Review: Pokémon Crystal Legacy

I’ve played my fair share of Pokémon mods, from games with slight improvements to completely new regions and Pokémon. Pokémon Crystal Legacy isn’t the first Crystal mod I’ve played but it’s certainly one of the best.

Crystal Legacy was created by YouTuber and self-proclaimed “Gen 2 nerd” SmithPlays Pokémon as a way of making a version that lives up to Gen 2’s hidden potential. It’s well known that for all its nostalgic charm, Gold/Silver/Crystal has a lot of flaws and missed opportunities such as:

  • terrible level scaling in key parts of the games
  • slow grinding
  • a lack of Gen 2 Pokémon in gym leaders’ teams
  • a less-than-competitive post-game
  • a final boss battle with Red that is super difficult if you haven’t got your team up to Level 70+

But Crystal Legacy fixes a lot of this with hand-picked changes that bring the games into the modern day.

I played Crystal Legacy on my new Powkiddy RGB30 and, thanks to speed up, I got through it in a few days and I went with a team of Pokémon I generally don’t use:

  • Hostgator the Feraligatr
  • Angelfire the Magcargo
  • Lycos the Crobat
  • Tiscali the Beedrill
  • Netscape the Skarmory
  • Winzip the Vileplume

I decided not to play a Nuzlocke so I could enjoy the game but I think adding that element would make this ROM hack even better than it already is.

What I liked about the mod was how it changed just enough to get the most of an already good game. The moveset changes meant Pokémon had a better chance to do well throughout the game, such as Beedrill which I could finally use in a playthrough. Probably my favourite story change is how you have to beat the Elite Four for a second time after winning all the Kanto badges. This allows for a better level grinding experience before taking on Red, which was my least favourite part of Gen 2 so I’m glad this was corrected.

Some Pokémon got bigger stat buffs including Magcargo, which I didn’t realise until I started writing this review so I chose well for my team! I also enjoyed the improved storyline with Team Rocket which I already found quite entertaining as a kid but this brought it closer to the kind of storylines in Gen 5 (albeit nowhere near as engaging).

Your Rival’s storyline is the same but has changes to his team depending on your starter choice. It would have been awesome to add in the Silver-Giovanni father-son storyline but the game wasn’t worse for not having it. That said, his team was still super easy to beat so maybe the Pokémon could have been buffed further?

Now, the Elite Four. Finally, a proper challenge! I decided not to keep resetting after losing so I could grind up and it was a lot more fun than the original games. Each Elite Four member had better versions of their OG teams, and some annoyances you have to strategise for (e.g. Koga’s Minimize Muk).

Overall, this is probably the best way to play Crystal outside something like Crystal Clear which deviates more from the originals than Crystal Legacy. I recommend you watch SmithPlays Pokémon’s video on the hack and how to install it

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