Crimson Gem Saga Review
Crimson Gem Saga box art
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.

Crimson Gem Saga screenshot

However, the game’s 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.

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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 shouldn’t be missed!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.9
Graphics
Highly stylized cel-shaded graphics look great on the PSP. Characters are highly detailed, and the different environments look vivid and lush.
4.1
Control
Menu based controls are very simple and easy to learn. There are no gimmicky elements to the controls, just simple menu selection.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is nicely varied across the dungeons, and the voiceover is surprisingly competent.
3.5
Play Value
The classic feel of the game does make grinding a little boring, and the story feels contrived at times, but this is a great title for those who crave a more classic approach to their RPG gaming.
3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Return to essential RPG fun: Remember what made RPGs simply fun experiences? You'll find it here. Easy to pick up and play with a full package of addictive combat, beautiful graphics, interesting story, and fantastic voice work; this is a title that will charm genre newbies and veteran players alike.
  • Gratifying combo-filled combat: This is turn-based RPG combat at its most fun. Attack your enemies before they attack you to gain the advantage of the first hit in battle. Master the Critical Combo System to deliver multiple hits and deliver major damage to an enemy. Team up with allies to unleash massive dual, triple, or full-team attacks.
  • Distinctively beautiful 2-D world: Vibrant, colorful, and distinctive, this is a world that will draw and keep you inside the fantasy. Detailed character portraits and beautiful, fluid sprites further make this a treat for the eyes.
  • A far superior sequel: Forget what you know about the series because this is a totally new experience. With a complete graphical facelift, a brand new story and cast, and newly polished combat, this is a game that blows right past its predecessor.


  • Screenshots / Images
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