Crystal Saga 2 Review
Pros: Easy browser access, six customizable classes, AFK Mode
Cons: Boring combat, tedious quests, dated concept
R2Games have recently launched a new anime RPG Crystal Saga II, a free to play browser-based title sequel to the popular Crystal Saga. We took a few hours out to check out the game and see what it was all about.
Starting with character creation we had a choice of six characters, a bit of an improvement from the traditional three core classes you generally see with these games, and each class has two skill trees to offer some further customization. The combat in the game is about as simple as you can get and, even with our mage, we were stood toe to toe with enemies and just trading blows until they died; if this is the gameplay for the mage then we can’t imagine a warrior or rogue, or any other class, is going to feel any different. Outside of group based content where Knights can take more damage and Priests can heal, the classes all generally feel the same when playing solo and the gaming experience won’t change that much between them.
Combat has to be kept fairly simple as, unsurprisingly for an Asian browser RPG, the game has an AFK mode. Unlike most that are available from level 1 we had to get to level 16 before it was available and, whilst it was ideal for killing monsters in an area it didn’t expand beyond that to where the character will hand in quests and pick up the next ones, so wasn’t a full AFK experience. Either way, an AFK mode to us always suggests that your quest content is ridiculously grindy or ridiculously boring, in this case it was both with every enemy we came across feeling exactly the same, the “Kill X monsters” on constant repeat was arduous. Insult added to injury was that whilst you would be sent to an area to kill a certain monster we were often then sent out of the zone to head all the way back to town to pick up the next quest which would send us all the way back to kill different monsters that were right next to the those we’d already been fighting. It is an absolute brainless time sink and further perpetuates the grind. So heading there and hitting our AFK Mode (which uses up your earned/purchased AFK time) was pretty much the go to for our gameplay until the quest completed itself, then hitting the hyperlink in the quest log to auto-path back to the NPC and then hitting it again to head back to the area to fight more mobs. We spent more time AFKing/automated in this game than actually playing it.
Features wise there was nothing particularly new, if we’d made a checklist of features/events we expected to see in the game before playing it then we would have been pretty much dead on. Pet system to evolve pets as battle companions, upgradeable mounts that boost your stats, enhancement systems on gear to improve it, then of course the ability to acquire Wings for your character (honestly we’ve never understood the obsession of having cosmetic wings in a game). Reaching level 21 we’d actually unlocked a surprisingly limited number of Events, some that we could click from the different icons flashing on our screen we actually weren’t high enough level for (which is odd given that some other features just didn’t appear until you were the right level for them) and we were pretty much forced to do the linear main quest chain and nothing else. Story wise the quests were pretty poor, extensive back and forth NPC delivery type quests with single lines of text that had nothing to do with the bigger picture for the lore or story-arc, it got to the point where we didn’t even want to waste time reading a single line of text as it was so banal.
Graphically the game isn’t too bad, though it probably would have seen its hay day about five years ago; the animations are a little stilted and jerky and not really impressive, but not so much an eye sore that they were a problem.
Ultimately the game is just another clone of every other isometric Asian browser RPG that we’ve seen, both from R2Games and other publishers and developing studios. There’s nothing in there that we experienced that we haven’t seen over and over, it didn’t feel like a new game, it is the type of game that once you’ve played a dozen of them then it just drifts into obscurity and is completely forgettable. That said if you love the Asian RPG genre then you’re going to get exactly what you want from Crystal Saga II, it ticks all the boxes with the types of features and mechanics you’d want/expect to see, but for us it just unfortunately didn’t deliver anything more.