Grandia is not an instant love. The graphics in the beginning are a real turn-off, but if
you stick with it, you'll find that the graphics and the overall game improve significantly.
Make sure you're at level 3 or 4 to fight Boss Two, the Orc King. After defeating him
and venturing to the New World via ship, the game will really start to grow on you… but
not until then.
While we commend Sony for releasing this popular 70-hour quest, we wish the game
could have received the facelift that Lunar: Silver Star Story enjoyed.
Grandia one-ups Final Fantasy 8 by including voice-overs for some of the cut scenes,
but unfortunately, not all text is voiced. The voice-overs that do exist are mediocre at
The experience is so much better when text is spoken. You become more involved in
the game; you don't have to strain your eyes. Children can learn how to read by both
seeing and hearing the printed word. Alas, the game's strong opening voice-overs set
you up for disappointment. You think all the text will be narrated, but you're wrong.
The story is character-driven as opposed to plot-driven… always a good thing… but
some scenarios offer illogical triggers. For example, you have to talk to Gantz a second
time to stop his brother from running away from you, even though the two events have
nothing to do with each other. Since when does A cause C? What ever happened to
Granted, this kind of scanario writing is nothing new for RPG's, but I thought the genre
was moving away from this unnatural style.
On another note, the overhead angle is a little too high, resulting in a flat, closed-in
feeling that makes it difficult to see important items. You will notice this especially when
walking on paths. While you don't necessarily have to see the horizon line, a more
oblique angle would have been appreciated. Otherwise it's like looking down at your
shoes while you walk.
Luckily, you won't do much walking outside of dungeons. The game doesn't have an
overworld. Instead, you point to where you want to go on the map, and boom, you're
there. Now that's a great feature.
The battle screen uses an IP gauge which lets you see when attacks are coming so you
can counter quickly with a critical attack. You and the enemy can attack at the same
time under this system. This is one of the game's more unique features.
Grandia may not be revolutionary, but it does provide a high degree of satisfaction. The
first two hours suck, but then it's smooth sailing. The few anime-style FMV sequences
serve as intermittent rewards.