A Biased Review of Crystalis: Part I

Crystalis was the best RPG for the NES. Zelda sucked. Final Fantasy sucked. Then came Crystalis—a game so brilliant, so captivating, so devoid of pedophilia that it would surely take the gaming world by storm. Unfortunately, it came out so late in the life of the NES (1990) that it got lost amongst shitty games like Wall Street Kid.

I blame the crappy advertising:

Worst. Commercial. Ever.

If you’re going to make a cheap ad, at least make it memorable. Crystalis could’ve easily pulled off a Thriller-style monster dance ensemble with lame Japanese rapping:

Zelda sucked. It only managed to spawn a series of less crappy sequels because it was there, not because it was good. Take Link. Can you name a more boring protagonist of a video game franchise? I know what Ganon’s all about.

Even Zelda’s got some iota of a personality. Too bad Link has no charisma whatsoever. He’s just there.

Voice acting in the series has been deliberately limited as to not contradict players’ individual interpretations of the characterWikipedia

In other words, he’s specifically designed to be bland, not to mention androgynous.

As I was saying, Final Fantasy sucked. Nobody wants to run away to a magical hut every time a fallen character needs to be revived. That’s why they added Phoenix Downs to the later games. Too bad they didn’t get rid of random battles while they were at it.

Crystalis has an active battle system with visible enemies (except the “invisible” monsters, which suck so hard at being invisible that they cast a shadow). You get four swords:

  • Wind
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Thunder

Each sword allows you to shoot energy blasts, and unlike Zelda, you don’t need to be at full strength to do it. You also get eight, count ’em, eight spells:

  • Refresh (regain HP)
  • Telepathy (communicate with animals)
  • Teleport (travel to towns you’ve already visited)
  • Paralysis (paralyze townsfolk and lesser enemies)
  • Recover (remove status effects)
  • Barrier (the most Japanese spell ever)
  • Change (the second most Japanese spell ever, allows you to transform into one of four characters, including a woman so you can visit the lesbian village)
  • Flight (useless but cool)

My next posts will run through the game.

Warning #1: Be sure to play the NES version, not the pussified Gameboy version.

Warning #2: Many of the hints in the game are either transient or unreasonably obscure. There’s no shame in resorting to a strategy guide.

28 people love sucking up to me

  1. Link is badass no matter what you say, and in at least 3 games was voiced by the same guy as Madarame in Genshiken and Gai in GaoGaiGar. Now that’s win.

    I would be interested in this game if there was any way I’d ever play it ever.

  2. Man , i almost fell off my chair… Link keeps saying that ganondorf is still evil.

    Why you broke the review in “Parts” ?

    Can’t wait for Chrono Trigger’s Review.

  3. @digitalboy: So, can you name a more boring protagonist of a video game franchise?

    @Kairu: Yes, but I’ll need at least 5 dancers and a cheesy rap group.

    @Laguna: I can beat Crystalis quickly enough that I know it’ll only take 2-3 more posts. If these posts work out, Chrono Trigger could come down the line after I review Odin Sphere, which I’ll start as soon as I recover from blindness (I know Crystalis well enough that I can beat it with my eyes closed).

  4. i agree on most of this post… however, Ocarina of time was the tits… that pretty much was the best game ever… and FFVII was nasty, only FF game i actually liked

    however for the NES versions of Zelda and FF, they blew ass. Crystalis was much better

  5. You critique my review of Junchiro Tanazaki’s book “Quicksand” to the extent that I wasn’t unbiased enough, then you eat your words and come out with a BIASED review?

    Either you’re a hypocrite Baka-Raptor, or you conform to less standards of human scaled morality and reason than Dr. Manhattan. I’m hoping for the second option, because though they might be blue, Dr. Manhattan’s got big balls, the kind AC/DC would be proud of.

    Gee, now I have to come up with a biased review of a video game, I guess I could review Altered Beast…

  6. I’ve never even heard of this game…..I still haven’t finished the first Zelda game…I got to Ganon, but I have no clue how to beat him, nor do I care. I never really understood why everyone likes that game…….looks like it’s time to break out the old NES emulator and see what this game’s about.

