I always have been, whether it's the writings on T.S. Eliot and Poe, films from The Cabinet of Dr Caligari through to Blade Runner, the music of Nick Cave, or games like I Am Setsuna and, now, Crystar. That Crystar manages to be so layered and nuanced with that theme makes it all the more impressive. FuRyu continues to be the publisher to watch for anyone who likes their games with a bit of genuine artistic credibility.
Crystar is one of those titles that makes it out of Japan and it is going to be a reference for the RPG titles to come. Fluid combat system, characters with their own fighting styles and complex plot are its strengths. Gemdrops Studios offers a title which is far from perfect, but it is able to impact the player like few games can.
Crystar pairs an original and compelling story with fairly average gameplay. The repetitive nature can become tedious, especially during the later parts, but the narrative concept is interesting enough to push the player to guiding Rei to the end of Purgatory. This is one of those games where the recommendation would have more to do with the level of personal interest in the story than anything else as that’s the most noteworthy feature in an otherwise good but unremarkable action RPG. The game taking place in Purgatory seems fitting since the enjoyment is a lot more pleasurable than Hell, but doesn’t quite reach the levels of joy that Heaven advertises.
Crystar ends up as a bit of a mixed bag. The interesting ideas, story elements, and audio are let down by generally mediocre gameplay, which is particularly exacerbated when its most repetitive portion is forced upon players for very little story benefit. There’s enough about it that many will find plenty to enjoy, particularly on the narrative side of things, but there may not be too many streams of joyful tears.
The story is the strongest part of the game and I absolutely love it but unfortunately, the same can't be said for the gameplay. I want to give it a higher rating but I'd be lying to myself because the difficulty is utterly laughable and the enemies are a complete joke and provide no challenge other than being mooks that you whack with a weapon to get stronger to whack stronger mooks and being spoiled by Kingdom Hearts 3 is also why I can't give it higher than a 7.
If you're in it for the story, there's a really good one but if for the gameplay, play Kingdom Hearts 3 or Devil May Cry 5 instead: all are Hack and Slash Titles like this one but miles better than this one.
THIS IS FOR ANYONE ENTICED BY THE USER SCORE! I bought the game and it is an uninspired mess! I have played several hours and literally every battle can be won by going close to the enemy and pressing square until the enemy dies. There is absolutely zero challenge in this game. You learn all sorts of moves that basically have zero utility and you get a persona like being that also is not necessary to win any of this game's easy battles. Having played as long as I have, I have encountered about 3-4 unique enemies. In essence, I have spent like 6-7 hours fighting the same 3-4 enemies ad nauseum. You get new characters but they play almost exactly like the main character does in the context of the game itself. All you do is run and attack things with any of the characters. THAT'S IT! Do not be fooled by the fact that it has a great user score. I am not sure what these people were thinking but some are suggesting the combat is not too easy. It is the easiest combat I have come across since every single battle can be won by running from enemy to enemy and pressing square until you win. This is made especially easy since there are about 3-4 enemy types and you quickly learn their patterns. Not that you need to because they do basically no damage to you. I have yet to use an item, I have yet to die, I have yet to feel challenged in any way, I have yet to buy anything from the in game merchant, I have not grinded at all and I can go through every level with zero threat. Not good, if we are being honest.
SummaryFor when I weep, then I am strong. Battle through Purgatory as Rei to help save her sister in this Action RPG. Switch freely between four playable characters, and uncover each one of their pasts to see the sorrows they have endured.