Demon’s Crystals is a twin-stick shooter designed for those out there just wanting to get into the genre or are used to other titles and trying something new. It features four devilish ladies as they take on a horde of undead creatures and monsters. It’s a local multiplayer only title which may deter those who play games with buddies online but it would be a shame for you to miss it. As I have never laid my hands on such a game in the series, this was one of the funnest indie titles out there that I’ve ever played and it’s simple to get the hang of. Stick around to check out some of the upsides and downsides to Demon’s Crystals.
Pin-point and flowing controls – Demon’s Crystals is genuinely fluid. You can control your character’s movement with the left stick and shoot with the right stick. The fluidity of twin-stick shooters (TSS) is a prominent feature because accuracy and fluidity of motion could mean life or death. There is nothing more vexing than having sluggish controls that will impact your game-play and, in turn, lead you to your inevitable demise. In addition, this precision of character motion and accurate shooting combined with real time feedback is a key component to any TSS that Demon’s Crystals does really well.
Beautiful artwork and graphics – The art designs are breathtaking as each level has its own unique look and texture. There were enemies that looked appealing and surprisingly authentic which makes it fun to play and feel fresh. The female demons also had strong features that clearly made them distinct from one another, although they aren’t customizable (which will be touched upon later in this article). There are animated objects such as trees and gargoyles shooting, or breathing fire, at you when you get too close which added to the anticipation of where danger may pop up from next in the environment. There are massive amounts of destructible items littering the battlefield, as well, to give the player the visual stimulus of breaking and exploding things. Suffice to say, it’s easy to get lost and distracted in the world and forget about the objective thanks to its rich designs.
Entertaining power-ups – The power-ups are amazing in this game as there is such a wide variety of them to make it really difficult to choose just one, or even five for that matter. This is a very good thing for a TSS because if you don’t have a good assortment of weapon/power pick-ups then you may feel bored and not want to play the game any longer or come back to it. There are bound to be pleasing and terrible power-ups littered throughout TSS games but some players may find their favorites to be either the flamethrower, the rocket launcher, or the mushroom that changes your demon’s size (very much like the mushrooms from Mario games) and give you invulnerability to steam roll enemies which just feels so gratifying.
Satisfying music and sound effects – Throughout Demon’s Crystals you are treated to orchestral scores that effectually provides tension and intensity to the game-play. Not only that but the sound effects accompanied with the many actions, creatures and events throughout the TSS are satisfying and feel as if they fit the role. Dragons sound like dragons and gun effects are invigorating to listen to as you switch among the myriad of different weapons.
Lack of a customization feature – This is non-existent throughout the entirety of the game, which may feel like a shame to some people in love with this TSS. If there was some sort of in-depth customization options before loading a level — either to change your characters outfit, weapon skin, hair style, or even the color scheme — then this would add a deeper level of entertainment to the title that makes your playing experience feel more distinct from another’s. Even though they all appear different from one another and you can’t be the same one as your local friends, it would have still been nice to have this option with possible legendary items to be unlocked like weapons or outfits.
Level design – For a TSS, Demon’s Crystals has terrible level designs that could cause extreme frustration. Most of the levels have little to no room to move and this alone could be enough to make any person rage as it prohibits your character’s movements and jeopardizes your survival. If small areas were not bad enough, it sometimes happens that your heroine gets caught on small objects which ends up getting you swarmed by enemy AI and killing you. This becomes extremely disappointing during game-play because it restarts the player at the beginning of the entire level which, in my opinion, is poor development testing. This serious issue hampers the title from becoming near perfect and should warrant some patches to be sent out for it by the development team.
In conclusion, Demon’s Crystal is a top-notch TSS with diverse mechanics. The controls are easy to get the hang of even for the greenest of players who are new to the genre. The art design is, without a doubt, astounding with so much to offer in terms of visual appeal. The power-ups portion of this game is second to none with its multitude of surprising pick-ups that, most of the time, allow you to one-shot your enemies. Demon’s Crystals is not without its flaws, however, as its non-existent customization option and poor level design makes the game fall short where it could have been a perfect experience. Although you may have lots of irritating moments with your demon getting stuck and dying, it’s still highly recommended that anyone out there try out this TSS.
- Graphics - 90%90%
- Gameplay - 55%55%
- Controls - 85%85%
- Sound - 95%95%
- Replay Value - 70%70%
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Demon’s Crystals was developed by Byte4Games and StarCruiser Studio and published by Badland Games. It was released for Xbox One [reviewed], PlayStation 4 and PC on May 12th, 2017. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.