Every couple of years I get back into emulation, mostly as a reaction against some massive open-world game I just spent hundreds of hours playing. This time ’round I enhanced my retro-gaming experience with the purchase of an 8BitDo M30 gamepad which mimics the layout and feel of a six-button Genesis controller.
Crusader of Centy is a Genesis game which I only know from grabbing a pack of a zillion ROMs from the Internet back in the days of the Genecyst emulator. It has the look and feel of a console JRPG but is really a simple action game with some puzzle moments. It’s styled very much after the original Zelda with a top-down view and sword-shooting attacks. Also, if you are looking for a copy on Ebay it will cost you more than a grand.
Unlike many games on the Genesis, Centy is bright and colorful with smooth animation and excellent pixelated character design. Along with the cheery music, this feels more like a Nintendo game than an exercise in x-treme Blast Processing™.
The controls work well for movement and interaction but combat is a bit clunky. Your sword never quite swings fast enough and enemies don’t react to hits other than their sprites blinking. Outside of boss battles, you are better off just avoiding fights since there is no leveling-up or noteworthy loot drops. The main hook of the game is collecting animal friends which give you special powers. You use these powers to get past obstacles and occasionally as specific means of attacking a boss.
All this makes for a very light and casual gaming experience. Unfortunately, there is very little of interest in the overarching plot in the game. At one point there is some time-travel to mix things up, but mostly its going from point A to point B for unspecified reasons. The dialogue is terse and bland and there are no memorable characters. A more developed narrative would have added so much more. Instead we are left with a very pretty but shallow action adventure.