Crystal Dragon

Title           Crystal Dragon
Game Type       RPG
Publisher       Black Legend Interactive Entertainment
Players         1
Compatibility   OCS/AGA
HD Installable  Yes
Submission      Eric Haines

     It would be almost impossible to review Crystal Dragon without
referring to Dungeon Master, so I won't bother to try. It does make things
easier. Surely everyone is familiar with Dungeon Master; the original and
perhaps definitive first person perspective, pseudo-3D Adventure/RPG, and
this provides for some simple answers:

     What's Crystal Dragon like? Dungeon Master.

     How does it play? Like Dungeon Master, pretty much.

     The object of the game? Yep, more or less the same as Dungeon Master.

     Now, Dungeon Master is one of my all-time favorite computer games.
Never before or since has a game immersed me to such a degree, not even in
these days of texture-mapped, light-sourced, motion-captured,
3D-accelerated productions. Clearly, Crystal Dragon isn't going to live up
to an experience like that, so let's get that out of the way right now:
It's not as good as DM.

     But despite the obvious similarities, it's not quite an exact clone.
There must have been one of two reasons for its existence: 1) Let's cash
in on the popularity of DM, or 2) We thought DM was cool, so let's do more
of the same but try to improve on it.

     I'll assume the latter. As far as "improvements" go, Crystal Dragon
is bigger, with lots of levels. This isn't necessarily better, though,
because it loses the focus that DM had and sort of wanders after a while.

     It lets you do most of your inventory management on the same screen
as the combat view, which is arguably faster because you don't have to
switch to a separate screen and lose the view of your surroundings. But
this means packing a lot of information on one screen, so the 3D window is
pretty small.

     As far as game mechanics go, Crystal Dragon is virtually identical to
DM, except it doesn't have DM's nifty "magic symbol" system of casting
spells. Instead it relies on a more traditional method of choosing spells
from a list. The one real difference in gameplay is the availability of
three difficulty levels, and the first two allow you to access hints in
case you get stuck, so it's a little more player-friendly.

     And that's it, really. Like Dungeon Master, but a bit different. I
must say the cartoonish graphics didn't appeal to me a great deal, and the
sound was unmemorable so I can't say much about that department. (I did so
love the sound in Dungeon Master of green slime squelching off in the
distance. In stereo, even.)

     If this review sounds negative, it's not meant to be. It's just that
Crystal Dragon is profoundly unoriginal. There's nothing wrong with it,
really, and it plays well, so if you liked Dungeon Master and have run out
of new ways to play it (yes, I did the "get-through-the-game-with-one-
character" bit too), Crystal Dragon will fill that RPG void for a while.

Category list.

Alphabetical list.