Crystal Defenders Reviews

  • Sindarin EagleSindarin Eagle57,652
    13 Jul 2010 31 Jan 2011
    21 11 8
    As a Final Fantasy fan from in the original Nintendo days, particularly of Final Fantasy Tactics, I really wanted to like this game. Unfortunately, I found it a profound disappointment.

    Graphics make the first negative impression. Particularly with the Final Fantasy label attached, I expected a lot better. There's a certain retro appeal to the sprite-based graphics, but it's limited and doesn't survive extended contact with the game. I could forgive that in a 400 point game that might get discounted to 240 like some of the classic ports. But at 800 points, well... suffice it to say that the graphics kept making me think "I paid *how* much for this?" Sadly, I think a lot of the cost is just for the "Final Fantasy" name.

    Story usually isn't much of a feature in tower defense games, but here it makes not even a cursory appearance. Plants vs. Zombies has more story than this game, and it's a free Flash game.

    Game play can make up for that, but here, it didn't. My reaction is partly personal preference, so if you have a different approach to and thoughts about tower defense games, adjust accordingly. The failing for a tower defense game for me is when it becomes painfully obvious that there's exactly one right way to solve the puzzle. I become too conscious of the game as a game, and keep thinking that there's probably a map somewhere on GameFAQs that will spell everything out, which pulls me out of enjoying the game and makes it a tedious exercise in mini-maxing the layout.

    This is subjective and hard to describe, but there's a sense of being pulled into the game that's simply missing here, and very badly so. The game play felt very artificial and very static to me, almost like setting up dominoes and then watching them fall without further interaction (except more tedious).

    Crystal Defenders encourages one to set up all of your forces and then play out the level and see if it works, rather than reacting dynamically to things how they happen. Other tower defense games such as Plants vs. Zombies or Defense Grid avoid this problem by giving you a tiny amount of resources to start with, and then additional resources dynamically during continuous play rather than only between waves. This resource approach makes the game more dynamic and engrossing. Crystal Defenders does add a bit more to do during the waves farther on in the game, but it's just not enough.

    If that mini-maxing layout in advance of the wave is the way that you like to play tower defense, this may not bother you and you may want to add a star to my rating.

    But even adjusting for that subjective impression, there isn't enough to this game. At 400 points, sometimes that doesn't matter; a couple of hours of enjoyment for $5 isn't a bad deal. But at 800 points, I think this game is horribly overpriced: it's a simple, limited game, with somewhat tedious and not particularly exciting game play, mediocre to poor graphics, and a generally inferior impression to other games in the same genre at the same price point.

    For tower defense on the 360, look at Defense Grid instead, which is superior to this game in every respect.

    ETA: I wrote this review having only played enough of the game to get a feel for it (and to decide I didn't like it). Since then, I've gone back and finished the game (since hey, gamer score). I'd like to say that the game improved in later levels, but unfortunately it doesn't. The arrangement of the levels changes, the role names change, and a few new roles are added, but there's nothing really new and the feeling of being drawn into the game remains entirely missing for me. It reminds me of doing chess problems: you're given a constrained, artificial situation, you have nearly all the information in advance and unlimited time, and you just have to figure out how to use it. If you like doing chess problems with Final Fantasy Tactics graphics, you should add additional stars. Otherwise, Defense Grid and Plants vs. Zombies are better investments of your points.
    2.0
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    Big samaOf course there is an incentive in this game to place at the last moment, you earn more money at the end of the round depending on how much money you have left at that time. I agree that the game encourages more logic than last minute "oh no" moments, in that the game wants you to think about where you are placing troops not just randomly placing them when you need them.
    Posted by Big sama on 30 Jul 10 at 23:45
    Sindarin EagleYou're not really disagreeing with my criticism, so I think we're talking past each other and you're not clear on what exactly I'm objecting to. I'm not quite sure how to rephrase it to make it clearer, but I'll give it another try.

    In other tower defense games that I've played, there's more of an ebb and flow during the round because you don't have resources at the start of the ground to do very much at all and you have to collect and acquire resources during the round to place new defenders. This creates a dynamic and engrossing feel of ebb and flow. In some, there's also an incentive to hold off as long as possible in placing defenders, not just place a minimum of defenders, through game mechanics like dynamically earning interest during the round on unspent resources.

    Crystal Defenders permits a much more static gameplay. If you know the correct solution to a level, you just set that up in advance and need do no other interaction during the round. By comparison, Plants vs. Zombies or Defense Grid, among others, require dynamic involvement in the round even if you know the end layout that you're aiming towards.

    As mentioned in the review, if you like the more static gameplay, you should add something to my rating. I don't; I want to be drawn into the round and not left with the feeling that I should be working out a placement that I could just apply immediately at the start of the ground. Hence, I didn't enjoy this game as much as other entries in the same genre.
    Posted by Sindarin Eagle on 31 Jul 10 at 00:43
    SweetArkhaneUninspired sprite graphics?

    You never played FFTA or what?
    Posted by SweetArkhane on 27 Apr at 04:23
  • FFX BrotherhoodFFX Brotherhood1,100,319
    17 Aug 2012
    5 2 2
    Crystal defender’s is a game I bought simply because I am a Final Fantasy Fan-boy, it’s not the best quality I possess but neither is it the worst. However this trait brought me across this simple but somewhat fun tower-defence game which could be compared to “Plants VS Zombies” the internet flash hit.

    Story 1/10:

    I feel harsh for giving this game such a small score simply because there is no storyline to it what so ever. Although other games like Serious Sam and DOOM had very little in terms of storyline and still did great, this game just ignores any form of story.

