In CRYSTAR, Rei and her sister Mirai are dragged into the Purgatory with no explanation as to why. Once there, they become a butterfly without memory and form. Once they have regained their form, the pair set off home only to be attacked by a huge monster. Rei wants to protect her sister and unlocks her hidden power.
While fighting, Rei’s powers are unleashed, Rai cannot control her powers, and she accidentally kills Mirai, thinking she is a monster. Rei now distraught at what she has done, cries and two demons seize their chance to control Rei and get her to do their bidding.
While making her way down, Purgatory Rei comes across a band of other souls who want to help her and find their own way out. Together, they set off to find Rai’s sister and ultimately discover what is happening and why in Purgatory.
The story is an emotionally charged one that handles grief, loss, depression, suicide and more.The story is handled well and on some level, I can relate to Rei.
CRYSTAR is such a straightforward game to pick up and play, making it accessible to most players. There are a few mechanics that could seem daunting, but they are simple once used.
The game’s flow generally goes; Rei’s room, phone call, upgrade etc., pick an Order, fight though the level beat boss, some story cutscene, repeat. This keeps gameplay and storytelling flowing at a gentle, natural pace. With so much story and background to cover, the flow stops the feeling of being bogged down with the story.
To get in to the action Rei must choose an Order. Orders are split into five levels. Rei gets these orders from two of the Protectors of Purgatory. For Rei to save her sister, these two demons have made her their Executor, she is tasked to hunt down and kill Revenants.
The Revenants are human souls who have started to devour other human souls and have changed to something evil and are not wanted in Purgatory. With each of the boss Revenant, Rei destroys she gets one step closer to her sister.
While in Purgatory, Rei has to defeat each Revenant she meets, to grow stronger by gathering EXP to level up. Also, Rei will gain torments. These are the death cries of stronger revenants she defeats. These slowly eat away at her.
The battle system in CRYSTAR is simple; there are light and strong attacks, jump, dodge and special attacks. Stringing together combos of up to three attacks with either light and strong attacks or a mixture of both. Special attacks are unlocked at specific level ups. Rei and her companions have access to their powerful Guardians. They are activated by filling up the teardrop bar on the HUD. Each attack that lands will add a tear to the bar. Once full, it is possible to summon the Guardian. Doing so will increase the speed, health and attack of the Executors and allowing of a powerful final attack.
Once the Order is complete, it is Back to Rei’s room where we can now make the Executors stronger. We need some Catharsis for this. Catharsis is where Rei cries for the torments she has inside of her, that create Sentiments. Sentiments are items to make herself and the other stronger. It is possible to fuse two of the same Sentiments together to create a stronger version of it. As well as modify these are random stat boost of bonus.
I did not come across any major issues with CRYSTAR on the Switch. With the only criticism being that the levels are too linear.
Overall, CRYSTAR is an easy pickup and play ARPG, with a fascinating story. There is a diverse character roster to meet, each with their own backstory as you try to save your sister’s soul.
I would definitely recommend CRYSTAR for any ARPG fan. The story and character building is excellent with enough action to satisfy most players.