Old RPG Review #8: Crusader of Centy

NuMetalManiak
Imagine playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, as if Sega made it instead of Nintendo. Well, that's what Crusader of Centy is essentially. This is an action RPG developed for the Sega Genesis by Nextech and has not gained a lot of popularity, mainly due to it being a Zelda clone. But I personally didn't find it to be too bad.

Gameplay: If you know how action RPGs work, or if you know how 2D Zelda games work, then this is the same thing. Your main character (default name Corona) has a sword and shield to battle enemies with. In this game though, when you charge your sword, you also throw it. And it comes back to you just like a boomerang. Pretty weird. The sword can hit switches when thrown, which do so many weird things, either helpful or hurtful. Of course, there's default sword swiping as well, but it's kinda slow for my taste. Several collectible items can be grabbed including money bags for purchasing things and apples of life which increase your max HP. Corona's HP is determined by the amount of apples in the upper left corner, and he takes damage from enemies in a similar manner to Link.

Now, enemies in Crusader of Centy are quite scarce. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because one, the enemies are actually quite predictable in this game, and two, there's more puzzles to solve in the game. Actually, that's the bad thing about it, as with the puzzles come some of the devious traps, like spikes suddenly springing under me or falling into a void. The Place of Peace in particular is filled with traps, while the enemies are incredibly scarce. Killing every enemy isn't a necessity, unless I was short on cash. Bosses on the other hand are required, and many of them are quite unique in how they are fought, like the Shuffler boss dissipates into several pieces. If you hit the right one, he takes damage, otherwise you take damage. The last few bosses also touch some very weird senses if you ask me.

Other mechanics of Crusader of Centy's gameplay are jumping and using animals. Unlike Link, Corona communicates with special animals which each has different characteristics, ultimately helping the 14-year old kid go through the game. He can have up to two behind him helping his every step of the way. Even moreso, I found out that with the right two animals you can get a decent combination of sword attacks, speed, etc. As for jumping, it's pretty odd, but obviously required for many sections. Not too frustrating, unless doing long jumping.

Over the course of the game I found the game to be pretty short. It starts easy, gets hard around the midpoint, and then starts to wind down a bit. The game has a training course of sorts, where you can go through three separate obstacle courses and learn things. Not really shabby but kinda unnecessary. The hardest point for me was the Place of Peace, which tested my jumping skills. Not only that, but the boss there was the hardest one in the game in my opinion. After that was done, I apparently revisit past versions of places I've been. It wasn't hard mainly since I knew the layout of the areas, and the bosses were substantially easier. The last six bosses are fought almost back-to-back, but aren't hard to beat at all, and I felt disappointed a bit by the finale.

Gameplay grade: B-
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Plot: Not much is actually expected of the plot to this surprisingly short game. In Soleil Town, which is Corona's hometown, he turns 14 and his mom and friends celebrate. Apparently the law in that town is that 14-year old boys must wield a sword and shield, so he ends up wielding them. He explores places, then he goes to some fortune teller in town to speak to animals. This winds up in him being unable to speak to humans however. At least his dog understands him, and joins Corona on a journey. As they go, other animals join them. Not much to say at that point really (your character strangely becomes a slime at one point though). At the Place of Peace, after defeating the boss, you regain the ability to communicate with humans. Afterwards, you journey through places you have been through, but in the past. Not much to learn from the plot, other than gaining new companions or items. By the end, you encounter monsters, and you find out that they are not as bad as humans and animals make them out to be. So yeah, not much in plot. Grade: C-

Although Sonic the Hedgehog makes a rather useless cameo in this game.
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Music: Quite happy-go-lucky, much like any of Sega's games. The title screen however has a much creepier tone. Overall, I'm not too intrigued by the music selection, but it's there and it works out nicely. Grade: C
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Overall grade: C

It certainly has it's share, but ends up being similar to A Link to the Past in many ways. There isn't much in plot and the game is rather short, so there's not much to learn unlike other RPGs. The animals are basically Corona's inventory in this game, and it was a different change of pace from regular equippable items. The trap-centric gameplay however is a bit of a turnoff.

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