Reviews for Light Crusader™
Heroes Never Get A Vacation, You Know That?CrimsonWizard | Feb. 5, 2013 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »
Treasure's Light Crusader was one of the late games developed for the SEGA Genesis (Mega Drive) in which you play the role of Sir David, a weary warrior hoping to take a small vacation after a long journey of heroic deeds off-screen. Unfortunately, he arrives to the town of Green Row to find trouble already waiting for him there with several townspeople reported missing and a general sense of dread of shadowy figures running around. Sadly, this is the bulk of the tale which is told in fantastic opening cut-scenes, but outside of that you're left with only snippets of information given to you by the villagers and people you need to rescue.
The rest of the game takes place in a large dungeon just outside of town, filled with all sorts of traps, puzzles, and monsters like a Zelda styled game complete with map. You move and fight on an overhead isometric (tilted) plane like Landstalker, giving the illusion of 3D, but also makes depth perception difficult at times. Thankfully, Treasure made it easier than other isometric platformers by including both a shadow and slower fall times, making it far easier to move to where you want during a jump. Unfortunately, the isometric perspective makes moving blocks and objects for the puzzles more difficult, making simple tasks take longer than they should.
However, the puzzles themselves are fairly interesting and the combat isn't bad either, having some similarities to Treasure's Gunstar Heroes. thanks to the magic system. You're given four elements you can use or mix to cast spells on monsters, provided you have the energy for it. Up close attacks are limited unfortunately with just your sword and a limited system of equipment upgrades for that and your armor. In the least, the game gives you a decent inventory space to carry supplies through the dungeon to help you survive between save points.
The dungeon itself looks fairly nice with Treasure's quality graphics showing up again, especially with the animations and colorful designs of you and the bad guys. Sadly, the dungeon itself is a little bland in design along with the music. It serves its purpose and works fine, but the style of the dungeon itself and it's music is forgettable.
Light Crusader is a game with some odd quirks thanks to it's isometric camera, but is overall a solid dungeon crawl with interesting puzzles to keep you engaged. While it's somewhat short for an RPG with only 6 dungeon sections, it lasts long enough to give you a few evenings of fun, especially with all the spell mixes you can barrage your enemies with. For $2.99, you're getting a pretty good deal for a good dungeon romp and I recommend giving it a try.
A treasure worth checking outGAMERamble | April 8, 2011 | See all GAMERamble's reviews »
If you don't know about a company called Treasure then you've been missing out on some of the best games on Megadrive. If you do know them then you might be surprised to learn that they have a role playing game in their catalogue. Seeing as almost all their other games were platform games featuring heavy firepower it's interesting to see how they handled this one.
You start the game as David Lander, one tired knight badly in need of a holiday. Fortunately he has no problem in convincing the king to send him to the neighbouring town of Greenrod for a bit of rest and relaxation. Upon arriving there though things seem a bit out of place and he soon realizes that the towns people are disappearing one by one. Talking to the king reveals that some sinister things have been going on and that's about the time David's holiday comes to a end. Now you have to take him through the six level dungeon beneath the town to rescue the people and find out exactly what's going on.
About the closes game to Light Crusader you'll find on Megadrive is Landstalker. You've got your same skewed top down perspective and all combat takes place in real-time. There are also some devious puzzles and traps to overcome along the way. Unfortunately Light Crusader falls a bit short in the gameplay department compared to Landstalker and players of the latter might be a bit disappointed by Light Crusaders short quest and lack of variation. The six dungeons you explore are pretty short and there is none of the town travelling and character interaction that made Landstalker such a hit. Every now and then you'll find a villager caught beneath the dungeons and freeing him might provide some info. Other than that it's pretty much just combat and puzzle solving. Some of the later levels are really cool and you get to travel to different time zones but these cool levels are sadly all too brief.
The graphics in the game are quite nice and David has some nice animation's. There are also some cool enemy characters and the rooms you explore are pretty detailed. David seem to be hyperventilating most of the time although that could just be due to stress and the lack of a holiday. Special mention should be made of the bosses which is something that Treasure know how to do right. Most of them has some kind of technical trickery involved and if you've played any of the other Treasure titles like Gunstar Heroes you'll recognize some of the animation styles.
Although Light Crusader looks and plays like a standard role playing game there are some aspects of that drags it down a bit. You only have a few items to equip and old equipment can never be sold. Likewise although you can find hordes of food items you cannot discard or sell these for cash but are forced to use them to free up space. There is also very little of the usual "special" items normally found in RPG's and the game focuses more on puzzle solving and combat than exploration and talking. The combat system is good though and arguably better than the one in Landstalker. Enemies can hit each other or get in each others way making combat more involving. David can slash or perform a diving attack as well as attack with magic. You have four elements which can be combined for quite a few spells but your elements need to be restocked when you run out.
It's also cool to see enemies die in different ways than just simply disappearing. Goblins can be cut in half or decapitated while zombies sink down in a pile of goo. Kill a enemy with a fire spell and you'll also see him fall down in flames leaving a charred corpse. You can only save in certain "save rooms" but since the dungeons are pretty small your never really that far from a save point and the emulator interface makes in-game saving not such a big issue anymore (unless you are a purist like me.) Some puzzles reset however forcing you to go through the whole tedious process again just to backtrack. Upon dying it's also game over unless you happen to have a pendant which grants you another life. These are pretty expensive so be careful. Light Crusader also enables you to turn on auto item use which automatically uses a potion when your health gets low or cure when you get poisoned. This is a bit annoying at first but helps a lot during hectic boss battles. Seeing how much damage you give or take displayed above your character is also handy.
The music in Light Crusader won't be winning any awards anytime soon but it's good none the less and serve as a good backdrop to the action. Some tunes are better than others but overall I've got no complaints. The sound effects reminded me a lot of Landstalker although this game also has a few speech samples thrown. Some get annoying pretty fast but again overall not too bad. Controls are responsive and with a touch of a button you can access your inventory, auto-map, equipment and magic menu. Another cool thing is you don't have to get in someone's face to talk to them but simply turn towards them and press attack. This is much more realistic but with so few people to talk to not something you use a lot.
If you prefer combat and puzzle solving above travelling and exploration then Light Crusader is your game. Although there are some hidden rooms you never really get that feeling of being part of a gameworld like in RPGS such as Landstalker and Phantasy Star. Being confined to just six small dungeon levels is a bit of a letdown although later levels get really cool. I missed traveling around, talking to people and putting clues together but Light Crusader has a decent storyline and more than enough to do. It might not be one of the best RPGs that the system had to offer but Treasure did a good job with it and fans will enjoy it.