Video Game Review: Crystalis (NES)

If I’m being honest, I didn’t really get into this game as a kid. I had a neighbor that played the shit out of it and I’d watch him but I didn’t know the story or what the objective was.

In the years since this has come out, I’ve heard it described as one of the top action RPGs for the original Nintendo. I’ve heard it compared to both of the original NES Zelda games. So being that those two games were two of my favorites of all-time, I figured that a playthrough of Crystalis was decades overdue.

Plus, I was in the right headspace for this now, as I just played all four Dragon Warrior games and the first Final Fantasy.

So now that I’ve played and conquered this game, I have to say that it is one of the best NES games ever made and it’s the best action RPG after the two Zelda games.

It was a hell of a lot of fun and even though you’ve got to grind for some experience points, here and there, you do level up fast enough that it’s not a total chore.

I love the level design and frankly, the geographical layout of the whole game.

In fact, everything is near perfect other than two gripes I have.

The first is the multiple swords. It’s cool that the game plays off of the four elements but different enemies have different weaknesses and it’s tedious to go into the menus to switch swords and have to sometimes go through all four of them to figure out which ones work on which monsters. Dungeons where different monsters have different weaknesses is pretty tiresome.

The second is that the game won’t even let you damage monsters unless you are at the level to do so. Usually, bosses are at a level higher than the monsters in their own dungeon. So being at a certain level and working your way through a dungeon just to find out that you aren’t leveled high enough to even damage the boss is pretty infuriating. Because then you have to leave the dungeon, go somewhere and grind up to the next level and then go back and work your way through it a second time. This happened to me in just about every dungeon until I just decided to spend a couple hours completely maxing out my character.

Still, despite those hangups, this is a damn solid game and one of the best of its time.

Rating: 9.25/10
Pairs well with: The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.