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.

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