Many gamers will know Gargoyle as an enemy in Ghosts ‘n Goblins. A demon that Arthur found himself up against many times. Now this same demon known as Firebrand is tasked with his own mission. A mission to restore peace to his own world, the demon realm. Equipped with the abilities to breathe fire and fly, Firebrand can also change forms to help him through his quest to recover the six magical stones each with their own elemental attributes Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Time and Heaven. Only once recovered can Firebrand stop his rival Phalanx from taking over not only the demon realm but every other realm as well.
Immediately after entering the demon world you’ll notice just how cutthroat this place can be. Imprisoned, Firebrand has no choice but to start fighting his way out with what power he has left. Controlling him isn’t too bad as long as you have experience with platformers. The fact that Firebrand can both fire and hover/fly in one direction without gaining height in the air at the same time helps quite a bit, especially while aiming at enemies on a platform and trying to avoid enemies on the ground. Firebrand can also grip on ledges making it easy for him to climb back up those platforms that you find difficult to reach. You’ll also be thankful for this ability when misjudging your jump. Firebrand can also purchase spells from a shop within the levels. Shadow, Hold and Shock are but a few spells that you’ll be able to purchase.
One of the best skills throughout the game is the fact that Firebrand can use the magic stones to change not only his appearance but also his power. The earth stone, for instance, removes his wings but grants him the power to move and break through enormous stone statues and also allows his projectiles to not only fly through the air but also travel across the ground. With each new crest you acquire the stronger Firebrand will become. Being able to switch them on the fly, even during a boss battle, is convenient. Demon’s Crest has no shortage of enemies, from ghouls and ghosts to swamp monsters and burning skulls. Although the minions are easily dispatched, this is not the case with the bosses.
The levels are designed perfectly giving the player enough interaction with the environment, such as being able to hide behind a pillar to avoid a projectile. The level designs are also aesthetically appealing, each capturing the location perfectly like the city for instance with its apartments in the background of the level which coincidentally also allows the player to break some of the windows or the forest with its moss and thorny vines.
All in all Demon’s Crest is a must for platforming fans of all ages. The game has light RPG elements as well as multiple endings, a shop to purchase spells and potions at and also with each crest the player acquires the player is capable of unlocking more secrets by visiting levels previously conquered without being able to reach certain areas. The music is also both haunting and mesmerising which blends in perfectly with the world itself. The boss battles are also quite intense and although you might become frustrated at times, defeating the boss each time is quite rewarding. Definitely a Blast from the Past and one that shouldn’t be passed on.