Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Demon's Crystals Review (XONE)

Demon’s Crystals is a twin-stick arcade shooter that doesn’t try to break the genre mould, but with a $5 price tag it doesn’t really have to. It delivers exactly what it set out to do – fun and fast paced shooting with decent presentation – and I couldn’t be happier with it. Either playing solo or in local co-op, Demon’s Crystals is solid and well worth the asking price for fans of the genre or anyone just looking to kill some time for a few hours. See our full Demon’s Crystals review for more.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Badland Games                       
  • Developer: Byte4Games, Starcruiser Studio
  • ESRB Rating: “T” for Teen
  • Genre: Twin-Stick Shooter
  • Pros: Fast and fun gameplay; simple and straightforward; decent presentation; local co-op
  • Cons: Maybe a bit too simple
  • MSRP: $5

Demon’s Crystals is a tale of hot demon chicks that all look like Morrigan from Darkstalkers but totally aren’t Morrigan from Darkstalkers that have to fight hordes of undead enemies like skeletons and zombies because of reasons. Or something? All I know is hot anime girls on the box art will at least get me to check something out and I’m glad I did with Demon’s Crystals.

The gameplay in Demon’s Crystals is typical twin-stick shooter fare. You move with the left stick and shoot with the right stick and that’s it. The only real depth or strategy comes from the weapon powerups that temporarily change your shot type that are scattered randomly around the levels. Everything else is extremely simple and straightforward and surprisingly fun. The twin-stick shooter genre has grown increasingly complex over the years, so a simple game that takes you back to the genre’s roots is kind of a breath of fresh air these days.

Each level in Demon’s Crystals is split into two or more waves that task you with one of two things – killing a set number of enemies, or collecting a set number of crystals scattered around the level. Occasionally there will be a boss fight where you just hammer a boss into submission, but for the most part the aforementioned goals just repeat over and over. I have to admit, the lack of variety, and shallowness of the gameplay (however much I do genuinely appreciate it for being simple), does start to get a little repetitive and you’ll wish the game had a little more meat to it.

Helping to alleviate the feelings of ennui that seep in over the course of Demon’s Crystals are the local multiplayer options that allow your friends to jump into the action with you. There are co-op modes where you fight through the hordes of undead together as well as some competitive multiplayer offerings that shake things up a bit and make things interesting again. At least for a while.

Presentation-wise, Demon’s Crystals is pretty decent all around. The visuals aren’t anything spectacular, but the game has an oldschool visual charm to match the classic gameplay feel, so I won’t really complain that it looks to be a gen or two behind the times. The graphics are clean and the brightly colored bullets that flood the screen make it easy to see what is going on. The sound is also solid with the arcade-ish sound effects you’d expect and a gothic soundtrack supporting the action.

All in all, Demon’s Crystals’ most important selling point is that it is perfectly priced at $5. The gameplay is fun, if a bit shallow, and the presentation won’t exactly wow you, but it offers a surprising amount of content both solo and in multiplayer that means you’re more than getting your $5 worth. If you’re looking for some quick and easy to pick up fun that won’t break the bank, Demon’s Crystals is easy to recommend. Buy it.
Disclosure: A review code was provided by the publisher.