Kourtnie.net

Kourtnie McKenzie-Williams. Writer. Artist. Educator.

I 💙 Crimson Gem Saga 👾

I super-enjoyed reviving my two-year-old post from AWP LA ’16; so I’m going to continue reviving—or necromancing—old posts 2-3 times a month, until I reintegrate…or trash… my past ideas into my Kourtnie.net self-improvement dashboard.

Necromancy 😎 New Sub-category

Today, I’m reviving a review I wrote seven years ago for a video game that, at the time, was already two years old. Next year, Crimson Gem Saga will be a decade old, but I don’t think about it too hard because it makes my bones hurt.

Once Upon a Time 🖤 17 March 11

Crimson Gem Saga is a PSP game that hit America in May ’09. Despite its raving reviews and popularity, I only recently added it to my collection. It really helps the creditability of a game when it’s so popular, it was re-released for iPhone, iTouch and iPad—so why not give it a shot, right?

Crimson Gem Saga Screenshot

Compliment Sandwich 😘 Except, It’s a Sloppy Joe

If you’re looking for an RPG with new, nifty features, this is not the one. Crimson Gem Saga follows the traditional strengths of previous roleplaying games, including:

  • Turn-based battles that start by running into enemies on the dungeon screen
  • Standard level-ups with customizable, point-based talent trees
  • A “collect the artifacts” story, with thoroughly enjoyable plot twists
  • In-depth characters, complimented with full art and voice-over dialogue
  • A massive “bonus” dungeon available for scouring, filled with mouth-watering goodies

Crimson Gem SagaI can name dozens of games that meet the same quota. So why’s Crimson Gem Saga any different?

Because every aforementioned aspect is executed flawlessly. The developers took qualities we’ve all grown to love and enjoy, polished them into something fantastic, and released a gem [saga! haha!] to the masses.

If you like memorable characters, this seems like the game’s strongest quality. The interactions are hilarious, the voice actors do a fabulous job, and I can’t help but relate them to other characters I’ve adored. Even if you hardly pick up your PSP—you’re more of a Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft kind of gamer—it’s impossible not to appreciate the personality archetypes each character brings to the table.

Crimson Gem Saga is also unique in its origination. While most of these classic RPGs originate in Japan, this is straight from IRONNOS in South Korea. It was first published as Astonishia Story 2 (for those that’ve played the American Astonishia Story), but when the Atlus worked their magic and brought it to the US, that’s when it was renamed Crimson Gem Saga. In Japan, it was released as Garnet Chronicle.

The only complaint is the music. Crimson Gem Saga isn’t lacking in musical composition, but it’s not the kind that sticks with you, like Chrono Crusade or Lunar: Silver Star Harmony. Even then though, the sound effects are thumbs up. You’ll hardly notice the soundtrack’s lackluster place in the background.

This game’s so thoroughly enjoyable—a perfected, cliche RPG—that I intend to pick it up on my iPad next. And how many games are worth owning multiple copies? Surely you can afford at least one.


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