan to join them soon enough. Type-III ship is likely geared towards the professionals as that ship moves QUICK.
Back to the visuals, I love the emerging ship at the beginning of each run that lets out our ship. I recall the moment of wonder the first time playing it and being impressed by the look of the waves. This game was a lot to take in on my first run. There is so much going on from the quick incoming swarms of enemies to the nonstop explosions with hectic music in the background. I get a Psikyo vibe from the level designs and tanks rolling around. Baddies can take many forms but one in particular looks like a spliff blimp that opens to reveal its guns and the time it takes to open fire will depend on which difficulty is being played. Turrets, ships, and tanks are the easy ones to talk about but the more fantastic looking multi-prong laser-shooting flying objects are a wonder in the sky.
Cue the ’80s tunes and fire-ridden mountain ranges as Crimzon Clover displays its variety. Taking a step away from the city and sea with it’s epic electronic music to a more nature-friendly area. Level one ends with a massive red tank boss but the level has much more in store. Get ready to increase the difficulty as this level has a mid-boss that leads immediately into a firefight, this caught me off guard a couple of times. Defeat this enemy that omits these beautiful waves of magenta bullets and the baddies are now bomb tossing trains. WARNING is given and daunting music begins as the boss enters the area. The game will only increase in intensity from here on out. The six-legged robot boss emerges and a smart pilot would have missiles targeting it! A slew of purple orbs fills the area as the boss climbs towards the player’s ship. Enemies throughout the stages have a certain look to their shots but the beauty is really shown in boss fights. Swelling waves of pink bullets are thrown, purple orbs moving left to right, stars bursting and return to the player’s ship. Hectic, arcade, action.
Replayability is high and the gameplay is only enhanced with the use of the flip grip, which I highly recommend. This is a great game that I would mostly recommend to shmup enthusiasts but maybe not a newbie to the genre, as it’s pretty intense. Crank the music and immerse yourself in this intense shmup as Two Beard Gaming and the shmup community welcomes Crimzon Clover to the Nintendo Switch with open arms.
TBG Score: 8.5/10
Platform: PC, Nintendo
Release Date: 29/10/2020
No. of Players: 1-2
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop