REVIEW: Crystal Mines (NES)

CrystalMinesTitleGame:
Crystal Mines

Developer:
Color Dreams

Genre:
Bomberman Wannabe

Platform:
NES

Released:
1989

When you turn on a video game with a spiffy title such as “Death Race”, “Kill-O-Tron Master”, or even “Sexy Chick 3000” you usually have expectations. On the back of the game’s box, they usually say things like NON STOP ACTION or FIGHT CHALLENGING ENEMIES! I saw the name “Crystal Mines”, and I’m thinking this is going to be pretty neat. I turn it on and everything around me just goes away. My little safety box was destroyed.

You get to be a little robot-looking vehicle that drives around in some cave on Mars I guess to mine and recover crystals. At least the object of the whole game matches the title, I’ll give developer Color Dreams credit for that. Konami and their “Adventures Of Bayou Billy” was far from even being an adventure to begin with.

You can also blow random crap up in the game with barrels of TNT and pick up all the little items and gems hidden in the rubble afterwards. Some items make you go faster or shoot faster. You could just say that the items make your robot that much crappier. In fact, there should be a new mode of play where all you do is get items. I’d call it “Make It Suck More Mode”.

The game is okay. It’s not bad, but it isn’t great either. The game is kind of like that weird stuff the school passes off as “food”. Sometimes, it’s good; other times you get to blast diarrhea out your ass for a week. If you’re mentally ill, then you will love the game and its charming little 30 second endless music loop, but don’t underestimate the difficulty of the game! There are 7, yes seven different enemies to break your little harmless tracked robot to bits. I lied. There aren’t 7 different enemies. There are 3, but one of them has 4 different sets of color.

CrystalMinesImage1

In the biz, we call this “the EA method”.

Be warned. These are the little peckers that don’t want you touching “Their Precious”. To guard their sacred diamonds, they will randomly run around and hit walls. It’s a very effective way of guarding valuables of any kind because any thief knows it’s wrong to steal from retards.

If they get a hold of your droid it will fall apart like it was held together with masking tape and Bubble Yum. Coming from a company named Color Dreams, I wouldn’t be surprized.

Notice the four almost identical scruffy fellows. Let’s refer to these dimwits as “Cookie Monsters” from now on. There are 4 Cookie Monsters. One of them you can shoot and kill. You shoot him once, and he goes into a retard-strength induced rampage. He will speed up and run into walls more often. There is also one that you must use TNT to blow up. Then, there is the “Impervious” one. He is that unusually strong retarded fellow, like Sloth from The Goonies only in this case he doesn’t run around and shout “BABY RUTH” at you.

Just so they sound smart, Color Dreams threw in a “Radioactive” Cookie Monster and also included Radioactive rocks and walls (not pictured). Color Dreams needs all the smart points they can get, because right now George W. Bush is ahead. Take note of the two Turd Monsters. There are two kinds, brown and darker brown. You must be careful, because the Cookie Monster poop will also kill you if you run over it. That “gas creature” is thrown in there for racial harmony. It signifies that the mine is not segregating gas from solids and liquids.

CrystalMinesImage2

Awful lot of BROWN from “Color” Dreams.

This is your game screen. The whole time the same fucking music will loop over and over again. The music reminds me of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, which makes the game essentially that much more annoying. Most sane people will have committed suicide by this point.

As you can see, we have some precious gemstones in the game area, and our raggedy little Cookie Monster friends are acting like greedy jackasses about it. The turd with the ugly as hell green high tops has the advantage here, because he is the asshole that takes a few hundred TNT barrels to be put out his misery.

Being in blast-radius is not really a very smart thing to be doing. If you do get hit by your own TNT then that proves you are about as smart as the dumbasses running around the caves. Your Dollar General-sponsored robot will crumble if he touches the smoke. Those aren’t explosions, because it is devoid of something known as “fire”. There has got to be fire for me to even remotely refer to it as “explosion”. Since there is no fire present I will now call TNT barrels “Wimpy Ass Smoke Bombs”.

There are some ultimate tips available to beating Crystal Mines:

  • Don’t get hit by baddies.
  • Get all the gems in each stage.
  • Find the EXIT because it is hidden sometimes.

Yes, I did read that from a place that gave information about the game. Those are some first class hints right there. Infact, I’ll just claim them as my own because I can, and plus a very smart person had to be the author of those.

CrystalMinesImage3

Also, don’t touch the TNT.

Defining Moment:
The highlight of this whole damn game is blowing yourself up with Wimpy Ass Smoke Bombs. It ends the Pee Wee Herman music for a second. It also lessens my headache from the music too; it’s the new Tylenol of NES gaming! Would you rather take 10 huge Advil suppositories, or a quick 10 second fanfare from a game to ease your headache?

Graphics: 3/10
The tank/trakker/whatever robot is not that bad looking. He’s the coolest part in the whole game. It’s those damn Cookie Monsters and their little poop minions that make me angry. I mean, if I were to go steal some gems from a cave in wherever it is, I would expect to find maybe some bats. Or insects. Maybe even a blind eyeless white lizard that would eat my brain or something. I’d even be glad to find rapper Lil’ Jon in there!

Sound: 0/10
There is nothing in the world that sounds as horrid than this game’s music. I would pay someone a nice sum of money to scrape their nails across a chalkboard for 5 hours if I had to pick between that and Crystal Mines. The music is incredibly irritating. Think of the most annoying thing you can think of; now multiply by twenty and add Pee Wee Herman music. There you go.

Control: 5/10
You have supreme control over the roboman (half the time). This is why this section gets only half the score. If your bot isn’t lined up perfectly with a tunnel, he will get caught on the corner which lets the butt-rapist Cookie Monster run through and smash your aluminum foil science fair project to bits. You will cry.

Uses: 10/10
This cartridge does a lot more than just be a “game”. It also makes for a great coaster for your drink! You can use it to even out a leg on a wobbly table or chair, or you can buy a lot of them and build a house! They double as dog toys, door stops, toilet paper, shingles, carpet, plates, paper weights…

– Dracophile