|Index||3 reviews in total|
The first Grandia game had me from the get go and is still the Grandia
game I consider the best. Part two is not all that far behind, as it is
the Grandia that seems to get better the more I play through it. Then
there is part three (never played Extreme). This game starts out in
spectacular fashion and when I played through it the first time I
thought it was going to be the best of the bunch, but after going
through it I thought it was not up to par with the other two. I tried
it again and once again I was loving it and then it just kind of gets
weak near the end thus why I consider this one a tease. It is still
very good, do not get me wrong. I enjoyed it more than Final Fantasy
XII which was released around the same time this one was and part XIII
as well. It just saddens me that the game just could not live up to
such a strong start, but that is a lot of role playing games. Legendia
II is like that as it starts out incredibly and then it becomes weak as
it becomes fetch the crystals from the dungeons. Here, the same problem
as once you visit the verse realm for the second time and visit the
village there it becomes go to this temple, now that one and finally it
is over in a blink of an eye! I was stunned I won it again and so
quickly as I could have sworn there was more to it. Of course, in this
day and age of games that seem to not want to end I guess it is
refreshing to play one that does.
The story has a young man who wishes to be a pilot coming across a young girl fleeing strange men. He assists her and soon both he and his mother are trying to escort the young lady to the mainland. The young man meets his hero, a pilot who will design a couple of planes for Yuki (the pilot wannabe) and his quest to escort the young girl soon becomes a battle for the world as her brother has plans to use the power of a god to create the perfect world!
The characters in this game are pretty good as far as the heroes are concerned. It is nice seeing Yuki's mother accompany him during the first portion of their journey. The captain they run into is a nice character too, just wish they could have stayed around a bit more. Soon Yuki teams with a boy named Ulf and a leader of a desert tribe. You do not get to use Yuki's hero, but he is a good character too and plays a big role in the final battle. The problem is the villains as one of them a blond dude simply disappears at the end unless I missed something, a strange creature that summons the undead seems pivotal then is never really explained, the girl is in love with the leader and is probably the only one you know the reasons for being with the leader and then there is this one guy who seems to be the one to turn Emerious (the girl's brother and primary antagonist) onto the whole scheme, but they never really do much in explaining him at all! Only Emerious is explained in any detail and there are probably a fair number of things they do not really cover about him too.
So the game has the basic Grandia combat with some cool air finishers, the game has a very strong story to start and the game is a lot more fun than most role playing games these days thanks to the damnation of turn based role playing games. Just seems they got rushed with this one as they did not do the job with this one they did with the other two. I do not know if it is because Square was behind the game this time as I know they rushed the people who made Xenogears which is why Fei and Elly do the whole second disc telling the story thing, but it is a shame as this game could have been a masterpiece. The world is not as large, you do not get that many characters and it kind of ends quickly. Still, for the time it lasts it is good and worth a play through, just be prepared if you like a very heavily story driven role playing game as this one is going to tease you!
Intruigingly, this is the only Grandia game not to be released in the
UK (Unless you count Grandia Xtreme). Fortunately, thanks to the
wonders of ebay, I was able to purchase a copy AND find a way to play
it on my PAL PS2. The other two games in the series were fantastic
(especially the first) so I had high hopes for this one. Is it up to
scratch? Well, the battle system is still as good as ever, and there
are plenty of items to find that increase the longevity no end. It is
spread over two discs so expect a huge adventure, and the graphics are
the best yet. But...
Who wrote the story?! It cribs from virtually every other RPG ever made and would almost pass as a parody of clichéd plot lines from the genre. Let's see... wannabe pilot befriends mysterious pointy-eared girl and together they set out on an adventure that COULD DECIDE THE FATE OF THE PLANET AS WE KNOW IT (TM). I suppose the pilot's mother joining you at first in the quest is someone original, but she soon disappears.. eloping with a scummy sailor you run into, leaving you with, in addition, a dragon-riding demi human (CHECK) a magic user with a HUGE cleavage (CHECK) and a pink haired girl who doesn't say much (CHECK). Together, they are embroiled in a storyline involving GUARDIANS and TEMPLES as they fly around the world RIGHTING WRONGS and generally being humourless clean-cut GOOD GUYS. ZZZZZ.... come on, how about for once we get a main character who kills the townsfolk, burns the houses and releases the EVIL SPIRIT THAT DESTROYS THE PLANET. Okay, maybe I'm just kidding but honestly, the amount of formulaic story elements here beggars belief.
Anyway, I won't harp on about it for too long, as the game has a far bigger problem. It has blonde hair, brown eyes, a sappy voice and goes by the name of ALFINA. Apart from being called something that a trans-sexual might think of being referred to as after his operation, this girlie is one of the most annoyingly drippy protagonists in an RPG EVER. This is a person who is always upset, never stops talking like a little kid and spends all her time whining and crying. Fine, the history of RPGs is littered with people who have their own personal traumas and demons to conquer, but this individual seems to be ENJOYING her depression and consequently, gets our hero to do EVERYTHING for her. I cannot emphasise enough how much I HATED this snivelling, pathetic character, and by implication her 'boyfriend' (i.e you) who never objects for one minute to her behaviour and put his foot down to her constant stupid requests. Thankfully, I haven't played up to the point where they share their first kiss ( Inevitable, really ) because once they do, I have a feeling I will need a new television set.
As I said, at face value the game is more than enough fun. Perhaps the faults that I found with it are my opinions alone, but I don't think so. All over the internet, this is generally accepted as the weakest of the trilogy, and I don't think it was any great loss it never turned up on ol' Brittanias shores. I would still recommend it to RPG fans, but don't expect anything to rival the previous two installments. Could do better, guys. 7/10
Grandia III was released in February 2006. Created by Game Arts,
published by Square Enix.
I absolutely loved Grandia II on the DC. So much so that it's my favorite DC game ever. Over 5 years later (with a detour in Grandia Xtreme), Grandia III is an exclusive on the PS2.
Grandia III is about its outstanding battle engine. You choose to attack an enemy. Both you and the enemy have an IP gauge. You attack the enemy when you are free to do so. You can also attempt to cancel its attack by landing a critical hit. There is also Magic and Special Moves that can be used. The action can get fast and furious with all hell breaking loose. There is that instant gratification of canceling a potentially dangerous enemy spell and then countering with critical that makes the enemy fly followed by your comrades comboing him.
The game is also very tough. Even with some powerful characters you can easily be killed off by the monsters. They put up a tough fight and strategy is necessary to survive.
The graphics are pretty decent; nothing mindblowing. The acting is pretty good and the characters are interesting. Alfina seems to be always be spazzed out or crying while Ulf is the little ball of hate towards his foes. Yuki reminded me a bit of Vyse from Skies Of Arcadia.
The story is decent but it's probably been told before and the worlds you visit are typical: ice mountain, jungle, desert, etc. Also, the game is linear; you're pretty much set on one path and there is little in the way of sidequests. There's a lot to collect, though and you will try and see if you can get all the spells, skills and weapons/armor. The gambling game of arranged dice is also addictive.
The music is O.K. nothing as good as Tales Of Legendia was. The theme song seems to be a rip-off of an Utada Hikaru combo of J-Pop and Hillary Duff.
Still, this game owns because going into battle and leveling up is so much fun. There's no tedium involved. Also, there is plenty of customization for your warriors. Like Gran Turismo, you can see if you can perfect your warriors.
All in all, an excellent game. It isn't in the same class as Dragon Quest VIII but it's in the next level. Hopefully, Grandia IV will be out sooner and I also hope to find Grandia Xtreme. Maybe I'll even play the original Grandia on the PSOne if I can find it.
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