Crystalis
Box Shot
Crystalis
Platform: NES
Publisher: SNK
Designer: SNK
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Published Date 1990
Reviewed by: Matt Hull

One thing that you must never do is avoid playing games for a company that you aren't familiar with. We all like Konami, Capcom, and Nintendo, but is that all? I mean look at American Sammy. They produced Vice: Project Doom (one of the best side scrollers ever!!) Now to the main subject of this review, Crystalis. I was hesistant to get this game because it was made by SNK. Thet weren't that good at making games, were they?

YES THEY WERE.

I can't think of any other SNK games that are good but this one takes the cake. Not only is it my favorite adventure/RPG game but it even tops Zelda!!

Crystalis is a standard adventure/RPG is that you must find items, fight enemies to gain experience, and achieve many different goals (like getting the windmill to start up to help the town at the beginning of the game). You control you movements and whether or not an enemy hit, instead of random number generators in games like Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior.

There is a plot, but it's not really too deep. There was an apocalypse where pretty much everyone died, and most everything else became mutants. Few survived. Your character has been thawed out from being in cryogenic sleep, as the prophecies have fortold. You must save the world from being rampaged by your typical bad guy, and find the sword Crystalis in order to defeat him. Additionally, there is one like yourself (a female named Mesia) whom you will meet at various points in the game. Most of the time you're just sent on little quests to kill a resident evil person or rescue something.

Anyway, I'll say flat out what REALLY makes Crystalis fun and exciting. The storyline makes you want to keep playing the game until you beat it. It isn't like the standard adventure/RPG. Most take some time to get involved but not this one. It's great from the beginning. I don't know if there are any other NES games (except for hard core RPG's) that have as many people to talk to as this one. Not only that, but depending on the situations, people will tell you different things depending on what events have occurred in the storyline.

The experience/fighting system is probably the best that I've seen for a game of this genre. The hero in Crystalis has excellent agility and control so it doesn't take forever to get from place to place. He also strikes his sword very quickly, and can even walk diagonally. Charging your sword to shoot out beams (depending on the level of the sword) is also quite fast. Some of the spells like Teleport make it REALLY easy to get where you want to go quickly. One of the neatest spells is the Change spell. You can transform into one of 4 characters and people will talk to you differently. You'll need to find out where to use each of these four characters to get either an item or to get a person to talk. There are LOTS of cool items that you can get like the Warrior's Ring and Deo's Pendant. The most valuable special item has to be the Magic Ring which fills up your magic points. There's even a set of boots that allow you to jump!

The graphics in Crystalis are clear, colorful, and not overly detailed yet detailed enough. They differ from place to place too and are just plain EXCELLENT. In adventure/RPG's the second most important element besides the storyline/layout of the game has to be the music. This adds to the feel of the story and if the music fits the storyline (like in Shyron) then you've got yourself one great game!! The music in Crystalis is fabulous because there are LOTS of themes that have variety and different feel. Not only that, but it's not annoying either!! You'll hear certain themes a long time while building up experience points, but they don't get annoying! The sound effects are also terrific (gotta love that sound with you hit the enemy!)

There are a total of five swords throughout the game, but the main four are Fire, Thunder, Water and Wind. Each sword damages different enemies, but some are resistant to certain swords. However, this can get annoying, as many times you much switch swords when fighting different enemies in the same area.

I've already mentioned control but it is easy and crisp but detailed enough to make for a BIG game. There are TONS of items to be had and utilizing them is so easy. To answer any questions about challenge, you'll find it in this game. DO NOT USE ANY MAGAZINES, FAQS, OR WALKTHROUGHS FOR THIS GAME! You will have a blast and a true adventure if you don't cheat. The final areas will prove to be very challenging yet fun and not too hard. It is SO awesome how SNK put this game together. It's so fun yet a challenge. That is an extremely hard task to accomplish.

Finally, Crystalis is very fun. You can save your game in two slots and play the game another time. You should get around 50 hours out of this game if you don't use walkthroughs or stuff like that. Believe me, I've only scratched the surface to this great game. If you can find it, GET IT!! One last note. The bosses and enemies on Crystalis are AWESOME, especially near the end.