This game takes you back to the NES mentality where you just play until you die, then Rinse and Repeat!

User Rating: 7.5 | Crystal Defenders PSP
When I downloaded the demo of this game for my PSP, I really didn't know what to expect. Was it an RPG? Was it a stem of Final Fantasy Tactics, as the download's description seemed to suggest. Whatever the case, It turned out to be a pretty suprising title.

The concept of the gameplay is very strait forward and might even feel familiar if you enjoy "omnicient-type strategy games" such as Sim City, FF Tactics, or even the "Fort Condor" minigame from Final Fantasy VII. You are required to organize a small army of highly recognizable recurring FF characters according to their class, and abilities. For example, You will have an "Archer" that deals physical attacks that can damage flying monsters. However, the Soldier can only deal high powered grown based attacks. Much like the "Chess" concept of utilizing peices that have stationary abilities.

Visually CD looks much like something you'd create on RPG Maker VX. (I'm still looking for Character Sprites, and Tilesets as we speak.) The map looks much like a winding road. Enemeis will ender the road at one side, and attempt to exit the map on the other. Your job is to thwart their efforts. Should a single enemy pass through, you will lose a treasured key item. "Crystals". Thus the name Crystal Defenders. These Crystals allow you to summon Espers such as a Chocobo, Ifirit, and various Gigas'. You begin with 20 crystals, and each Esper will cost you 5. So use them wisely, treat them as if they were HP.

Just as you would if you were playing Bubble Bobble, you are placed into a small map, then after completing it's challenges, you will then be challenged with the next "Wave" of enemies. It would be wreckess not to mention that you will not have to worry about diying in this game, you are merely trying not to fail. Should you fail, all of your progress will only be recognized on the High Scores menu. A typical battle duration, should you make it to let's say, "Wave 10" wouls last about 15-20 minutes. Even less if you hold the R2 button, which speeds battle time significantly.

This game tends to run more like an arcade game rather than a console came. As in an Arcade, you play through countless levels trying to rack up the best high score, only to lose and be forced to start again. And I promise, its not nearly as frustrating when you lose. In fact, it's such a mind stimulating game, that you will find yourself studying the battlefield looking for better ways to utilize your army, and predict your enemies.

I give this game a 7.5 because it is in no way a brilliant game. It's simply an enjoyable concept, done right. It's only $9.99 on the Playstation Store. I suggest anyone with a PSP give it a try. Otherwise, the free demo is still a great indicator.