In Ginger: Beyond the Crystal, you take the role of Ginger, a hero chosen to save a village plunged into destruction after a chaotic series of events that took away the homes of several village inhabitants. Because of the negative effects of this catastrophe, your main mission becomes rebuilding Ginger’s town by finding several pieces of a powerful crystal in order to restore the safety of all living creatures in the game.
At first glance, Ginger is a cute title that attracts the attention of most 3D platform lovers. However, some elements of the game can be quite irregular. Although the stage design found at each level is very creative, completing challenges and advancing the journey can get a little more difficult than it should. Don’t get me wrong. Even though the combat system is very simple at most levels, there are a few technical obstacles you may encounter while playing the game.
Ginger: Beyond the Crystal was developed by Drakhar Studio and is available for Nintendo Switch for $19.99.
The adventure revolves around a town inhabited by strange beings who live peacefully year after year under the protection of a powerful Goddess. In return, all citizens show their gratitude through generous offerings they make on a regular basis. The Goddess is able to channel her power by making use a powerful crystal located at the center of the town. Everything goes well until they spot a different kind of crystal that suddenly begins to absorb the powers used to protect this little town.
The crystal suddenly breaks into several pieces creating a very unbalanced environment and spreading an odd darkness everywhere. The last hope relies on this special creature called Ginger who appears in the game with the mission to bring things back to normal. The curious thing about Ginger is the fact that it was sent by the town Goddess and raised in the depths of the forest. It becomes the protagonist of the adventure and the most important link between the magic crystals and the Goddess.
From this point on, you will be able to complete a basic tutorial that will teach you some important game commands and other main actions. The tutorial is overall simple. Considering that most moves are very easy to learn, most players shouldn't have to spend much time here and rush to the actual game.
The most detailed-oriented players may put some extra hours in order to complete the adventure. The reason why I can say that is because the title offers takes you on a journey on not only searching for crystals but also collecting important materials such as wood and rocks. All of those elements together will allow Ginger to rebuild the homes that were once destroyed.
Drakhar Studio has developed this adventure in a 3D platform style filled with environments that recall several classics of this genre, such as Rayman and Super Mario 64. It is true that the gameplay experience doesn't really compare to other AAA titles, but I can't deny that it is still fun to play. I will get into more details that can explain why I have this opinion. Here are some of the fundamental characteristics of the journey:
The main mission in Ginger: Beyond the Crystal is to collect and purify crystal fragments. You can find these items in different worlds and by accessing magic portals. Each world is presented with a particular structure, filled with a different platform style. Levels come with traps and enemies that must be defeated using your character’s skills. Once you collect enough crystal fragments, you can use their energy save some of the villagers you will meet along the way. Here is how this system works.
As you find yourself in stages that take place in one of the three available towns, you will have to rescue some of the villagers using the crystals previously collected during the platforms stages. In addition to rescuing other creatures, you can also re-build homes and increase the happiness of villagers.
The combat system and enemies' attacks are for the most part easy to overcome. From the very beginning, Ginger counts with four ways to eliminate them: a basic attack, a special attack, an air attack or simply jumping on opponents. Bosses can definitely show greater difficulty in comparison to regular enemies. The good news is that since the game mechanics are simple to learn, players should quickly find the most efficient attack patterns and use them against the bad guys.
Costumes are one of the most interesting elements in this title and can make the gaming experience even more fun. Upon completing some levels, Ginger will get costumes that can grant it special skills. Such abilities are mostly used to access blocked places. For example, some costumes allow you to play music, shrink to the size of a tiny mouse or unlock the incredible powers of a magician.These costumes bring some additional variety to the game, especially at levels that can become a little repetitive in the long run. While playing the game, you will notice how certain stages require an extra effort to locate the final crystal. Having the option to unlock unique abilities during the journey, certainly contribute to a more interesting gameplay.
Throughout the adventure, the player has to collect different materials, such as wood, gold or stones, which will be used to rebuild the villages that had been damaged by the explosion of the magic crystal. Completing those actions will allow Ginger to increase the happiness level of each impacted inhabitant. Aside from completing the regular game, players are also able to work on secondary missions, where they will have to collect objects, fight enemies and finish races.
Ginger: Beyond the Crystal brings a very simple gameplay, but it is also a bit clumsy when it comes to some camera issues. To begin with, you are not able to rotate the camera to its full potential, so it is really hard to take advantage of the areas you are exploring. Also, some camera view adjustments can vary from world to world. A very good example of that issue is found in moments when switching the camera view from a general view to a side-scroller perspective when playing missions versus exploring worlds.
AUDIO AND GRAPHICS
The visual elements found in Ginger: Beyond the Crystal are definitely not the strongest characteristic of the game. Unfortunately, the creative storybook style does not make up for the poor FPS rates, which can be very frustrating. Once again, the game graphics attempt to resemble other popular 3D platforms, but in a less enhanced look. The positive thing found in this title is the fact that levels are filled with well-designed characters and creative enemies.
Aside from the negative comments, audio elements are quite decent. The adventure brings a soundtrack that is really perfect for this game genre. The music adapts to each situation, providing a good balance between happiness, tension, and excitement without being too repetitive. Finally, sound effects have also been very well-chosen, and provide an improved gaming experience while joining combats and completing missions.
Ginger: Beyond the Crystal is, without a doubt, a title that may fulfill the curiosity of 3D platform fans to a certain extent. Drakhar Studio has successfully combined a gameplay with many possibilities through a good amount of missions and challenges. On the other hand, the average quality of visual elements and the excessive load times can really impact the player experience. The game brings simple commands, but the issues with the camera options may prevent the player from getting the proper environment view as they try to complete actions and move forward. The game has a lot of room for improvements, but I must say that most issues are still tolerable. In summary, despite all some of described issues, Ginger: Beyond the Crystal offers good ideas and a mildly entertaining adventure.
|+ Well illustrated story and narrative||– Extensive load times|
|+ Decent audio elements||– Several camera issues that impact gameplay|
|+ Creative structure||– Graphics are not very impressive|