I’ve been catching up on my backlog of video games and recently got around to Crimson Gems Saga. It could have been an awesome game, but there are too many frustrating aspect of the game to allow it to rise above being adequate.

The graphics are gorgeous. The avatar art is great, as are the in-game characters. If you’re a fan of overly animated boobies, they’ve got a character gifted in that area. The animation of the special moves and magic spells clearly had thought put into them.

The story is nothing new. Killian has just graduated a military academy. On his way to join his new squad he meets and is mugged by Spinel, a buxom, treasure hunting thief. After joining his squad, they’re massacred by an unknown force. Killian is recovered by Spinel who then convinces him to help her find a treasure, the wicked stone, in exchange for her assistance in hunting down his attackers. Everything goes wrong when the person Spinel was to sell the treasure to narcs her out. Killian, Spinel and the others they meet along the way become fugitives. Their captors, a corrupt religious order, hunt them down while Killian, Spinel and their companions attempt to beat them to the remaining Wicked Stones.

It takes longer than I thought it would for the battles to become tedious, but once it does get to that point, you may begin to feel like dropping out of the game. Enemies are represented on the screen using a goblin character, which becomes boring to look at after awhile. Also, even though you’re not subjected to random encounters, it’s often difficult to avoid the goblins. They roam the screen, turning at random moments. If they see you, they’ll pause an an exclamation point will appear over their heada. Durin that time you have the option of running into them to initiate a battle or run. If you run and can’t make it to the next screen in time, they’ll give chase in triple time. They usually catch you, and when they do, it’ll initiate a battle where they get the first hit in.

The system by which you level up your powers, weapons and armor is confusing. You gain Skill Points in battle that you can apply to revealing a spot on your skill tree. Once it is revealed, you can then apply more points to that spot to learn the skill. Once a skill is learned, you may apply badges won at random in battle to it to increase the skill’s level.

Also, you’ll be able to apply cards that boost stats to your weapons and armor. But they apply only to your weapons and armor and not your character. So, when you sell the weapon, you lost the stats boost. Lame.

Is that not enough customization? No? Well, you can also apply orbs that change the elemental affinity of your attacks.

Where this game really fails is in the amount if grinding you potentially have to do to level up enough to be a match for your next tier of bad guys. Making use of the stats boosts helps, but not enough. I still did way too much level grinding to become stronger and earn enough coin to purchase weapons and armor, which are prohibitively expensive. That’s when this game became less enjoyable.

You would think there would either be an item available to boost the amount of money you earn per battle or an area you could venture to where battles yielded more. Something that would balance out the tedium. But no such thing exists. It’s unfortunate that a game so pretty can become so boring.

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