I started this game after reading a ton of horrid reviews, now without being too harsh I did enjoy it for what it was worth. But boy did it have some quirks.
The graphics are very old school due to it being a PC port of the Korean title with the same name. The sounds can be a bit repetitive but gets the job done. The story starts out on a normal find the item and save the world type quest. But then breaks off into so many different directions with little sub plots that you never really care for any of the characters too much, or the story much at all.
The fighting can be very repetitive and brings nothing new to the table in terms of a strategy RPG. You pretty much walk across a grid and use your magic points to pull off moves, or just do regular attacks etc.
I found the game to be very unbalanced, some levels I blew through with no issue while others seemed to smack me in the face and forced you to grind a bit on the map.
The game comes in at about 15 hours and I had about all I could take by that point. The ending was a pretty big let down, and to top it all off I couldn't even enter the last level on my own due to missing one of the three items I needed to access that level. I found out that the one I missed was at the very beginning of the game, I wasn't even sure if I could go back nor did I want to invest the time in back tracking to some village or dungeon I don't even remember.
I ended up cheesing out and downloading a save file from Gamefaqs, I then went right to the last boss and felt some sense of accomplishment, but not much.
Gameplay: D+ (The fighting gets repetitive, the story is a mix of generic filler, and the characters are paper thin. I didn't have much feeling for any of them. However I did like the little in game jokes about video games, warez, and copyright protection. Since this game started on the PC there was some jokes pointing back to that when it was first released.)
Graphics: B- (Decent old school sprite graphics, I enjoyed them for what they were. Don't expect much and you won't be let down.)
Sound: C- (There is no voice acting and the sounds got repetitive as well. But it was all done in a very old school fashion.)
Fun: C- (It started out alright, but by the time it ended I was glad it was over. The ending was also pretty bland and I would see no reason to play through this title again.)
Overall: C- (There are much better RPGs on the PSP, Persona, Lunar, FF Crisis Core, just to name a few. But if you like very old school and just need a quick rpg fix it may get the job done, just don't expect much of anything.)
Extra Info: I had found out that Crimson Gem Saga started out as Astonishia Story 2, but then due to the backlash the first title received the game was overhauled and got a name change as well! I own Crimson Gem but have yet to play it, I hear the story has no tie ins and no mention of anything from Asonishia. I guess the creators also knew Astonishia wasn't so good. I had paid $5 for this with tax, I'd say that's about all it's really worth.)