In the past, Koei has always been known for its historically themed action and strategy games, such as the DYNASTY TACTICS, KESSEN and DYNASTY WARRIORS series. But, at the end of 2002, the company took most gamers by surprise by releasing a sci-fi based action/RPG for the Xbox. The game, CRIMSON SEA, was fast paced, much like the DYNASTY WARRIORS games, but much more in depth and met with some acclaim. So, with success spawns sequels, but this time the sequel is on the Playstation 2.
Of course, playing the first game would be recommended (just because it's a really fun game), it really doesn't have much of an impact on the second game. Sure, CRIMSON SEA 2 does follow the same basic storyline, but the storyline in both games isn't very deep, and there is enough background information throughout the game that you can easily find out what happened in the first game. The storyline is something along the normal "alien invasion that the main character must stop" science-fiction lot.
There are dozens of levels to fight through in CRIMSON SEA 2, but unfortunately, most of them are relatively the same. At the beginning of each mission, you'll teleport in and run through the level, blowing away anything that gets in your way. Each level consists of hallways, tunnels or just open spaces that are resemble one another. Luckily, each mission has a few twists and turns throughout it so the gameplay won't get that repetitive. Sometimes you'll need to kill everything in a level, while other times will require you to reach a certain point in a pre-set amount of time. CRIMSON SEA 2 also has some nice RPG elements, such as the "origins", power-ups you collect throughout the game that will bolster the power of your weaponry.
CRIMSON SEA 2 really is a fast-paced action game. Whether you're using your sword or gun, or just alternating both, this is your typical hack and slash style combat system. You'll be able to use certain combos as well (you'll soon even be able to knock your enemies into the air using your sword and picking them off with your guns). Luckily, the graphics engine looks very well and can keep up the quick-paced combat. The framerate runs very smoothly even when a lot of enemies are on-screen, although this is probably due to the fact that the backgrounds aren't very detailed. Sho and Feanay both look nice, except for a few "jerky" motions such as jumping.
If you're looking for a good action RPG game that you can just jump into and blow some stuff apart, it's a pretty good bet that CRIMSON SEA 2 will fill your needs.