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A.P.I Review: Guardian's Crusade
Developer: Tamsoft OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Activision 1-2 Player
Game Type: Role Playing Game Memory Card
Review Date: March 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Guardian's Crusade is a nice little story about a young boy (Knight) that is thrust into meeting his destiny when a little tyke called Baby arrives in his village. It seems that Baby had been mistakenly deposited in Knight's hometown and it is up to him to bring Baby to his rightful destination...the God's Tower. In addition to Baby, a fairy named Nehani accompanies Knight. It seems that Knight had discovered her wounded while wandering around a forest by his house. Knight tended to her and Nehani ended up falling in love with him. This turns out to be a no-no because Knight is a human. Secretly Nehani wishes that she too could be human.

So armed with only a junky sword, a weak wooden shield and some crappy armor, Knight and his team venture out to find Baby's parents…it's a good thing you will find some better weapons and armor throughout the game because the monsters are out for blood!


Guardian's Crusade is a grass roots RPG where your character gains experience and other attributes throughout the game.


The graphics in GC appear to be using the Playstation's Hi-Res mode. Everything is extremely crisp and rather well defined. The character models and the world as well are extremely colorful and bright, so get your shades out!

Everything is made up of polygons, so the world can be rotated in a full 360-degree manner, which is really nice. You also have the option of setting an auto cam that attempts to track your character from behind at a ¾ perspective. I found the camera in this mode to be a bit slow in correcting and tracking the players movement so I opted for the manual mode instead and found it worked much better for my tastes.

I was a little disappointed in the landscape models though. Trees, rocks and other scenery appeared to me to be rather redundant and I often found myself getting lost on more than one occasion and constantly needing to refer to the neat little map that pops up on the screen. It would have been nice if the developers included a nice zoom out feature to enable players to quickly see where they were. There is also a nice little map in the booklet that accompanies the game, but who the heck wants to keep digging that out.

The battle screens are well done with character movements taking place by the gamer issuing various commands and then watching the characters execute them.

There are really no breath-taking special effects taking place that are worthy of note but the overall presentation is just fine for this type of game and is a step up from the deformed character models that some RPG's still employ.

There is also wonderful Japanese style Anime cut scenes dispersed throughout the game to progress the storyline along.

Sounds and Effects

Whoa, the music is literally all over the board in GC. One moment you're enjoying a nice little jazz shuffle and the next you are being lulled to sleep by a laid back melody. Each area has it's own musical theme to accompany it so there is never a lack of variety. Overall the music is fine but there were a few tunes that tended to relax me a bit too much…no big deal though.

The sound effects are your pretty standard fare with some unique little sound bytes thrown in for good measure, like Baby's little bleeps and blurps. Nothing disappointing here, everything fits in perfectly with the game.


First of all you have to understand that I love RPG's. I enjoy the storyline's and the way they tend to absorb me into the world that is being presented. I also find them to be a nice diversion from the usual fast paced games that come across my desk (which I also love!). So needless to say I went into GC expecting a nice leisurely trek through whatever world the developers had in store for me. The good news is that the game didn't disappoint me, the pleasant news is that it wasn't quite what I had expected.

Guardian's Crusade, at first glance appears to be kind of a kids game with the bright pastel colors and quirky musical score, but appearances in this case are certainly deceiving. Tucked inside this game are a pretty good story and some truly unique and innovative creations.

All the basic's are in the game like growing experience points, hit, agility, strength, magic points, etc. The magic points are used up when you call upon one of the games "Living Toy's". I'll get to those in a second.

The game starts off with Knight receiving a visit from an elder just outside of town, explaining to him that he must bring Baby to it's rightful home at God's Tower. Knight is told that it is his destiny to see this through and that he should begin his journey right away.

Along the way, Knight will face many challenges and opponents. The neat thing about this game is that all of Knight's enemies are out in plain view. You can choose to battle or avoid your enemies most of the time in the game. As Knight becomes stronger, weaker enemies will choose to avoid him and stronger enemies will pursue him for a good distance until Knight turns to fight, is outrun, or manages to escape. I found this to be a really interesting mode of battle and it proved more useful than not in getting Knight's experience points up. Early in the game you can track and corner weaker opponents and rack up a bunch of easy kills to better prepare yourself for the stronger enemies that you will encounter later in your adventure.

The menu system that accompanies the game is very easy to use and quite intuitive. It allows you to switch items between Knight and Baby, talk to Nehani, track your progress and examine all of the items that you have collected.

Baby ends up playing a significant role in the overall experience and outcome of the game. He is kinda like one of those virtual pets where you take care and grow his character and he reacts to the way you raise him. Players can determine the monster's abilities and personality growth based on their interactions with it. I just kept feeding mine hamburgers and candy bars…he was just fine. In the beginning of your journey he just follows you around and runs whenever you get into a fight, but after a awhile he will stick in there and fight along side of you. As he matures he gains the ability to morph into different shapes during battle and becomes a powerful ally to be sure.

Along your journey to God's Tower you will find objects called "Living Toys". These little things are cool and add a whole new element to this game. You see, each Living Toy has it's own characteristic and can be used when in battle. Some toys can heal your party while other can cause mass destruction on your enemies. Finding all of the hidden toys is almost like a sub adventure in itself as they are hidden all over the landscape that you will travel. I really liked the addition of these toys, they add a whole new element to the gameplay and a lot of them are hilarious to watch during a fight. I did however find that a good deal of the toys were not much help in battle so I ended up sticking with a few key toys that seemed to work best for me.

Overall, I found GC to be a fine RPG that became more enjoyable and entertaining the longer I played it. The game consists of some mini-adventures that must be done in order to proceed with the main storyline, and an overall plot that begs one to proceed ever further. The vast expense of territories that you must traverse is truly impressive and will have you exploring for weeks to come. Oh yeah, remember to talk to all of the townsfolk, often more than once…they tend to yield some important clues…you know the drill!

Value for Money

I have always found RPG's to deliver a good bang for the buck because they take a good long time to complete them and normally contain an engrossing storyline that sucks gamers in. Guardian's Crusade is no different, it offers a fluid and interesting plot, lots of action and a good deal of quirky, funny moments throughout.

The game is definitely aimed at a beginner to intermediate level as far as RPG's go, but it's interesting enough to hold the attention of more veteran players as well. Look to spend 25+ hours playing through the core game…longer if you try to find all of the toys and little secrets. While this is not an extremely long playtime for an RPG, it's still a nice romp for your money.

GRAPHICS: 17/20 Guardian Heroes is a nice little tale about a boy and his "pet" whatever it is. It weaves an involving storyline and is coupled with some truly unique gameplay elements.

You get to battle a wide range of monsters as a knight armed with up to 71 spells and a back-up squad of "living toys" with special powers. You can find and use more than 50 weapons, including the Holy Sword, over 100 types of armor, and over 50 magical items. Now that's what I would call a heavily armed crusader!
SOUND: 7/10
VALUE: 17/20


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