The story of Crimson Gem Saga follows Chevalier Killian von Rohcoff as he graduates from his academy. Though his rival gets a better job, he continues to keep going on and eventually joins a vast battle. After two enemies massacre the entire army and leave Killian and a Thief Mage Spinel alive, the two embark to figure out who it was that they fought in that ferocious battle and to figure out more about these Crimson Gems.
|Character Combos: Pretty Attacks, but not always what they're cracked up to be.|
The combat system is turn based with the turn order view able from a timeline of sorts at the top of the screen. The characters take a formation with one in the front, two on the left and right of the front fighter, and one in the back (they make the formation of the buttons on the left side of the PSP) which reminded me too much of Valkyrie Profile, but without the unique battle system. The character positioned in the back gets the benefit of being protected from total damage by physical attacks. Characters learn abilities as they level up and can use them inside battle, costing MP, though most of the time attacking will suffice to finish the battles. Most of the fights are fairly easy until you get to the two optional bosses where the difficulty sky rockets for no apparent reason, and the final boss which you don't have to defeat to beat the game.
|Beautiful Sprites with a Slick Interface can't always save a Game.|
The one aspect I really appreciated about the game that was not done up nearly as much as it should have been was the fact that the designers poked fun at themselves and the RPG genre as a whole. The one instance that really sticks in my mind was when I stumbled across a treasure chest filled with Gas Bombs and some Gas Masks, to which Killian commented: "Was someone planning to rob a bank or something?". These little nuances make it more interesting to play the game and really shows the personality of the developers. If only they had taken more time to use these opportunities.
Overall, Crimson Gem Saga isn't a bad game. It's just the game that has been played over and over and over again. If it's been a while since you dove in to an old fashioned RPG, this will help curb the addiction. But if you're looking for something with a lot of content and a lot of depth, it would be better to look further.
6.5 out of 10
Here are a few extra links about Crimson Gem Saga:
the Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimson_Gem_Saga
the Official Webpage: http://www.atlus.com/cgs/
the IGN Review: http://psp.ign.com/articles/987/987131p1.html
the GameFaqs: http://www.gamefaqs.com/psp/950794-crimson-gem-saga