Initial release date: October 18, 2018
Nintendo Switch release: March 29, 2022
Writer: Naoki Hisaya
Developers: FuRyu, Gemdrops, Inc.
Publishers: FuRyu, Nippon Ichi Software, Spike Chunsoft
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Genres: Action game, Action role-playing game, Fighting game, Shooter game
"Review Copy Provided By NIS America"
When it comes to games being ported to the Nintendo Switch from PS4 (PS3 even) or PC; they generally don’t run too well or run with some drawbacks in comparison to other releases such as a lower framerate or lower graphical fidelity and the like due to the hardware of the Nintendo Switch being outdated. With Crystar being ported to the Nintendo Switch, FuRyu has shown us how possible it is to port a game to the Nintendo Switch without making any compromises and its pretty impressive especially with having such an interesting and original JRPG such as this on the go.
The story of Crystar centers around a young girl named Rei Hatada who is searching for her sister Mirai’s soul after both Rei and Mirai are both sent to Purgatory by the Revenant Princess. When souls enter Purgatory, they end up endlessly wandering until they reach what’s called the Cogs of Renewel the ends up reincarnating theme without their memories intact Souls unable to let go of who they are and relinquish their individuality then become monsters known as Revenants seeking to be revived. Two demons known as they managers of Purgatory decide to make a deal with Rei to collect crystallized tears known as an idea. Accepting this deal, Rei is Given access to a guardian and given powers to fight back against the Revenants by the two demon managers of Purgatory, Rei marches onwards with her band of friends to defeat the Revenant Princess and be able to give her sister Mirai a second chance at life.
If you’re a manga reader or fan of anime, then you will quickly see all the troupes and be able to pick up on where the plot predictably goes. It’s refreshing that the story doesn’t center around saving the world and is focused on the relationship of sisters and the bond they share.
When it comes to the gameplay, it starts off fairly simple yet opens itself to some serious complexities and depth as the game progresses. You have access to light heavy attacks that you can string into combos which may seem simple at first, but it definitely evolves into a fairly deep combat system. When you build up your tear gauge, you will be able to use a special ability to cry which will summon your Guardian. Character swapping is done on the fly between with each one having a very different playstyle from one another. Each of the girls have their own health gauges that can refill when they are not active.
Dungeon exploration lends itself to seeing a lot of graphical issues such as not everything in the environment rendering on top of other issues like texture pop-in. These issues occur due to the optimization method of getting this to run on the Switch and thus this method aids in reducing the stress of the load on the system by rendering things bit by bit instead of all at once. Graphically, the game is serviceable with a unique art style that allows the characters to pop with vibrancy even when the character models aren’t the most detailed.
Crystar is a game that offers a fairly emotional plot that's engaging even if it’s a bit predictable with some fairly easy combat that gets substantially deeper as the game progresses, and while the graphics are not the greatest and look a bit dated, it still has a unique flair to it that makes it stand out. If you’ve got a Nintendo Switch, then Crystar is a game you should definitely be picking up!