Grandia 2 Dreamcast: An Epic Journey into RPG Excellence
|Number of Players:
|1. Phantasy Star Online 2. Skies Of Arcadia
|1 GD Rom
|Graphics: 9.5 - 3D graphics, truly impressive.
Sound: 9.3 - Quite good, thanks to the incredible soundtrack by Noriyuki Iwadare.
Gameplay: 9.7 - Fairly straightforward for RPG enthusiasts, and somewhat complex for novices.
Fun: 9.8 - The highlight of the game, undoubtedly.
Duration: 9.9 - It will take 40 to 50 hours to complete the game.
Overall: 9.7 - The best RPG on Dreamcast of all times.
THE SEQUEL ON DREAMCAST
Following the success of Grandia on PSX, GAME ARTS embarked on creating its worthy successor, and that turned out to be none other than Grandia 2 for Dreamcast.
UBI Soft took on the responsibility of bringing this second installment to Spain and Latin America. Unfortunately, it didn't come with a translation.
The original Grandia made waves on the Saturn, contributing to the premature disappearance of the console outside Japan.
A few years later, the creators, GAME ARTS, converted the game to PSX, and this time, we were able to enjoy a PAL version, albeit in English.
Shortly after the release of DREAMCAST in the market, there was considerable buzz surrounding GRANDIA 2, as the high quality of its predecessor hinted at something truly significant.
Grandia 2's tale kicks off with a young man seemingly involved in a theft and a scene featuring a group of women conversing in the forest. Some key characters have already made appearances on screen, although their roles may not be clear at this point.
As the plot progresses, we discover that the protagonist is a HEOHUND, essentially a bounty hunter, hired by the church for an escort mission. From this point, a riveting and much more captivating storyline unravels compared to the first installment, enriched with references to religion and other human themes like friendship and love.
Anticipation remains high as you navigate from one surprise to the next, each well-connected and rooted in purpose. The story unfolds dynamically, keeping you engaged.
Throughout the narrative, pre-recorded scenes utilize the same game engine. While there are also a few brief yet high-quality 2D videos, they serve to complement the overall storytelling experience.
The narrative foundation is laid upon SUPERB GRAPHICS, entirely in 3D, powered by a game engine that enables you to navigate through environments and exteriors of buildings. Within the buildings, the graphics are also in 3D, albeit without camera movement. Outside, you have the freedom to adjust the camera for the optimal perspective.
Every scenario and room is masterfully represented with an abundance of details and vibrant colors. At times, you can rotate the camera, providing concrete proof that the graphics are not pre-rendered.
The character models are equally impressive, showcasing intricate details and smooth animations. More than sufficient to ensure that pre-recorded scenes maintain unquestionable quality, allowing you to immerse yourself in the story with meticulous detail.
The audio experience is truly exceptional. The well-curated music boasts a variety of distinct tracks that will keep you engaged throughout, with a volume level that might put your TV's speaker to the test...
At specific moments in the game, characters converse in ENGLISH, demonstrating excellent pronunciation, making it accessible to those with a moderate language proficiency without relying on subtitles.
The additional sound effects complement the overall experience, and the thoughtful touch of characters expressing phrases upon finishing a battle adds to the immersive atmosphere.
Now, let's delve into the interactive aspect of the game. In this realm, we encounter a turn-based RPG where interacting with characters is key to uncovering our next steps, often leading us into dungeons or intricate fields filled with various monsters and scattered items, all while navigating through straightforward puzzles.
Unlike games in the Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star series, where enemies appear statically, Grandia 2 introduces dynamic encounters – making contact is the trigger for a battle to commence.
Approach matters significantly; whether we initiate contact or enemies approach us, or if it's a surprise attack from behind, these situations create distinctions in determining the first strike.
THE BATTLE SYSTEM
Grandia 2's battle system is turn-based, setting itself apart from other games in the genre. If you're a Grandia veteran, you'll find yourself in familiar territory with minimal changes. For those new to it, let me clarify that despite its turn-based nature, there's a time gap between issuing a command and its execution, governed by a bar displaying all characters and monsters. This dynamic setup allows for strategic "cancels" and well-timed "counters" during these intervals.
Moreover, character progression, including the development of magical abilities, regular attacks, and special techniques, is player-driven. Points obtained after each battle—comprising currency, magic points, and technique points—play a pivotal role in this advancement.
Magic, on the other hand, is intricately tied to eggs that we must equip on our characters. I assure you, it stands as the finest turn-based battle system I've ever experienced – exceptionally efficient and addictively engaging. The range of possibilities is extensive. While the magical elements, though impressive, may not rival the scale of Final Fantasy, Grandia 2 introduces devastating spells, especially as you near the conclusion of this RPG adventure.
A LONG GAME
Similar to any RPG, completing Grandia 2 demands a substantial time investment—unless you opt for a speedy run without delving into battles or interacting with the townsfolk. In essence, anticipate dedicating approximately 40 to 50 hours to successfully traverse the entire game.
Below, you can download the bezel or overlay for this game, eliminating the unsightly TV borders, just click here.
GRANDIA 2 IS...
In summary, Grandia 2 stands out as the best RPG on Dreamcast in my view, even though some may favor Skies of Arcadia. I find Grandia 2 more enjoyable.
Hence, if you are a fan of RPGs or looking to explore the genre, this game is a must-play.
Highlights of Grandia 2:
The battle system
Drawbacks of Grandia 2:
Difficulty in locating the save point, leading to the need to turn off our beloved Dreamcast.