Playstation Network’s Savage Moon vs. Crystal Defenders

Tower defense games have been around for quite some time.  This ever-popular genre has now made its way to the online Playstation Store.  Two such games that we’ll be looking at today are Savage Moon and Crystal Defenders.  Both have their pros and cons and we’ll discuss these in more depth below.  Read on!


In Savage Moon, you have to prevent Starship Troopers-style bugs from reaching your mining facility.  It is your duty to jettison defense mechanisms from orbit onto the asteroid being mined.  Jagged cliffs and slopes are the locations available to set up your tower defense lines which consist of rapid fire cannons, anti-air turrets, repair stations and mine layers, just to name a few.  The creepy-crawlies leave their underground lairs via one or more caves on the screen while airborne critters are spawned from mothership bugs hovering along the edges of the map.  Credits are earned from blasting the intergalactic insects which can be used to upgrade existing turrets and/or dropping more down from space.  For instance, you can go from a twin-gun defense turret all the way up to massive quad cannon capable of laying waste to most ground enemies that cross its path.


Crystal Defenders is brought to us by Edix, the same company responsible for work on the Final Fantasy line.  As a result, you’ll notice several of the monsters and supporting cast bear striking resemblances to those of Final Fantasy, especially those found earlier in the series.  As for the variety of maps, they all possess the same concept; monsters follow a maze-like path to reach the other side.  If they get there, they steal your crystals, of which you start of with 20.  Once lost, there is no regaining your missing crystals.  When you hit zero, it’s game over for you.  Character placement involves buying and dropping a variety of defenders along designated points beside the winding path.  These defenders include fighters, archers, black mages, white mages, monks and thieves.



The two games are worlds apart when it comes to graphics.  Neither title has bad graphics and in the end, it is kind of unfair to compare the two.  Savage Moon shoots for High Def realism while Crystal Defenders is more cartoonish and old school in its graphics.  You really don’t see much pixelization at all with Savage Moon whereas Crystal Defenders is almost designed that way; a throw-back to the games of the 16 and 32-bit generation. 

You’ll find the views very different in both games as well.  Crystal Defenders is sort of a ¾ overhead and profile view where you’re looking straight down at the map, on an angle of the monsters and from the side of the defenders.  Savage Moon lets you scroll the camera just about anywhere while providing a bird’s eye view and letting gamers use a zoom option to bring the camera closer to the action. 


At $9.99 each, you cannot go wrong with either title.  Personally, I find Crystal Defenders more addicting, but that’s just personal preference.  Both run very similar concepts in killing bad guys, getting money to deploy new defenses while upgrading existing ones.  Unlike Savage Moon, however, Crystal Defenders does not inflict injury on your team.  That’s one less expense to worry about.  In addition, Crystal Defenders will also tell you what wave of monsters is up next and what that monster’s weakness is, if any.  Savage Moon will throw a mix of beasts in during the course of one stage and unless you remember from the last time you played that level, you will not know what to expect.  Both games are very entertaining and provide hours of bloodshot-inducing entertainment. 


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