A little while ago I reviewed an Xbox Live Arcade game from Microsoft Studios and Crimson Affinity named Crimson Alliance.  While Crimson Alliance reviewed well, it fell short when compared to games such as Torchlight or even the older Diablo II within the same genre.  Fast forward to today and we see that Crimson Affinity and Microsoft have just released their first downloadable content for Crimson Alliance named The Vengeance Pack.  For only 240 Microsoft Points (that’s $3 people) you can play two extra stages and one extra challenge level.  In keeping true with Crimson Alliance’s affordability, a 240 MS pack it’s just a steal for what you get.

So, What Do You Get?

In The Vengeance Pack, you get two main levels of play and one challenge level.  The first level is named “Dead Among Us”.  It is, you guessed it, a zombie stage.  The second stage is named “Inferno” and is more of a hellish lava stage.  Both stages are created to be hard, harder then most of the normal game is.  The monsters are much harder to kill and are set up in combinations that make them very difficult to even reach in some cases.  From the very beginnings of “Dead Among Us” you will see the evil intentions of Crimson Affinity to make these stages much more of a challenge and worth your MS Points.  I lost track at how many times I was mauled when I was rushed by zombies from all sides.  While difficult, I never once felt that the challenge was cheap or impossible to overcome, I just had to be more wary of which enemies I encountered first.  Of course, recruiting some friends would have helped too.

You also receive a challenge map with The Vengeance Pack.  Aptly named “A Fistful of Coins”, this challenge stage allows you to fight wave after wave for coins.  Whatever coins you find after each wave, you can either keep or push on to the next stage.  If you are killed, you will loose all the coins that you have gathered in the challenge stage, so it is a “get rich or die trying” type of game play.  This is a great stage with a high risk, high reward ideal, the further you play the more money you get, but you could loose it all with just a simple, ill timed death.

But, Is It Worth It?

That’s the easiest question to answer.  If you loved, or even liked, playing Crimson Alliance, then The Vengeance Pack is an absolute must have.  For a measly 240 MS Points, you get 2 of the harder stages in the entire game and a great challenge level that will help fill your coffers with gold.  The game play of The Vengeance Pack, as well as the aesthetics, all fit perfectly well with the main game and are presented here unchanged.  With this pack, you get about two to three more hours of Crimson Alliance, which is hard to pass up.  The Vengeance Pack is available right now on the Xbox Marketplace.

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John "Judgeman" Dugan is a long time contributor and Gaming Shogun's resident fighting game expert. Judgeman has appeared on G4's Arena, including season 1's Tournament of Champions, and was a regular in the early days of Street Fighter 2 tournaments.