Super Special Awesome Retro Review! – Guardian’s Crusade

Hi there all you wonderful, wonderful people and Geoff Albertson. I’ve decided that as something a bit special for Christmas, I’m going to write three reviews for games I loved as a kid that you pretty much can’t get these days. What does this do for you guys? Absolutely nothing! Unless you like the sound of them so much you buy them for ridiculous amounts of money online, I suppose.

The first of them is an old child’s JRPG I had back when I were a lad in ye olden days o’ the original Playstation. Guardian’s Crusade, known as Knight & Baby in Japan is about a knight and a pink baby monster. Maybe the Japanese has a more helpful name. Basically, you’re a young man in your home village who finds a baby pink monster and what is supposed to be some kind of God, but looks more like a rabbit-man decrees that YOU, young Knight, must take the creature to the Tower of the Gods.

To be honest, it’s never really more complex than that. When the plot proper kicks in, it does have some fun subverting what a kid might expect. But this is on the level of having the guy with opposite armour colours, a sword slung upside down, and a giant monster that you have to duel be called Darkbeat and actually be another hero you just had the misfortune to meet on the battlefield first. Not that he ever joins you, you only get Knight and Baby on your team (though your fairy friend Nehani occasionally pitches in and there are the Living Toys), and you only get direct control of Knight.

The battling is turn based JRPG stuff. Baby acts based on how much it likes you and a few vague commands you can give him. The only thing you can do other than attacking and using items is deploying your Living Toys. These little clockwork critters have different effects, like attacks, healing buffs and a few special ones like one that serves as a world map, a thief and even one that only exists to give a running commentary of the match when summoned. Collecting these forms one of the game’s few sidequests, which is actually a pretty fun one, one that spans the whole game and has a super special awesome secret toy hidden away, but the lack of endgame side content’s pretty noticeable.

This thing looked dated even back when I was playing it, but it’s serviceable. You can at least tell what things are. What it may lack in graphical fidelity it makes up for in a nice variety of locations. From tiny towns and bustling ports to underground caves and spooky swamps, Dwarven cities and abandoned castle, ridiculously stereotyped “primitive islanders” to an arctic town of talking penguins living in igloos. Yeah. That’s a thing. Talking penguins. Sounds cooler now, doesn’t it?

The game isn’t really challenging. At all. Well, the final boss is a three parter that might trip you up a bit. Maybe. First time through.

Overall, Crusade is a pretty fun, if shallow JRPG with a sense of humour. There’s not really too much to say about it, though I do remember there being an otherwise useless item called the Crucifix that you could use on the tomb of a legendary hero, only to cause the game to freeze. It always fascinated me, and I do wonder what that cut content was.

The next review will probably go up tomorrow, next time for a SNES game.




Oooh…Ebay says the game’s pretty readily available for under £20….hmm…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: And Now For Something Completely Different… « Type A Little Faster

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