Welcome back to The Game Collection! I am
SuperDerek and this is Grandia! Grandia is an action-packed turn-based RPG
with a twist. It’s got an addicting battle system and lovable characters, neither of
which will you be able to forget. In Grandia, you play as Justin, an aspiring
young adventurer living in a fantasy world in the midst of the steam revolution. Along
with your childhood friend you set off on a journey to discover the mysteries of an
ancient civilization that had once harnessed the power of the world. Along the way your
mischief gets you into a lot of trouble, and you make several new friends who help you
along the way. Gradually this epic adventure to the end of the world takes on an even greater
purpose as you struggle to save the world from an impending doom.
Because Grandia was developed by GameArts, many of the same people who worked on the
Lunar series also played a role in Grandia’s production. It was originally released in
Japan for the Sega Saturn in December of 1997. Despite being released exclusively in Japan,
this game was turning heads even in the United States. In June of ’99, Grandia was brought
over to the Sony PlayStation, then finally brought to the United States in September,
a few short weeks after the launch of the Sega Dreamcast, while Pal regions received
the game in March of 2000. Despite not having the involvement of StudioAlex
in the production of Grandia, the game still manages to feel oddly reminiscent of Lunar
in tone, despite looking and playing completely differently. GameArts really has a knack for
creating interesting and lovable characters. Personally I would have loved for Grandia
to have also been localized by Working Designs, but Sony managed to do a passable job, though
I think some voices could have been worked on a bit more. Well, a lot more in some cases.
The overall story of Grandia is large and expansive that explores the concepts of whether
the ends justify the means, and what it means to be an adventurer.
Where Grandia stands out the most against other RPGs of the time is in the battle system.
What initially seemed a bit foreign and confusing to me turned out to be a welcome take and
improvement on the concept of an active time battle system. Turn order is determined by
a progress bar on the bottom where monsters and characters race toward the right. Hitting
an enemy will halt their progress to their next turn, and more powerful attacks may cause
enemies to lose ground, or even lose their turn if you interrupt their attacks. That
alone is extremely fun, but the way magic points are handled in tiers, and separate
from skill points is really neat too. There’s too much to cover here in just a review, but
suffice it to say that once you figure things out in Grandia, you’ll be hooked.
However I do have a small gripe about magic skill progression. Magic elemental levels
increase depending on usage, which is pretty cool in some ways, but to get the best skills
and magic you’ll have to grind a lot by going out of your way to attack using magic
almost exclusively in order to level up those elements, even when just attacking with melee
is faster and more effective. Also, since certain healing spells are pretty much required
to survive in the game, you might find yourself doing some very odd… “training” at points.
When you feel compelled to walk through puddles of acid or into traps just to practice healing
yourself, you know there’s going to be room for improvement.
The music in Grandia is fantastic. And for that we can thank the triumphant return of
composer Noriyuki Iwadare from Lunar, who still seems to know exactly what notes to
play in what order, to tug at my heartstrings at just the right moment. Even just a few
hours into the game as Justin is about to set out on his real big journey to the new
world, a certain song kicks in and I choke up. It’s beautiful.
And Grandia looks beautiful too. Well, sometimes. It’s a little inconsistent in the graphics
department I think. Some areas are really interesting and detailed, while others come
off a bit garish. Environments are made of textured polygons while characters are 2D
sprites, not unlike PlayStation era Breath of Fire and Persona titles. It was definitely
a good choice to go this route for Grandia, because there are already minor framerate
issues in some areas, and adding character models on top of that would probably have
made things a lot worse. Not only that, but I think the 2D sprites captured more of the
character’s personality and style than most low-polygon models could do.
Less than a year after Grandia was released in the US, a sequel was released in Japan
for the Sega Dreamcast, and continued to receive several more entries in the series. In 2010,
Grandia was released digitally on the PlayStation Network for $6, while complete copies of Grandia
for PlayStation are currently selling for around $40.
Grandia was a lot of fun to play. It’s a long but light-hearted story most of the time,
and never came across as being particularly difficult. Possessing excellent characters
and an addicting battle system, Grandia has easily found itself a spot in The Game Collection. Hey guys, before I end this video I just want
to send a quick shout out and massive thank you to Tsurayu! One of the, I guess, fans
of this show, I guess I can safely say that. He sent a donation to my fan funding here
on YouTube, I enabled that a while back and never expected anyone to actually send me
money. I just like, turned it on and, dude just sent… sent me cash and, I’m just really
taken aback by it. And I wanted to send him a massive thank you because, because of him
I was able to get some lighting, which I was able to use in this video. I don’t know how well I used it because it
was my first time, hopefully it looked pretty good. Obviously I’m in a different room now
so my lighting situation has changed a little bit from what it used to be so, having that
come in handy was just really unexpected and a bit of a life-saver, so again, thank you
Tsurayu. I will be posting updates on my next review,
which by the way was voted to be Hexyz Force. I’ll be posting updates on this as I have
them available, they’ll be posted on the forum, I’ll link to that in the description Oh yeah that’s another thing I guess, I made
a whole new website for my Multitapped friends, and I’m pretty excited about that, and that’s
one of the reasons this review was so long coming. Again, sorry about that. This is already
getting too long for an end of video announcement, but anyways, thanks guys. I shall see you