For those reading one of my Genesis review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:
I already reviewed a bunch of SNES games, so its natural that I am going to review the games of its prime competition. Does the SEGA Genesis stand a chance against the legendary SNES library?
My review series is based on the top 100 list of Retro Sanctuary
Originally, I post most of my stuff in a football forum"Goallegacy" which is the first online community I have ever joined. Which is the best place for a football fan (the REAL football, not handegg) to hang out in the internet.
Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the Gamesradar list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.
Without further ado, here is:
24: Crusader of Centy:
Genre: Action Adventure.
First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.
Crusader of Centy is probably a not very well-known Sega Genesis game. While originally published by Sega in Japan, then little know publisher Atlus was responsible for the North American version. Consequently, it didn't get as much exposure as it deserved.
While not exactly the Genesis's answer to A Link to the Past, CoC is a very solid game that manages to be a fun and unique lighthearted adventure. What it lacks in polish, it makes up for with charm.
"The Age of Darkness without Light ended, but the monsters did not completely disappear"
As it begin, CoC appears to have a straight forward story. Darkness came back to the world of light, and monsters are now back with a vengeance. Alas, a young lad must then adventure to rid the world of these evil monsters.
However, the game soon takes a strange turn. The hero loses the ability to communicate with other humans and gains the ability to talk to animals. This lends the game a different perspective, which then changes for a third and fourth time.
In the space of this surprisingly deep adventure, you are going to travel to heaven and hell, befriend god-like creatures, and go back to the past just to round things up.
Imagine the King of Saudi getting a report from every 14th birthday boy in the country
Meanwhile the story is told in a well-translated, and even occasionally funny script. Sure, we get the odd translation error, but more effort have went into this translation than all of the past Genesis RPG games I played combined.
It helps that the story itself lends itself to the witty writing. At one point, your hero suddenly changes into a slime, the well-known lowest rung in any RPG beastiary.
Charming Story: +4
Funny and Well Written Dialogue: +3
"Young man, take your Sword. Now is the time to fight"
There is more to the similarity between CoC and A Link to the Past than the top down perspective. With light puzzle solving, a somewhat expansive world, and similar style, CoC is clearly inspired by the Nintendo classic. However, its an obviously a more action oriented game.
Using his Sword to attack nearby enemies, or simply throwing it like boomerang, the hero has more offensive abilities than link. Naturally, this lends itself to the action-oriented gameplay. Tasked not only with advancing against enemies and "dusting" them, but also charging a throw that lays down the law from a distance.
With fast movement, and the vulnerable times where you are waiting for your sword to come back, you can imagine this to be the foundation of a fun and challenging combat system. While it is surely fun, it unfortunately lacks the challenge that could have made it more so.
That's quite a list of animal allies
Anyone looking for a difficult game will not find one here, as not only do the hero have enough health to survive the enemy's attacks, but the enemies themselves are neither varied or lethal in their attacks. Also, the hero simply has a lot of firepower.
Fortunately, even without the challenge, the fun gameplay means you will probably enjoy throwing your sword about even if its not encountering any resistance. A big part of that is the mobility you have, which includes fast running and the ability to jump. While enemies might not actually be a threat, they will at least force you to move around to avoid their attacks, maintaining the illusion of difficulty.
Fun Gameplay: +4
Fun to Move About: +2
"Humans will attack anyone just for being different...be careful"
Other than combat, there are dungeons and various locations to explore. Like Zelda, you are often locked out of certain places because you lack some item or ability. Unlike Zelda, you are almost always going to find the necessary skill as soon as you need it, eliminating the need to back track.
However, you are not going to be using items, but will solicit the help of some animal friends. You can "equip" two animals at a time, even getting unique combination effects if you choose the correct animals.
All animals, with the exception of three that you can hire, must be found to defeat the game. None of them is really hidden, but some will require a little more effort and.or exploration to find. The skills they give are somewhat varied, but are not really game changing, and some are actually limited to a rare use. Also, some bosses can be only defeated through the use of some combination effects, and figuring out which one to be used is simply a matter of trial and error.
Hey, who is that sitting over there?
Still, the skills that you gain add a sense of progression, and the fact that you are seeing your "items" follow you is an added bonus.
It has to be said though that the dungeons in CoC lacks polish. Levels are often large and empty, the map feels disjointed, and you feel that the fact you can run and jump was used to avoid having to properly design the stages.
Because of that, dungeons are actually very short. A lot of empty spaces can be easily traversed by running and jumping all over. Occasionally stopping to bust up a boulder in your way.
Thankfully, some stages have platforming and block puzzles to stop your progress, which are fun to figure out even if they are too easy.
Animal Buddy System: +4
Lacks Polish: -3
"The old lady won't come out of the fireplace, so I will eat you instead"
The fun and charm of CoC's story and gameplay wouldn't translate half well if not for its charming and fun graphics and good soundtrack.
Character sprites are charming, if not particularly distinctive. There isn't a lot of variety, and enemy design is lacking. However, with the bright, colorful, and varied world they inhabit, these limitations are diluted.
Bigger fangs to better eat you with
With a lot of variety in locations, as well as good background design and animations, the characters do not look half bad. It especially works when it tries to be charmingly creative. Like the boss battle where you are fighting the big bad wolf with the grandma hiding in the fireplace.
Musically, the composer overcame the limitations of the Genesis beautifully. The majority of tracks are fun to listen to, and all of them are a great backdrop to the gameplay.
I especially liked the boss battle music, which didn't bore me despite listening to it in nearly every boss.
Good Graphics: +3
Good Soundtrack: +3
Due to purely commercial reason, Crusader of Centy was probably a little known Genesis game. I say purely commercial because in a gameplay level, it is a very good action adventure game that should have had a decent folowing in its time.
While it doesn't nearly reach the height of A Link to Past or some of the Quintet games, it surely manages exceed expectations.
I got an arrow to the knee
1- Collect Golden Apples to increase your max health.
2- Some bosses will need special weapon combinations to even be damaged.
3- Make sure to hire the cat animal, which saves you if you die.
4- You ca save nearly anywhere from the start menu.
5- Once you have the Cheetah, you will probably never want to switch him off your party again.
6- Your dog can help uncover imposter (Hint).
Somehow, I knew coming in that I would like this game. What surprised me most was that it actually had a decent enough translation and dialogue for its time.
Next game, at #22 is Strider, a well known game in the action genre. I am not sure I can play this game without constantly thinking about our own Dtoider, StriderHoang.
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