ago when the Saturn was virtually dead in the UK, a game called Grandia
was released in Japan. It was the first game to feature a rotatable
scenery, meaning for the first time you were actually in a real 3D world,
albeit inside your SEGA Saturn. Later another version was released as a
‘fans’ addition. This was Grandia Museum. I bought this one.
Museum was not so much a game in itself, which was a good thing as my
Japanese is not up to scratch. However, by playing it I was amazed, and
the game was just excellent. Since then I sampled the delights of Final
Fantasy 7 and the best in the series Final Fantasy 8, Magical Knight
Rayearth, Shining Force 3, and [cough] Knights of Xentar and Cobra
Grandia 2, it is the sequel to Grandia, but only in name. All the
characters and storyline is new.
The plot is your typical good vs. evil affair with the main character going on a journey of self-discovery. The first thing that will strike you about Grandia 2, is that the characters actually speak, they have voices! Sadly for us they are all American ‘vocal talents’, and so everything will make you laugh, even the emotional moments.
addition of character voices is a smart move as in the key scenes the
characters speak are given a little bit more character. With this speaking
addition it means that you cannot rename the characters so you are stuck
with Ryudo, when I think Sam would have sounded much better.
actual script for Grandia 2 does have mistakes in it. It is a shame that
we didn’t get a European company to alter the text for the English
speaking people, as the story is full of those awful Americanisms, and yes
even spelling mistakes...Not the normal ones like ‘color’ but real
ones! Even with these minor quibbles there are some lines, which you will
want to quote, like;
‘Are you as sick
and twisted on the inside, as you are on the outside’
my personal favourite;
The main character, Ryudo is the best character ever since Squall in FF8. Ryudo does not believe in any religion, things girls are a waste of space and not good for anything, and is really rude. He is so cool. I was surprised when Millenia offered to give him the position of her plaything, but he declines. I thought he must be gay, and that Grandia 2 was going to give us the first gay male lead, but I was wrong.
whole world of Grandia 2 is fully rotatable 3D, the forests are densely
packed and the towns are well populated. Like all good RPG’s Grandia 2
features battles to boost your characters experience, however unlike the
Final Fantasy series’ these battles are not random. In short, you get
the choice to battle an enemy or not. However the enemies can also see
you, and will try and chase after you, so picking your fights with certain
enemies is key.
The battle system in Grandia 2 is wonderful. First off all it is not turn based or just an all out slash fest. At the base of the screen there is a bar, it is in two stages. The first stage shows that your character is charging up for a move, and the second has him/her performing that move. All characters and enemies use the same bar, and little SD icons of yourself distinguish you all.
you are charged for an attack you can unleash many different moves. You
can use the standard attack, or a combo attack, or use magic. However as
the enemies are constantly moving around you may want to pull back to a
safer distance. You see in Grandia 2’s battle screen your character has
to run to the enemy to attack it, and then enemy can move in this time, or
even counter your attack. It is all very cool, and not at all confusing.
When you have around 4 characters battling numerous enemies everything
looks hectic but you never get the impression that you are not in control.
The music in Grandia 2 ranges from average to excellent. Some of the tracks are really upbeat for an RPG game whilst others are your standard plinky plonk variety. One thing that Grandia 2 does not have is FMV scenes. All the plot progression animations are played out using the in game character models. This works well and seamlessly links the game and story parts, but I cannot help feeling that even an ickle bit of FMV would have been nice.
with most games of this nature, the experience is pretty linear. But the
story is engrossing so you want to continue playing to see how everything
2 deserves to do well, and I hope that it becomes an ongoing series like
the Final Fantasy games. Grandia 2 is your typical RPG game and will
appeal to all fans of the genre. Grandia 2 is the first good RPG to hit
the Dreamcast. Shenmue was basically the next generation of Dragons Lair,
and its linearity was made more obvious by its lack of character. Phantasy
Star Online works only as an online game, and is not a patch on the
previous Phantasy Star outings. Evolution and Timestalkers are best left
alone, as is Silver.
2 is an excellent game. Cute girls with breasts defying gravity are an
offer to good to pass up! Oh and the game is good too!
"Role playing games, its all me me me me me!"
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