Guardian's Crusade is a mediocre RPG but worth checking.
This wasn't the worst game I've ever played, but the battle system was repetitive, the graphics were dated and the game was short. The story didn't really hold up to well, but it was comical in places and there was enough good characters to keep your interest throughout.
I expected more out of the "Virutal Pet" aspects that was hyped about this game, it was never an important issue. If you want to collect monsters or whatever, I'm sure a Pokemon game will give you more of a challenge and reason to complete.
Guardian's Crusade is a standard turn-based RPG. The turns move in rounds, so usually Knight and Baby attack first, then the monsters go at the end (although it's totally up to the Agility points, but 99% of the time Knight and Baby outclassed all the monster's I fought). Then the round starts over. You only control Knight within the battles, but you can ask Baby what to do, but she won't always follow your orders. The biggest twist within the game is a Pokemon styled list of monsters that can join you within battle. There's about 70 or so to find within the world, but they're mostly scattered within treasure chests. In this game they call them Living Toys, and they're pretty useful atleast. Living Toys are no more than a blatant form of magic abilities, disguised as something else. Anyways, each Living Toy costs "PP" points, you can use them within battle. Some Living Toys can heal you, some will fight along side you (the two most useful) and others will just have a one time damage attack, or will try to status effect an enemy or boost your points within battle. It's really the same as any RPG with magic skills, but some Living Toys you can only use once within battle.
The dungeons have no puzzles at all, they're short maze like dungeons that really doesn't require any thought at all, because they're mostly all linear. One of the most original aspects of the game is there isn't any random encounters at all, and unlike Chrono Trigger you can dodge any and all monsters on the field buy running past them, or hiding behind a tree stump or using a little bit of stealth. There's three forms of monsters you can find on a field, a giant white ghost figure that will charge you he sees you, a pink ghost that will charge you, but can easily escape, or a small white ghost that will run away from you. These ghost are determined by the levels of the monsters within the area, if they're lower level monsters, then they'll appear as small white ghosts.
There's alot of towns within the game, and a TON of weapons and armor too. Pretty much every new town you visit has a few new weapons and armor you can upgade, but you can only upgrade Knight, as Baby doesn't use weapons or armor.
You gain experience like any other RPG in the world by defeating monsters, both Baby and Knight can gain levels. Gaining levels within this game is really really simple and there will never be a time where you will need to level grind since the game is really easy. I never had a problem within this game, even with the final boss, this game was a pure breeze.
----------Characters / Story----------
You play as "Knight", an emotionless mute "knight" with a fairy friend that does all his talking. Knight is sent on a errand to another town and when he comes back he finds a pink baby monster, then a god like figure comes down in a beam of light and tells Knight he must take this baby monster to the "God's Tower". Knight takes him in and calls him "Baby", but the mayor doesn't like it, so he tells Knight to put baby in a cave to get rid of him. He eventually does just that but they quickly change their mind and go on a quest to put Baby back to her home.
The graphics are extremely pixelated and overall ugly for the time. It's similar to the first Wild Arms game, but maybe worse in some cases. Some of the giant boss battles are really cool looking though, I like the dragons and the final boss too. There's plenty of cutscenes within the game, not quite on a Final Fantasy or Legend of Dragoon level or anything, but they're good and short.
The music was lighthearted and eventually annoying. There was a few good tracks that were listenable, but there wasn't anything to amazing or anything that couldn't of been implanted on a SNES cart either. There was no voice work within the entire game if you forget about a cat that meows. The sound effects were generally bad, but not quite on a Wild Arms level I guess.
The world map is kinda cool and really bad at the same time. I loved that you can walk inside of a town and right into a field seamlessly without loadtimes. You can put a small world map on your screen to help navigate yourself through the world, but the game is really linear for the first 10 hours of the game, and there's rarely anything to find on the world map until you get some freedom. Another annoying thing about the map is when you view the whole map by using the Living Toy Mapster, he doesn't list any of the towns or dungeons with any markers, so you could get lost if you have a bad memory.
You eventually gain a water bug that is basically a ship, you can only get on and off at beach areas, but he quickly becomes obsolete once you get your 'flying ship' later in the game. Flying is really cool in this game because you fly real love to the ground and you can see EVERYTHING below you, including people, tents, houses, everything like they naturally be like on the ground. The only downside is flying, sailing and even walking can be extremely slow. Later in the game you can eventually warp, but only to a few select spots.
----------Time to Complete Game----------
Although that does not include the 3 final boss fights at the end of the game, so it would be closer to 17 hours, but even then the game was extremely short. I didn't bother looking for sidequests, but I found most of the toys without really searching to hard for them. You don't save after the game.