|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Matrix Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Although the plot seems contrived at times, I have to say that the different characters are what really kept me playing this game. The game never takes itself too seriously, and it pays no regard to the fourth wall whatsoever. There is plenty of humor to be had here, and although the game tries really hard to create deep, emotional moments, the real value with the storyline had to come from the more comedic elements of this title.
However, the games comedy could not be as effective without a voiceover, and I was really surprised at the high quality of it. The last few Atlus-published games that I have played have had little to no voiceover, and I was fully expecting this title to be another dud in this department. However, I was quite surprised when the voiceover was not only very present, but rather good as well. Only the main characters (and villains) are voiced, but the lines are delivered with unexpected emotional depth, and I found myself really looking forward to turning up the sound during plot scenes.
As far as visuals go, Crimson Gem Saga is also surprisingly good. The game has a very stylized look to it, and uses cel-shading as well as some watercolor elements to bring the rich world of the game to life. There were plenty of bright colors, and the animations were very fluid. I was also very impressed with the amount of detail given to the characters. The game uses little sprite-like character representations, but instead of looking like a blurry mess of pixels, it looks polished and very detailed. The different environments also look very good and vary from barren desert settings to lush, green meadow areas.
Crimson Gem Saga is not a game for everyone. It can best be described as a niche title, designed for those who appreciate a good old, classic-feeling RPG experience. If you like fast-paced, action-intensive RPGs, then you should steer clear of Crimson Gem Saga. If you do like the older format, however, this title really is a gem, and it shouldnt be missed!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor