When Crymachina was initially introduced by FuRyu and NIS America earlier this 12 months, my thoughts instantly recalled 2019’s Crystar, on account of its comparable identify, comparable visible aesthetic, and shared Japanese writer. It wasn’t very clear, on the time, if Crymachina was *really* associated to Crystar in any significant method, or if the evident similarities have been purely superficial.
Commercial. Hold scrolling for extra
Regardless of not having performed Crystar again when it was launched, I used to be nonetheless curious sufficient to take a look at Crymachina. Actually, I made a decision to play Crystar beforehand as a form of preparation, so I might extra readily make comparisons between the 2 titles. Put briefly, I really discovered Crystar to be principally dreadful, with tedious gameplay & sluggish narrative, largely in settlement with Lucas’ 5/10 evaluation written on the time. “What have I gotten myself into”, I believed.
To reply any speedy curiosity, Crymachina is certainly and deliberately a follow-up to Crystar, however solely thematically and in some supporting gameplay parts. There are not any shared characters or world, and even the direct fight gameplay is kind of totally different, so genuinely there actually is not any actual purpose to play Crystar first if you have not already. It is in all probability price noting that the 2 video games are developed by totally different groups, with Crystar developed by Gemdrops and Crymachina developed by Aquria.
Most significantly, although, Crymachina is a significantly higher recreation of the 2.
The opening moments of Crymachina start in a hospital of types, exhibiting a teenage woman Leben on what can be her deathbed, succumbing to an endemic ravaging the world. 2000 years later, Leben unexpectedly wakes up in a brand new artificial physique in area, assembly a mysterious woman named Enoa. Humanity is all however extinct now, and Enoa is supposedly working to revive the world, however there’s fairly a bit extra occurring behind the scenes.
Crymachina’s fight gameplay is kind of a bit totally different from Crystar, and if I am being trustworthy, considerably distinctive among the many motion RPG style as an entire, no less than in some points. It’s totally quick, fairly fluid, and takes somewhat little bit of getting used to. You may have your mild assault and your heavy assault that launches the enemy, that are fairly customary fare, however you even have two ‘auxiliary’ weapons that can be utilized at any time, engaged on a cooldown system. These weapons aren’t those Leben is wielding in her palms, however relatively the weapons that float above every of her shoulders, virtually like wings.
The auxiliary weapon system is definitely one of many extra elaborate gameplay techniques in Crymachina. There are a number of totally different auxiliary weapons varieties to select from, together with buzzsaws, spears, and shields (all of which float above your shoulders).
That is the place it will get somewhat bit difficult, so bear with me for a second. Every auxiliary weapon has two specific modes of operation, which may fluctuate relying on the weapon. The simplest instance of this may be Leben’s beginning auxiliary weapons, which behave in a different way relying on her distance from her focused foe. From far-off, they’re launched on the enemy like missiles. At close-range, the identical weapon will thrust like spears. There are different conduct toggles in addition to goal vary, too, equivalent to if an enemy is ‘Weak’ or not, or primarily based on Leben’s HP.
Commercial. Hold scrolling for extra
However these behaviors aren’t set in stone. You, the participant, can alter what auxiliary weapons do in every use case. You too can bolster these weapons with numerous passive bonuses, like greater essential probability, added HP regeneration, standing illnesses, or the like.
My level is, for these fascinated with character-building or fight structure, establishing your auxiliary weapons is the place you can see most of that flexibility.
Crymachina’s battle system additionally permits you to go right into a sort-of third-person shooter mode, which at occasions feels extra of a novelty than really helpful, however there are moments when it’s efficient, each in boss encounters and trash mob battles.
There are three whole playable characters in Crymachina, with Mikoto and Ami becoming a member of Leben at totally different components of the story. Whereas the gameplay mechanics broadly work the identical among the many three, every has a unique weapon and assault pace, which adjustments battle pacing up only a hair. Ami wields a broadaxe, and she or he usually battles somewhat slower than the opposite two. Leben wields lances and is mainly the speedster, whereas Mikoto works someplace within the center as a swordswoman.
Not solely is Crymachina’s fight way more fascinating than Crystar‘s, however its characters and narrative are too. From a pure front-to-back plotline perspective, there are some fascinating narrative twists that happen that alter your notion of occasions. Let’s simply say for now, considerably cryptically, that issues aren’t at all times how they could initially seem.
Whereas there are some well-worn sci-fi tropes and themes that you could be anticipate primarily based on the overall premise, equivalent to defining humanity, or artificial lifeforms studying what it means to have emotion, or what it means to be alive, I discovered Crymachina’s narrative surprisingly compelling in locations. Themes of affection and its that means additionally permeate all through the narrative, and whereas it could not all come collectively fairly in addition to I hoped (and typically is heavy on the jargon), it nonetheless was at occasions surprisingly efficient, and positively higher than something Crystar had on supply.
There are additionally quite a few dialogue scenes that happen between the primary characters when you’re again at base. These conversations vary from brief amusing banter to some considerate discussions concerning the aforementioned narrative themes. Whereas the primary forged typically can lean somewhat too exhausting into their overplayed persona gimmicks, ultimately, I got here away endeared to those characters, and I used to be even moved at occasions all through the story.
As I see it, Crymachina has two vital gameplay weaknesses. One, degree design is nearly non-existent. Virtually each stage within the recreation is a linear path, a small battlefield with 3-5 enemies, one other linear path, after which a boss, with only some scant exceptions. It is maybe not likely any worse than Crystar‘s tedious labyrinthian paths, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a bit disappointing there’s nothing to latch onto right here when it comes to exploration or dungeon design of any kind. Fortunately, fight itself is dynamic sufficient to stay entertaining, however enjoying by way of the degrees can get outdated fairly shortly. All of the separate areas within the recreation look visually comparable to one another, too, so not even visible selection is in play. Enemy selection can also be missing.
Commercial. Hold scrolling for extra
The second weak point compounds the primary, in that the participant is seemingly anticipated to play every of those ranges greater than as soon as, as a way to be each correctly leveled and outfitted for upcoming challenges. Positive, you do not *have* to play ranges greater than as soon as, however notice that every degree boss has three gear drops, which may solely be obtained upon repeat victories (one thing borrowed from Crystar, really). Plus, you may end up under-leveled in any other case, particularly as you attain the again half of the sport. Every degree might be crushed in 2-5 minutes, so it isn’t a drastic dedication to replay a degree right here and there, nevertheless it nonetheless wore on me over time.
Crymachina additionally borrows the level-code mechanic that, I consider, was launched in Monark – one other FuRyu title. All through the course of the sport, you’ll find codes that unlock different mini-stages with extra battles and loot, though they beautiful a lot appear as if another stage within the recreation. I am unable to make sure, however I believe there are greater than 100 of those types of levels which you can unlock with numerous codes and code-patterns. I did not hassle with these an excessive amount of, and I am unsure why FuRyu thinks that is an fascinating gameplay part; please cease doing it.
Crymachina shouldn’t be a really lengthy title so far as RPGs go. You may clear the primary story in about 15 hours, and full all vital extra content material in about 20. To be trustworthy, I really feel like this size was completely fitted to the content material of the sport, each narratively and structurally. I might simply see how the sport might have felt drawn out had it aimed for an extended run-time.
Regardless of the narrative not absolutely coming collectively ultimately, in addition to some repetitive gameplay construction, Crymachina manages to be a compelling RPG. It is presumably my favourite FuRyu title thus far, and positively one of many extra fascinating ones. No matter its uneven nature and brief period, I believe it could go away an enduring impression on me – no less than somewhat bit.