Crystal Towers 2 is a 90s-styled hub-based sort of Metroidish-Mario 64ish platform game, in which you guide Bernard the monk around a collection of varied worlds on a quest to recover the eight crystals that hold the kingdom's music. Players can choose their route through the game as levels are slowly unlocked by completing challenges. By gathering new spells and abilities as the game goes on, and occasionally being assisted by two sort of cat-things, it's Bernard's job to restore harmony to the Music Castle once more.
While I went into Crystal Towers 2 expecting it to be at least decent, it far exceeded my expectations (enough even that I ended up getting 100%).
This is not to say that Crystal Towers 2 is not without its flaws as the bosses are fairly hit and miss, some vertical-moving platforms can be a bit buggy, the game crashed on me a few times after finishing a stage, and the spritework, while by no means bad, is a bit lacking.
However, the rest of the game more than makes up for these downsides. While the graphics may be underwhelming, the music definitely is not; as one would hope for a game which revolves around restoring music to the world, Crystal Towers 2 has a fantastic soundtrack without a single bad song and many memorable ones.
The stages are likewise extremely well-made and their various intertwining paths serve both to make them highly replayable and to capture the feel of the Genesis platformers this game draws a good amount of inspiration from. While getting from one side of a stage to the other usually can be done in a minute or less, these stages are by no means small and, between the many hidden items and the various tasks players will need to complete, a good chunk of time will be spent exploring each of them.
Crystal Towers 2's main strength is likely in how well it spreads its large amount of content. While players must complete the tasks in any stage in a specific order, the difficulty and length of these tasks is mixed up constantly, stages are unlocked very quickly and players will almost certainly always have multiple options in front of them if they are having trouble with a stage, and both passive boosts and spells which are useful both for combat and exploration are hidden in many of the stages.
Ultimately, while Crystal Towers 2 has some shortcomings, it is overall a very solid, creative platformer which feels enjoyable from beginning to end and, despite having over twenty hours-worth of content, the design never feels lazy nor rushed.
It's an exceptionally well done platformer, and pretty lengthy for the price. Pretty much the only significant beef I have is that the low resolution leads to a lot of rapid camera "swinging" as you change directions and look up and down. It almost feels like it was originally designed for the Game Boy Advance. As long as you can get used to that, though, it's an easy recommendation.