Crystalis (NES) Retro Review

Crystalis (or God Slayer: Haruka Tenku no Sonata or God Slayer: Sonata of the Faraway Sky in Japan) is a 1990 Action RPG for the NES developed and published by SNK. The game follows a man who wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 100 years after a nuclear war with no memories of his past soon discovers he might be the key to saving the world. Can’t say the story sounds that good from the description.
Crystalis (U) [!]-0
The little story bit it goes straight into was quite nice and although these sorts of ‘cutscenes’ are heavily outdated they still have their own charm. Plus you can’t deny thats a pretty cool logo with a perfectly resting in the middle as a T. So was the short ‘cutscene’ afterwards.

Crystalis (U) [!]-1
Getting into the game the graphics and music was still quite good. The walking controls were very easy although the fact you immediately talked to anyone you walked up to was a bit weird. It was also a bit strange that the pause screen was only for viewing stats like your name, condition, attack etc while you had to press select to go to a very simplistic equip/items screen. However once you had done that you could leave and start fighting creatures straight away although you can’t attack diagonally. You can hold down the attack button and shoot a bullet like thing which easily makes up for it though. Sadly doesn’t stop me dying alot.

There was also a bit of grinding involved which i find ok although i acknowledge some don’t. Basically there was an item you needed in the store and while you could of bought it with the money given to you at the start i was already saving up for a shield after using it to buy armor.

Crystalis (U) [!]-2
Playing for a lot longer i felt that it did get harder quite fast, perhaps i should of stayed in each area more so it didn’t seem like so much of a jump. The reason why it seemed that way though is for 3 reasons. 1st reason is the area near the second town has parts of floor that hurt you. Secondly enemies can throw in all directions while you can’t and thirdly there are some enemies you can’t damage yet on top of that though luckily Zebu will stop you from going in some areas too early.

This didn’t really detract from my enjoyment though, simply meant i didn’t feel like playing it as long as i would’ve after being in the same area for a while. I did get further after playing longer but by that time i was too burned out to carry on.

Overall its quite a good game and while it obviously has a few problems i can easily see why people like it. I’d recommend it to people that like this sort of game. I may even play it again at some point and update this review, in fact i should probably compare it to the GBC remake that no one seems to like.

If you want to play this you either have to get a real copy you can search Ebay or if you are are ok with emulators you can get it for EmuParadise.


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