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Crimson Gem Saga Review

By , on August 9, 2010

Crimson Gem Saga
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Fun characters bolstered with good voice acting.
  • 30-40+ hours of gameplay depending on side-missions.


  • Horrific menu navigation.
  • Basic JRPG with no real surprises.


The controls were almost enough to put us off from this title, but once you're 'at ease' with them you'll find a charming, if generic JRPG in Crimson Gem Saga that feels comforting for fans of the genre.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

In a move I would love to see followed by other major RPG developers, Atlus' JRPG title 'Crimson Gem Saga' has found its way on to the App Store and fans of the genre will dive right in and feel at home with its simple, classic style. 

Converting a title to the iPhone isn't always a smooth process and sometimes that controls are likely to suffer in the transition and Crimson Gem Saga is no different in this regard. Sticking with the 'fixed' control is heartily recommended and players will need to master the somewhat inconsistent menus that require far too much swiping to navigate effectively. Beyond this, the game holds no real surprises, with turn-based combat that's flourished with a combo-attack system and an upgrade system that gives you a lot of depth in customizing your character's statistics.

The game's visuals are immediately old-school with their pixel-art over painted background style, however the attention to detail is amazing and each character has a real charm that gives them more depth than most generic JRPG titles. It's also surprising to hear so much voice-acting added in the game as well, with most major cut-scenes giving a voice to all the characters, albeit for only one or two lines per exchange.

For those not yet introduced to the JRPG (Japanese RPG) style, this title is a great way to dip your toes in to the genre and fans will love the 30-40 hours of gameplay that justify the rather hefty entry fee; a fun, refreshing addition to anyone's RPG collection.


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kaorimaru 6 years, 6 months ago

So In The end, I purchased Crimson Gem Saga. Initially, the controls were extremely frustrating and still can be frustrating now! However, It was worth ten bucks :)

kaorimaru 6 years, 7 months ago

hi andrew, should I get crimson gem saga or FF3? I already asked this on the FF3 page too, but I decided to ask it on both pages anyway, you know, just in case.

Leont 7 years ago

So, I bought the game, played through the 1. boss, now looking for the next gem... And the game is rock hard, I'm happy to be alive at most moments!
But I love the game, sure, the controls are bad, but it is possible to get used to them after an hour or 2.
The main complain is no menu or tutorial, I went to the internet to find out that I can learn new skills my own! Damn, was that an Heureka! moment. But the combat is fun, the characters are fantastic (speccialy when the mage dies and blames it on the main hero xD ) and the art style is pretty good!
All together, if you pass through the controls, and If you are ready to work hard through the battles, you will without doubt, enjoy this game a lot! I'm gonna go play it right now!
Thanks appspy for the help!

andrew 7 years ago

No problemo :D

Leont 7 years ago

So, game appspy, I have been watching your videos for quite some time, and I do enjoy them quite a lot. And I thank you for all the hard work. And I decided to register for a lil bit help.
Crimson Saga or Chaos Rings?
I love RPG's, and have been thinking wich one to pick up. I love the art style of Crimson Saga 'a great nostalgic feeling to it) and the animation looks great. But Chaos Rings is getting a higher score all around.
Also, wich one lasts longer? I want a game for which I will get my money's worth seeing as they are both quite on the expensive side.
So, just a little bit of help in deciding and I would be ever so thankful.
Please, keep it up! You guys are without doubt, brilliant!

Leont 7 years ago

And sorry for calling you “game appspy,” my mistake!

Leont 7 years ago

And sorry for calling you “game appspy,” my mistake!

andrew 7 years ago

In case you miss my response I'll probably email you directly ;) But I'd say you're likely to find Crimson Saga to last a bit longer, especially as the storyline is somewhat more in depth. It scored lower due to some rather poor menu implementations that can be annoying to deal with over and over. In terms of long-term appeal though, Chaos Rings does allow players to continue to the level cap once the game is complete, so there's a bit of added value to consider as well (though it's up to the individual if it truly counts).

Leont 7 years ago

Thanks! I love the fact that you actually reply to questions!
So, I think Ill go for Crimson Saga in the end. I'm not so much about leveling my character's after I defeat the game. Also the fact Crimson Saga has an endless tower option is a neat bonus.
I think Ill live past the poor menu controls, If it was an action game it would stop me all together from buying it, but I think I can forgive it in a RPG (plus, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will do something about it in an update).
just one more question, are the bugs big in Crimson Saga, I mean like, BIG, or are they minor details.

dobre2 7 years, 3 months ago

this game never had a good publicity, aldo is the best rpg on iphone ever made, better even than ''Chaos Rings'', has not 3d graphic(aldo the graphic have an artistic look) but the gameplay is far more better, the combined spells are spectaculous, when you thing you are the strongest team in the universe just step into the next level and you are not the strongest eny more,you must find another strategies with new enemies, all the weapons, armours spells and skills are upgradable in manny ways, when i say that, is because of 80 hours of gameplay i have in this game amd i'm just at 50% in game (zigurat towers have endless various enemies for you to get stronger and reacher), the only bad spots of this game, is for gamer to use to controlls,i gues that take me 2-3 hours do use to it, and the bugs, but you can solve that with upgrade at 1.1 version, on top of all that, i reapeat:

andrew 7 years, 3 months ago

If they ever upgrade to 1.1 and fix the controls :) Considering the frustration of the controls it's lucky to have scraped by with a 4 - if I was in a bad mood it probably would have hit 3 without a second thought ;)