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Red Crystal (the red crystal: the seven secrets of life) (pc game)
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Tired and dull fantasy questing
This is a little known fantasy RPG which plays out like a basic version of the likes of Neverwinter Nights and Bard's Tale and while there are a couple of neat features, its general lack of innovation in terms of story or gameplay means that it is only really worth seeking out for die-hard genre fans. The plot here is pretty basic and revolves around the traditional, and rather tired, concept of a land being ruled over by an evil tyrant and who must be stopped. Of course, that lone hero is you and after choosing from one of five of the usual available classes, you embark upon your epic quest. This being a fantasy RPG, this quest of course involves plenty of dungeon crawling, fighting, searching for treasure and all the other kinds of activities we expect from this type of game. The enemies you will face are again pretty much standard stuff, with spiders, rogue knights and the like all rather unimaginatively populating the equally uninteresting dungeons. About the only feature of the game that is slightly unusual is the addition of a two player mode, where you can explore the world in the company of a friend, but to be honest this doesn't make the game any more enjoyable. Everything about Red Crystal feels tired and uninspired, from the bland visuals and level design, to the story itself, with pretty much everything rendered in overly familiar cliches. Gameplay is simply a case of plodding along, with the combat just as tedious as everything else and while it is fairly high paced, this is not enough to save it.