Brad: If The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was directionless, frustrating, not any fun, and appeared on the Genesis, it would be Crusader of Centy. Have you ever gone to the supermarket and not be able to find what you’re looking for? And instead of asking some surly teenage employee for help, you save yourself the aggravation and just keep up the fruitless search for what seems like an eternity until you accidentally stumble upon it in seemingly the least likely part of the store? Ok, now imagine that the store is about the size of a small city, all the other customers are trying to attack you, and you can’t go home until you find that missing item. That’s what playing Crusader on Centy is like – the game will give you a general idea of what you’re supposed to do next, but never enough to prevent all kinds of backtracking, aimless wandering, and fighting the same enemies over and over. Look long and hard enough, and eventually you’ll find the person or item you needed. But any rational person is going to get bored and start playing something else long before then.
It’s bad enough I have to pay for my own equipment to save your world. You don’t have to be a complete bitch, too.
Stryker: I won’t claim that I know the actual history behind the making of Crusader of Centy, but if I had to guess it probably went like this: Some overzealous fanboy made his own Zelda sequel in his Mom’s basement and pitched it to Nintendo. After they rejected it for being fucking horrible, he sold it to Sega who, predictably, was more than happy to publish one of Nintendo’s rejects. And thus, Crusader of Centy was born.
Visually, the game looks a lot like Zelda III, and that was probably no accident since its general design is pretty similar, too. The latter isn’t a big deal – games come out all the time that play like other, better known games. But stealing that game’s artistic style is just begging people to make comparisons, which is a self-defeating tactic considering how badly Crusader falls short. The difficulty cranks up to controller-spiking levels far, far too early in the game, hit detection is iffy, and even if you do manage to hit your enemies, they don’t get knocked back by your sword, which means that you’ll usually end up trading hits with them, turning each encounter into a battle of attrition.
In just twelve words, Sonic manages to completely undo years of marketing efforts designed to make him seem cool.
Now don’t get me wrong, this game wouldn’t be good enough to keep around even if there was no such thing as Zelda. But falling so far short of the game it’s so blatantly trying to emulate just adds an extra layer of disappointment to an already underwhelming effort. Genesis owners suffering from Zelda envy are much better suited playing Beyond Oasis or, you know, just buying a Super Nintendo. I hear they’re not that expensive these days.