Demon's Crystals Review - Budget Friendly Couch Co-Op

Demon's Crystals Review - Budget Friendly Couch Co-Op

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Quick Glance

Platform: Steam, PS4
Players: 1-4, Local Co-op only
Achievements: Yes, no platinum
Steam Trading Cards: Yes
Controller Support: Full
Retail Price: $4.99
 

High Level Premise: Shoot everyone, collect crystals, save the world.

Graphics/Style: Cartoonish top-down twin stick shooter. The art style in the menus has a
bit of an anime direction, however in game feels more like a PopCap game such as Plants
Vs Zombies
.

Music/Soundtrack: The music tracks are solid, unobtrusive, but also not very
memorable.

Story: For as long as they can remember, the Urican Demons have been always been the
hunters, but with the sudden appearance of Sarkon, Ghoros, and Ornak they now find
themselves being hunted. In order to survive, you must collect Crystals while you destroy
creatures who now seek your demise.

Replay-ability: Low - Moderate, there are several different modes worth exploring
beyond the arcade mode.

Time Commitment: 4-6 hours for the campaign, another 2-3 for the added modes.

Value: For a $5 game, you definitely get a decent amount of playtime. If couch co-op is
your thing, then it's a great value. Without someone to play with though, several of the
better modes are completely inaccessible.

Favorite Element: The weapon power-ups in game are creative, fun, and add some nice
variation to the combat.

Did you know that Demons need to eat Crystals to live? Or that three villains can
completely reverse the food chain? This is the new reality in Demon’s Crystals. As an
Urican Demon, you find that your prey is now hunting you. So you and three of your
friends mount up to consume all the crystals and kill all of the baddies. You’ll make your
way through various worlds taking on 2-3 hordes of enemies as you seek to destroy the
villians and return this world to right.

Demon’s Crystals' story is just that simple, and is presented with little fanfare and a
poorly chosen font. A simple voice over intro would have done wonders to engage me
more from the outset. However, the lack of story presentation doesn’t matter. We’re here
to shoot stuff! And boy do we shoot stuff! Demon’s Crystals' strength is its bullet hell that’s enhanced by a variety of time-limited weapon pick-ups like Scatter shots, Bullet
bending guns, rocket launchers, and more.

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Gameplay is very simple in its premise. This twin-stick shooter drops you into a level
where you are tasked with amassing a set number of kills, or collecting a set number of
crystals. As you progress through worlds, new weapons and power-ups become available.
Unfortunately, this premise is not deep enough to sustain the game longer than a few
rounds as it suffers from a lack of depth and variety. Enemies, levels, backgrounds, and music change so minimally, it doesn’t feel as though you are making any progress. As you use your character, they level-up. However, no explanation is given as to what the leveling system actually does. I noticed no increase in damage, HP, speed, or any of the categories found in traditional leveling systems. It felt tacked-on and unnecessary. Boss battles provide a break from the monotony, but didn't always feel like they were worth the slog to get to them.

Demon’s Crystals offers several other game modes, however, they all require couch co-
op. While I’m a huge fan of couch co-op, this made the game feel very incomplete. Upon
inviting a friend over to play, the modes were enjoyable, but I couldn’t immediately see
any reason to deny these modes in a single player experience. I will say that my young
son enjoyed the game and it’s simple controls and we had fun playing together.

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Even with its low price tag, I’d recommend skipping Demon’s Crystals in favor of other,
fuller twin-stick experiences such as Neuro-Voider. Overall, the game does not have the
story, depth, or replayability expected for a 2017 PS4/PC game. I’d recommend letting
these Demons fight their own battles.

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