I’ve been playing a tonne of Cris Tales over the past week, and it’s really caught me by surprise. It’s a JRPG, not my favourite genre, but it’s pulled me in with an unexpected element, the world. Usually, at least as far as I’m concerned, JRPGs have worlds that are set dressing for the absolutely mental story within. Cris Tales bucks that trend, presenting players with a world that’s just way too interesting to ignore. Every time I sit down with it, I’m excited to see where the game will take me next, and I think it’s a shame that not everyone will bother playing it.
The world in Cris Tales is filled with loads of interesting twists on standard fantasy concepts. For example, magic is still there, but it’s been put into a form that makes sense in a grounded reality. Magic comes from red crystals, which appear as a mineral in the soil. Bugs eat the mineral, deer eat the bugs, wolves eat the deer, and humans eat the wolves. The build of up red crystals throughout the food chain in this way causes magic to manifest in humans, and that’s where it comes from.
I don’t know about you, but I just think this is so brilliant. It’s a concept that seems to make magic feel like a normal part of everyday life, yet it’s still incredibly powerful. The world makes it feel like being a powerful mage is more of an inevitability than it is a gift or a curse. This is such a big shift from the worlds of say Dragon Age or The Lord of the Rings, making it feel more tangible and acceptable as an idea. That’s just one example of how this world is so fun and different for players, and it’s one that I really encourage you to get into.
Cris Tales has so much that’s good going for it that it’s hard to pin any one thing down. However, the world is definitely the biggest draw for me. If you love fantastical words that have been lovingly drawn in beautiful art, then you need to experience this game.