Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Crystalis (NES Game)

Crystalis is a game I have often heard listed as underrated so often that it's now probably properly rated. I bought it because it was one of four NES games my wife owned as a kid (the others were M.U.L.E., Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt, and Dr. Mario. Do not challenge her to a game of Dr. Mario. She will destroy you).

Crystalis is an action RPG similar to The Legend of Zelda, but takes place on post-apocalyptic Earth (you know, the apocalypse that happened on October 1, 1997 (no, Crystalis has no affiliation with family radio). You'll battle your way through deserts, thickets, swamps, and mountains as you collect the four swords of the elements (Wind, Fire, Water, Thunder) and try to defeat the main bad guy.

Here's what's great about Crystalis: it zips by. Your character doesn't waste time in getting from one place to another. Also, you can purchase or collect warp boots and automatically zap from one place to another. Not only is your character fast, the townspeople speak quickly. There's no laborious waiting as they type out each letter of every word they say. You can purchase and pick up everything you need and get all the info you need in the first town in under 5 minutes. Now that's refreshing.

You'll also pick up a bunch of items, sword abilities, spells, and other things along the way. Each of them is fairly handy. Unfortunately, you do have to level up to get to some of the bosses or important events of the game. This will cause you to fight a whole lot more slimes than you would normally want to fight. On the plus side, you can save your game just about anywhere and at any time. That's a feature more NES games should have used.

Each area or cave is well-designed, and all your enemies are at the very least interesting. It doesn't take long to collect a few powers and sword skills, so the game feels like it moves at a pretty good clip. As the sort of guy who doesn't like to get bogged down in RPG's with endless turn-based battles, Crystalis is a great RPG for my personal taste.

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