    The basic story is that you are a general or some other high-ranking officer and it’s your job to protect certain power crystals by preventing the enemies from getting their hands on them. That’s the depth of it really. Although a slightly more developed story-line could have been developed the game doesn’t really NEED one.

    Gameplay 6/10:
    This is a typical tower defence game. The idea of the game is to protect your team’s crystal from waves upon waves of enemies that will try making their way through the level that always looks like a huge maze. Your job is to place different types of warriors EG Archers, Black mages, Swordsmen and many others along key points in the map to take out the enemies when they draw close.

    You are given so many “Resources” to spend on your team of which can consist of as many fighters as you can afford and fit on the map at once. The game ends if their team manage to get through your defence enough times to steal all of your team’s crystals.
    You start off on simpler levels and eventually build yourself up into the bigger leagues in which more and more enemies and also harder enemies will come into play. This is ok though as you also gain other fighters and techniques as you progress.

    Just a quick note also, there are NO online or Co-op capabilities present in this game so you can’t get a friend in to help you.

    Graphics and sound 5/10:

    The graphics for this game consist of a basic pixel / sprite style. This is somewhat similar to the original Final Fantasy games from way back on the NES. Personally I quite like these graphics in some games, I found myself preferring the original DOOM graphics over the new Modern DOOM 3 however that’s might be down to nostalgia. Basically if you like Pixel style graphics then you shouldn’t mind, however if you think they are an eyesore or maybe not too keen on them personally then you might score the graphics higher or lower depending.

    The sound however avoids that chippy sounding pixel music that you hear in the older games like DOOM and favours a more modern score. While the music isn’t amazing neither is it bad and it does in fact change based on the current “Wave” you are on making the game somewhat more dramatic.

    Overall depending on your view you might like the graphics and you might like the sound, Personally I didn’t mind either too much and found them quite enjoyable however I do know of some individuals who wouldn’t like the pixel art style on an 800 MSP game.

    Achievements 3/10
    : “Not very creative and can be either easy or hard depending on certain factors”
    The achievements for this game are somewhat boring and uncreative really. But again I feel like I’m being harsh because you can’t really go far in terms of achievements on these types of games. Typical things like finishing so many waves or collecting “X” amount of points are the majority of the achievements.

    They can be either hard or easy depending on how good you are at these types of games. However if you get stuck you can always look at a video on YouTube of other players showing you their ways of perfecting the level. With this tactic in mind you could easily breeze through the game in a day or through some levels you are struggling on. Although this takes the fun out of it I will admit I did have to rely on this method myself for some levels.

    Conclusion:
    Although my review does seem to have slated certain parts of the game such as the graphics and achievements do not take that as me saying this game is terrible. It’s not at all terrible. However I would recommend this to tower-defence game and hard-core Final fantasy lovers (If you feel up to it).

    It’s not a bad game but neither is it ground-breaking. I’d seriously recommend a trial run and then you can always make you own valid decisions. In terms of is it worth it? Again 800 MSP might be too high for some people and it might be better to wait for it to come on DOTW (Although I question whether it will actually ever make it on their especially since it’s old) or for a price reduction down to 400 which is a much more reasonable price.

    Out of 5 stars? I would probably say around the lower 3 stars. Maybe around 3.2 or 3.3 and nothing higher. But if you like these type of games you might find it a lot more interesting and engaging than I did.
    3.0
  • Rozay151Rozay151491,097
    16 Nov 2016 05 Dec 2016
    2 2 3
    Tower defence games have always been a favourite of mine since the old days of Warcraft III and Starcraft. Looking through TA one day, I see Crystal Defenders – its a backwards compatible arcade game, cheap and looks like Final Fantasy Tactics. Not only that but it can be completed in 4-5 hours, I think great this will be fun...

    I couldn't be more wrong – this is one of the worst arcade titles I have ever played.

    First of all this is basically a crappy mobile phone game. But what annoys me most about this game is the difficulty is borderline impossible. You have to get to wave 30 on 12 different levels – the first few levels aren't bad. However, by W3 you pretty much have to follow online guides move for move, if you ever want a chance of getting 100% in this game. Unlike most tower defence games where they give you freedom to experiment and upgrade units as you see fit. This game requires a strict planned strategy with little room for error. To gain enough gil to get the score requirements and upgrades, you have to slowly build up the amount of gil that is unspent. The more you have the higher wave bonus you receive. However, because the difficulty is so ridiculous you have to constantly upgrade or else you can be forced to reset. Not to mention, the sound is obnoxious after 5 mins of playing and while the graphics look like FinalFantasy Tactics they're still mobile phone quality...

    Overall the only people i'd recommend this to are crazy achievement hunters who don't mind sitting in front of the TV with a laptop of a guide on how to get perfect on each stage. STRONGLY DO NOT RECOMMEND

    0.5/5

    facepalm
    .5
  • 8 8 3
    Crystal Defenders is a Tower Defense type of game that features the characters from the popular series spanning multiple platforms, Final Fantasy Tactics.
    I had a lot of fun with this game. From the perspective of a long time Final Fantasy Tactics fan, im happy with the first FF arcade release for Xbox 360.
    The game is a little basic compared to its older counterparts, but you can still do a bunch of different things like upgrade and place a pretty decent variety of units. Use crystals to power up your units. There are different sections, 12 maps and a bunch of enemies with different traits and abilities. There is defiantly enough here to keep you occupied for a while. The difficulty is good too. The first few levels help you get your feet wet, but by the end you'll be squeezing out every available piece of gil to fight off the final bosses. I'd give this game 5 stars, when it comes to an arcade game, you can get much better than this one.