Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

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JaySevenZero
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Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.
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AndrewElmore
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Re: 586: Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Post by AndrewElmore »

There's something interesting about distinctly western flight-combat games as compared to something like Ace Combat. Crimson Skies (High Road to Revenge, at least--I've never played the PC original) feels more akin to something like Factor 5's Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games, at least in structure. Or indeed Lair. Or the oddly underrated Snoopy vs. the Red Baron, for that matter. It's a different version of the ace pilot fantasy, opting for an almost silver-age-comics aesthetic. What if you replaced the titular character of PORCO ROSSO with a swashbuckling Nathan Drake type? What if CASABLANCA had a weird, sort of diesel-punk-adjacent spinoff video game with fantastical aircraft and sky pirates? What if the floating dirigible really is the air travel of the future past? What if aeroplanes had brightly glowing health pickups? These are some of the oldest questions mankind has been asking since the dawn of recorded history, and only Fasa Studio was brave enough to posit an answer to all of them at once.

It's been some years since I've spent any meaningful time with Crimson Skies on the Xbox, but my memories are fond. Sure, I could go play it on my Series X right now and relive it honestly, but I love the version of the game that lives on in my memories, and I'd like to preserve that version. In my romanticized recollections, Crimson Skies isn't a flagship multiplayer title for Xbox Live, a service I was not able to access at the time due to our home router being on the other side of the house from where the Xbox lived in the days before wi-fi. Instead, it is purely a high-flying single player adventure, vast in its melodramatic scale. When I think of Crimson Skies, I think of the deafening roar of primitive propellers, keeping me in the sky by sheer force of raw horsepower over any kind of complex aerodynamic engineering. I think of the wind battering my crude sherpa-lined leather helmet and goggles, as the spent brass casings of my nose-mounted machineguns fly past my head into the water below. I think of the smell of diesel and motor oil trailing from pockmarked holes in the fuselage as I try to maneuver between steel trusses of a bridge to grab one of those aforementioned glowing health pickups to keep my plane in the air.

I'm sure that's not at all an accurate representation of the experience of playing Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, but I'm certain that it's how I'll choose to remember my time with it.
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ashman86
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Re: 586: Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Post by ashman86 »

Back in the days when the Official Xbox Magazine was my source for monthly game demos and previews, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Crimson Skies, which was a game that had flown (no apologies for the pun) under my radar until then. It was the rare demo I played over and over, often as a palate cleanser to whatever other game I was plaything through at the time. None of my friends ever showed any interest in it, but I spent plenty of time sharing my love of the demo with my friend Jose nonetheless.

A couple months later, it was Christmas time, and Jose actually gifted me a copy of the game. I was excited to dig into the full campaign, but I couldn't have played more than a few hours of it before it got back-burnered for one reason or another. Always meant to come back around to it, but I never did.

As I've written about on the official Cane and Rinse blog in my article about Morrowind (https://caneandrinse.com/the-real-reaso ... olls-game/), Jose died by suicide in 2020, and his unexpected passing has tinted much of the nostalgia I feel for those original Xbox games I enjoyed with him. Crimson Skies feels like an exceptionally special title to me as a result despite how little time I actually spent with it. Instead, I think fondly about how he allowed me to blather on about the demo and how he cared enough to surprise me with the game only a couple months later.

Maybe it's time high time I dig out that old copy and pick up where I left off.
Revampedv2

Re: 586: Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Post by Revampedv2 »

Seeing as this is my First time posting on a forum I can't wait to see others' responses in regards to this game.

Crimson Skyies was one of the first games my family had on the original Xbox. Seeing that I was about 7 when this game was released I thoroughly enjoyed the ease I had as a child battling it out in my bulldog against different factions through the several locations you visit. I fondly remember myself being an ace pilot, and even thinking foolishly that " hah I can take my big brother and his friends on in multi-player." Little did I know that this was very similar to my experiences with them on halo.... regardless of the outcome, I have nothing but great things to say about Crimson skies. The variation in planes and the fact that each has something special to bring is impressive. Sure, graphics aren't great by today's comparison, but it truly felt like they focused on the things that we'd notice: planes and water. The effect the water had when you fly low was something that still gives me a " heh, that's pretty good" feeling as I play. Overall, I think Crimson skies did what they set out to do, create an arcade flyer with some memorable features and a decent campaign. Just recently finished a playthrough of the game, and still have to say I remember it as fondly as I did as a child.
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