The Legend of Crystal Valley is a third person 3D fantasy adventure game by Cateia Games. It is a very hit and miss title, sometimes just nailing it, other times being decent, but many other times completely falling flat.
The first noticeable thing about the game is its graphics, which really exemplify the hit and miss nature of The Legend of Crystal Valley to me. The very first thing you see is the main character Eve, who, in my opinion, is one of the worst graphical parts of the game. Then a cutscene starts, which looks pretty good and raises expectations. Yet as the scene ends, Eve is in an area with a fence that is drawn with a single solid color (gray) and looks absolutely horrible. Fortunately, the graphics, in general, improve after that, and steadily getting better throughout the entire game, eventually getting to near gorgeous visuals that greatly enhance the already interesting locations and enviroments.
The story is undoubtedly the best and most ambitious aspect of the game. It is a truly epic and unique fantasy adventure with traces of science fiction. Once you get into the story, it is very engrossing. Unfortunately it is presented horribly and does not even end satisfactorily.
The biggest issue that prevents the story from really shining is the dialogue. The dialogue in this game is by far the worst I have ever encountered. The characters routinely contradicting themselves and saying things that just make no sense based on the situation. Even when the dialogue makes sense it is not very believable and never contains any emotion; The protagonist (someone you are supposed to like) will lie to someones face or help them out for no reason, all without showing a hint of emotion.
This protagonist is named Eve, who has drifted away from her father after the death of her mother. At the beginning of the game, he has sent her a note asking Eve to come see him one last time. So Eve goes to her old family home, but her father is nowhere to be found. She soon stumbles upon a portal to another world, and journeys there in search of her father. What follows is an adventure across many worlds, where the outcome has the potential to save or condemn the entire universe. Unfortunately, before this promised satisfying conclusion can occur, the game simply ends. Eve gets to a point where a cutscene could conceivably tie up all the loose ends, but such a scene never shows up.
The biggest overarching problems with the game are the irregularities. These mainly show up in the dialogue and the restrictive gameplay. For example, in her journey Eve comes across cages containing bones of creatures who starved to death. She then encounters a cage with a creature that is still alive. Eve does not try to free the creature or offer it water even though she has some in her inventory. She just chatters inanely about how she is sorry about the creature, but it is going to starve to death. At another point, even though she is on a quest for beer, Eve repeatedly declines the barkeep who is readily offering her a drink. These are just two examples, but similar scenarios play out over and over again throughout the entire game.
Similarly, the gameplay is not anything special. It is a combination of inventory puzzles, uninspired dialogue puzzles, and simple logic puzzles. In my opinion, none of the inventory based puzzles were particularly engaging. The logic puzzles are very easy and should not cause anyone any trouble at all. But I also wonder if I just got extremely lucky many times in a row. Many of the logic puzzles actually look very complicated. Even when you figure them out it seems like it should take a whole lot of thought to get through them, but I always seemed to get them after a small amount of random guessing that often solved the puzzle before I even figure out what I was supposed to be doing
All is not bad however. For instance, the game does have a magic system that is quite interesting. Over the course of the adventure Eve is taught several spells. She can then use these spells at any time on any object or person. This magic system is well-executed and very entertaining, with the only downside of it being that it is not used more often.
Overall, The Legend of Crystal Valley is very reminiscent of The Longest Journey. It is an epic fantasy adventure filled with magic, giants, angles, and dragons. It even succeeds in some points in recreating the wonderful experience that The Longest Journey delivered. But in my opinion The Legend of Crystal Valley ultimately fails due to a lack of polish.
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