Grandia is here and it's better than ever...if you could withstand some minor problems...
Spread out over two CD-ROMs, Grandia claims to offer over 70 hours of gaming. Grandia first came out for the Sega Saturn in 1997 only in Japan. Sega's plan was to bring it over to the US but it didn't make it because it didn't do very well in Japan. While it's estimate was to sell about 1 million copies in Japan, it only sold 500,000 copies. Now, the Sega fans are screwed. Grandia just came out for the Playstation... you heard right, the Playstation!!! Published by Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) and developed by Game Arts, this masterpiece just might overcome the force of Final Fantasy 8!!!
As with most modern RPG's, Grandia features some of the most beautifully designed full-motion video sequences! While the video quality of the FMV hasn't noticeably improved from the Sega Saturn to the Playstation, the opening sequence is still every bit as breathtaking as it was the day it first appeared on the Sega Saturn! A stunning combination of CG-rendered animation and hand-drawn cel animation for the characters, you'll be amazed by the epic settings of the game right away. With giant scarlet sky-ships to huge stone golems to enchant you, it's not hard to be swept up by Grandia...
The story of Grandia centers around the adventures of a young boy named Justin and his friends Sue and Feena. Like most fifteen year olds, Justin is out to save the world from the tyrannical plans of the evil General Baal.
During the game, you cna have up to three additional partners, for a grand total of four in any "war party". The game features a "field radar" view that allows you to examine the surroudings from an overhead perspective, which in turn allows for easier item location. With over 200 different enemies to battle, it's a good thing all of your enemies are on the screen at all time. There are no random battles here as in the Final Fantasy series. If an enemy touches you or you touch the enemy, you go into battle. If you get touched by an enemy from your back, you get ambushed in battle. If the enemy doesn't see you and you touch the enemy from the back, it's your initiative in battle. Battles are conducted in real time, with combo attack, critical attack, item use, magic spells, special moves and escape. Magic spells are numerous and diverse, and can be learned by practically every member of your crew, unlike most rpg's where only certain characters are magic specialists.
All I have to say is "ehhhh". While the overall graphics are beautiful, the slowdown makes the graphics look ugly. The graphics are sometimes very rough. But the slowdown is the main problem. It messes up the whole graphics. The in-battle graphics are beautiful though because there are no slowdowns in battles. The magic spells are beautiful and is in the same level as Final Fantasy 8. Actually, in my opinion, Grandia IS better than Final Fantasy 8.
Grandia features one of the most exhilarating soundtracks ever composed. Grandia has also had its extensive voice-over wrok completely re-recorded in English, which should be a bonus for gamers who hate to read sub-titles. But not all of the game is voice-overs. Sometimes, actually most of the times, you have to read the sub-titles which are pretty long...
In my opinion, this is the best rpg ever made!!! It is even better than the great Final Fanasy 8!!! Because of the beautiful soundtrack, voice make-overs and longer gameplay than Final Fantasy 8, it is the BEST RPG EVER MADE (in my opinion). The only major problem is the massive slowdown...
Overall score: 9.5 of 10
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