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Crystal Defenders is a very original game for the Xbox Arcade scene and is a real challenge to play.
At the time of writing there isn't anything similar to this on the XBLA, and so if you are busting for some tower defense action, this is really your only choice. That's not a hugely bad thing, as it plays well, and has some undeniable charm to it thanks to the Final Fantasy theme. Unfortunately it falls short on map variety, and graphical polish, which is what is stopping me from really recommending this game.
Defenders is held back by some annoying balance issues, as some units – Dragoons and White Monks, for example – were fairly useless compared to others that were basically required. Plus, all of the maps are essentially the same, though the availability of different units on different maps mixes things up a little. Crystal Defenders doesn’t do much that’s new or revolutionary, but with very slim tower defense competition on the 360, it’s an addictive distraction.
Cheat Code Central
Although I personally enjoyed Crystal Defenders, this title isn't for everyone. The tactics are fairly simple (especially considering their source material) and the small scope of the game will turn off many who expect more depth from their tower defense titles. The game also looks too much like a mobile title for a console port, and it just doesn't really stand up as its own tactics title. Although Square Enix opted to drop the Final Fantasy Tactics title for this game, I really think that was a mistake, as fans of Final Fantasy Tactics will probably be the only people who will find real enjoyment out of Crystal Defenders. This game can be fun when played in the context of the Final Fantasy universe, but those hoping for a deep or unique tactics experience may want to look elsewhere.
Die Handy-Portierung sieht man dem Titel in vielerlei Beziehung negativ an. Besonders viel Ehrgeiz, ein optimiertes Konsolenerlebnis zu schaffen, scheinen die Entwickler nicht gehabt zu haben. Eine Mehrspielerkomponente gibt es ebenso wenig wie einen Editor. Eine notdürftige Online-Rangliste und freispielbare Erfolge sind alles, was nach dem Meistern aller Levels noch zum Weiterspielen motiviert. Aufgrund des schnell ansteigenden Schwierigkeitsgrades ist man natürlich eine ganze Weile beschäftigt und hat auch seinen Spaß, aber wer neben seiner 360 auch noch eine PS3 stehen hat, ist mit einem PixelJunk Monsters nach wie vor wesentlich besser bedient - und das für deutlich weniger Geld.
Tout en misant sur un univers connu et reconnu, Square Enix nous offre un petit jeu, simple en apparence mais qui se révèle très prenant. Malheureusement, le faible nombre de cartes et d'unités aura tôt fait de lasser le joueur d'autant que le concept reste vite redondant. A vous de voir mais si vous aimez le genre, pas de raison de se sentir floué.
Crystal Defenders es un título que, amparado en el clásico sistema de los “tower defense”, saca provecho –sólo parcial- de dicha mecánica para ofrecer un título de estrategia bastante divertido y con capacidad de enganche. El problema es que es demasiado corto, que tiene varias imperfecciones jugables y que su modesto origen no puede ocultarse ni a nivel visual ni de profundidad. Es un título correcto, con una traducción al castellano que ayudará a lanzarse a los más curiosos, pero se aleja totalmente de lo que podría dar de si una mecánica que, en otras manos, ha demostrado ser mucho más jugosa. Sobra decir que, además, no incluye ningún tipo de modalidad multijugador para alargar su vida útil.
"Crystal Defenders" é um jogo que não vai além da fórmula tradicional do chamado "tower defense", usando sua proximidade com a consagrada franquia "Final Fantasy" como diferencial. É uma diversão de momento que se torna banal a longo prazo, mais indicado para portáteis, ainda mais por não se aproveitar dos recursos do Xbox 360 - o que não impediu a produtora de cobrar os mesmos 800 Microsoft Points de outros jogos bem mais belos e complexos à venda.
Crystal Defenders isn't for everyone. In fact, it's not for most people, the only reason it's really even worth mentioning is because it's the only tower defense game (XNA excluded) on the system, which does earn it some consideration. Despite the many faults there's a bit of enjoyment to be had, and some might find themselves mildly addicted to the gameplay. However, odds are if you have access to any other console, there are plenty of better tower defense games to enjoy.
The Review Busters
Why would you pay 800 Microsoft Points for a game that was programmed to be played on an iPhone, Wii, and DS? It would have made more sense for Square Enix to make this game on those consoles only. Castle Defenders is a decent game but it is not worth the asking price at all. Hold off on purchasing this game for now.
As both the first Square Enix game and the first tower defense game on Xbox Live Arcade, Crystal Defenders is a disappointment. Yes, it succeeds in providing a tower defense experience with Final Fantasy job classes, but what’s the real value in that? There is a ton of content here, with hundreds of stages to plow through, but I was bored and unimpressed in the first five minutes. If you’re dying to play a game like this, you’ve probably already satiated your desire with an iPhone, iPod, DS or PC game by now. So why pay 800 Microsoft Points ($10) for this?
Regardless of the decent strategic elements that Crystal Defenders offers, the fact that there is no story, any sort of progression or reward makes this a hard game to recommend to anyone. With so many other quality tower defense games available, you would have assumed something set in the Final Fantasy universe would have given gamers a better experience rather than something so completely basic.
Crystal Defenders is a stripped-down tower defense game that doesn't make good use of its Final Fantasy source material. Although it is a structurally sound attempt in the genre, it is so lifeless and uninspired that it fails to entertain for long.
I could forgive the game more if it came with a lower price tag. The 800 Microsoft Points (or about $10) is about double what it should be, even with the tenuous Final Fantasy connection. There’s gameplay in there, but you have to endure a lot of uninspired design before you will feel even slightly fulfilled. It’s not a total miss of a game, but it’s hardly what it could have been with even just a little bit more of an effort from the game’s developers.
All of the strategy in the game comes from managing your resources... It's like an accounting game where, instead of balancing the books, you're balancing your defensive placements in order to maximize your coverage area. Actually, Verizon, AT&T or Rogers, could very quickly rebrand it and make a cellular tower placement game, where you play a mobile phone executive trying to get the best coverage in a given region... it's essentially the same thing but with cell phones instead of chocobos. And here's the thing about that, no one would be interested in playing the Cellphone game, which means the only reason someone would get Crystal Defenders is because they're already FF fans.