  7. @Glo the Legend: If you like “retro” games, play final fantasy IV first on the SNES/ZSNES EMULATOR and then move to the “everyone’s preffered” FFVII on the Playstation.

    Both these games i highly recommend, as they have an awesome storyline/characters/battles/vehicles/politics/etc… for those who seeks “depth”/”emotional involving” when playing a game.

    FFIV and VII are reaaaaly that good, that’s why *almost* everyone likes them.

    The others FF’s are not as good as these two classics, but they’re still good.

    @Baka-Raptor: You haven’t learned enough yet, don’t you remember ? to cure blindness you can’t just use some sorta of eye drops/eye medicine etc… you need to use remedy, as its effect is more *efficient* to cure other *status effects* as well 😉 or did you just run out of MP ?

  8. @jpmeyer: Stick absolute value signs around that. Zelda may have had negative playability.

    @OBALLER: Ocarina is on my every-growing list of must-play games. I’ll take a crack at it when I’m done with the PS2.

    @Asperger’s: The problem with your “unbiased” review is that you didn’t follow the format. That’s all. It’s ok to write biased reviews, as long as you don’t call them unbiased.

    @Rakuen: Chrono Trigger is better. But Crystalis was good first.

    @Omisyth: Wouldn’t you rather transform into a woman and lez out in the village of the Amazons?

    @Glo: The FF’s are good-great games, but you don’t need the brand name to get something equally good-great.

    @Laguna: Normal remedies won’t work. I’m weak against Blind. Sleep too. I’m also weak against lightning damage.

    @Kyoin: Ain’t no Gio ’round these parts.

    @korosora: Excellent question. As you may have noticed, this review was totally unbiased. But would you have believed me if I’d said it was unbiased? Probably not. So I drew you in by saying it was biased. Thinking you’d get a comical review, you kept reading. Then all of a sudden it clicked. You realized how much sense it made. And now you’re off to play Crystalis.

  9. Crystalis, great game or greatest game?

    I had no idea you could paralyze townsfolk, I’ll have to try it at some point. I should probably man up, get the fourth sword and beat it at some point as well.

    Even though it’s heresy you haven’t played Ocarina of Time it’s pretty easy to get a hold of provided you own any of Nintendo’s last three consoles.

  10. Please, nothing has anything on Castlevania, although I’ve always preferred the ancient arcade version. And, yeah, I know that Castlevania isn’t technically an RPG, but I really don’t care, since RPG’s suck (except Pokemon) – I just wanna shoot shit, screw all the strategizing and finding hidden items and all that crapola.

  11. Commenting on this post either means I’ve played the game hence can’t help but suck u- err, agree with you OR I haven’t, so instead I’ll state another game of my own biased choice just to be an ass.

    I’ve never heard of Crystalis. Now Earthbound (http://starmen.net/mother2/) on the other hand…

  12. @issa-sa : Earthbound was one of the most awesome games i’ve ever played… it’s very funny, long , the way it was designed is just different from anygame in the entire rpg history and it’s story kick ass !

    The only thing that keeps it away from the top of my “best rpg list” is that it’s battle system sucks. It is one of the worst in the entire RPG history… it takes away all the magic created by the game itself , and it is VEEERY tedious. And you’re forced to keep fighting everytime, as if you avoid the most part of the enemies, you’ll have your ass kicked when you enconter a boss.

    I started to play it many times… but I only managed to finished it when i played it in the ZSNES emulator with cheats, to fight LESS and enjoy the story MORE.

    If only earthbound had final fantasy battle system and they didn’t messed so much with inconsistent enemy fights, it would be the best rpg in the world.

    But besides that… Earthbound is worth the try, it is worth to enjoy, and then you’ll loose your patient in the countless inconsistent enemy fights 😛

  13. @Glo the Legend: No, I didn’t know.

    @Shiro: Console? No, that’s what emulators are for.

    @Day: Typical American.

    @Rakuen: Make me.

    @issa-sa: Never played. Maybe I’ll cheat like Laguna.

  14. **SPOILER ALERT***

    “Flight (useless but cool)”

    How is it useless? You need it to get the Bow of the Sun, to get to Sahara, and to get into the pyramid. You can’t beat the game without it, so it’s definitely not useless.

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