Review by 2001mark

Reviewed: 10/15/18

More NES third party greatness

- Love the storytelling aspect of Crystalis. Feels a bit ahead of its time for its genre, not being about sword carrying heroes & saving princesses. That angle really draws you in quickly because you want the newness of that to wash over.
- Terrific art design. The game has a different visual vibe to it, akin to its unique storytelling I'd say. I think maybe its colour palette just feels fresh & distinct from most anything else on NES, esp for the game's scope & presentation level. There aren't many screenshots of games I've more rarely played & still know exactly what it's sourced from like Crystalis.
- Haven't logged a ton of hours, yet perhaps most of all is the game's pacing. It feels different in a fast-forward speed way, like you move quite swiftly & concisely around the screen, yet it never feels like running either. I think that sped up aesthetic keeps me engaged more than slogging around, esp for a game without franchise lore to prop it up?
- I would add that Crystalis since it does look & feel ahead of its time, feels like a bridge in production value from NES to SNES, even though that wasn't intent. Zelda 3 seems to play as upbeat & responsive as Crystalis does.

- Maybe the biggest indirect downfall is lack of sequel (as far as I'm aware*). That's almost an automatic fail for gaming developers. Ppl who played it back in the day really liked it, & ppl who are discovering it years later, a lot of them seem onboard as well. Bizarre that it's such a one hit wonder because lack of ambition?
- Sometimes I do need to read walkthrough tips to move forward, perhaps more so than others in the genre. Maybe I've just not committed enough to figure more out, dunno.

My personal experience with Crystalis…
First of all, since I was a kid I guess I've pronounced it incorrectly Crystal-is instead of what I hear online Crystawl-us. Whatevsalad. This game was being name dropped by kids at my school during its heyday, not a sleeper in my neck of the woods. I wasn't quite in the RPG/Adventure genre mode as a kid, so I maybe only played/rented it once. I didn't get very far, yet was impressed enough that I could recognize its hype. Crystalis was a no brainer among the 30 titles I added to my NES Classic, I've yet to really dig in much.

Rating: 9

Product Release: Crystalis (US, 07/31/90)

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