Review by MinisterofSillyWalks

Reviewed: 02/28/06

One of the best NES games

Crystalis is a truly amazing game, and I was surprised at how good it was when I played it. It is a simple, fun action-RPG with lots of powerful equipment to use.

Story 9/10

The story is nowhere near the complexity of modern RPG storylines, but for its time it was very well done. You play a character who was sealed up for 100 years after the end of the known world, and you must save the world from an evil empire. It's nothing that we haven't seen before, but that's fine. This storyline style has worked in dozens of RPGs over the years, and it works in Crystalis.

Gameplay 10/10

This is where the game is its best. It's very simple: you control a warrior who can wield four different elemental swords (there's actually a fifth one, but you get it at the last minute). These swords have different charge attacks, which are used if you hold the B button. There are three levels of charging each sword. Level 1 charges are much like the ones in Zelda when your hearts are full. Level 2 charges are more powerful and produce different effects based on which sword you're using. For instance, the wind sword's level 2 charge can destroy rock walls. The fire sword's level 2 attack melts ice, and the water sword's can freeze rivers.

There are also a variety of magic spells, ranging from healing to status recovery (yes, they had status effects in an action-RPG then!) to the ability to shift you appearance to look like someone else.

On top of all that, there are a variety of armor, shields and accessories. Rabbit Boots allow you to jump. The Warrior Ring allows you to use level 1 charge attacks without holding the B button. There are many other useful accessories like these.

Another thing this game has that a lot of NES RPGs lack is sidequests. You can get some powerful stuff going through optional caverns and dungeons later in the game.

Controls 10/10

These are simple: B is to attack, A is to jump or cast spells if you have one selected, Select goes to your inventory and Start shows your status. Movement of the character is very smooth, and you can move in eight directions, which is unusual for a game of this era.

Sound 9.5/10

This is your typical 8-bit sound. The overworld map theme is very upbeat, keeping your interest as you travel from town to town. The NES wasn't very advanced in terms of sound capability, but Crystalis takes advantage of what's available very well.

Graphics 10/10

The graphics are very good for an NES game. This is arguably the best looking RPG for the NES if you ask me.

Overall: 10/10

This is one of the best NES games ever made, and it's a shame more people don't know about it. It's a lot of fun, but it also provides some challenge. It's definitely worth playing if you enjoy RPGs.

Buy or rent:

Of course, buy! You can't rent it anymore anyway, it's 2006. This game is available on both NES and Game Boy Color, but the NES version is better from what I hear. Head to your local Game Crazy, GameXChange or Game Rush and buy a copy. It shouldn't be over $10 or so. Of course, make sure you have an NES first.

Rating: 10

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