Hi everyone and welcome to our place!
Remember when I said that I would start a new series where I talked about older games and if they were still playable today? Yes? The this is the first post about that! Today I’ll be reviewing one of the best RPGs that I’ve played in Playstation 1 (by the way, the thumbain pic is by by pixiv user taihenkun):
Grandia’s story is set in a fantasy world where technology and exploration is emerging. You follow Justin whose father was a great adventurer in its time. However, his father is missing. In the beginning of the game the word goes around that the military is searching for ancient relics of the lost people near Justin’s hometown. Due to his adventurous personality and searching for clues of his missing father, Justin decides to visit the archeological site with his best friend, Sue.
There he meets a strange woman called Liete who tells that the stone that he has (given by his father) holds a great power and he must travel far to the east in search of a city to find the true power of the stone. Wanting to find his father whereabouts Justin decides to travel east (and then the World) with his best friend alongside him.
Although it starts with a naive and soft plot it does not take much time to things get a little more complicated than that. From only finding his father, Justin will find himself with the end of the World in his shoulders. The story really gets deep, the characters also develop a lot and basically, even though the game has this fun and kind environment, in reality the story is everything but fun!
This is one of the best stories I’ve ever played in a RPG! It has the fantasy side, yes, but the way they constructed the plot and the characters around them is just too good!
First thing let me talk about the camera view! Contrary to most RPGs for Playstation, Grandia’s world is depicted as three-dimensional maps with characters in 2D. Being the camera completely rotational. Something that we only have seen in the World Maps of RPG’s in Grandia’s case all maps are like these! It’s the beginning of fully 3D RPGs since until today inside the cities we would a 2D camera.
The way to level in Grandia is what we would expect from a RPG. Characters level up by fighting monsters and earning Exp. However, for us to gain skill levels and therefore gain new abilities we have to use a particular weapon/magic spell a number of times. Basically, contrary to other RPG’s that give you Ability points when you level or win battles, here it’s by repeating that you will be able to gain new skills!
Depending on the weapon or magic element you have equipped and therefore you level up, the character receives permanent stat points! This is a nice add and it’s fun to choose the best weapons and elementals to each character for the strategy that you want to use!
The battles are turned based and basically what you would expect from a classic RPG. Contrary to some RPGs in Playstation where you have random encounters (Final Fantasy for example), in Grandia you are able to see the monsters in the map. If you touch them from behind you will have the upperhand and if they are the ones touching from behind the monsters will have the upperhand.
Last, but not the least, Grandia is one of those games where you don’t have always the same party. Characters will come and go depending on their own story. Although not my favorite, it does force you to try new strategies and learn how to play with all the different characters.
Gameplay wise the game is basically what you would expect from a classic RPG. However, I do love turn-based RPGs and I had fun with the leveling system of the game! Moreover, the 3D camera rotation was something new to me and I was greatly impressed.
When it comes to graphics it is what you would expect from a Playstation 1 game! However, if we think in the time it came out the graphics are not that bad! The spotlight goes of course for the 3D maps!
Regarding sound, first it was one of the first games that I was able to play in Playstation 1 with voice acting that didn’t make me cringe all the time! Yes, it is old, of course, probably the acting is not as good as what you get nowadays, but for that time it was excellent! To be honest is even better than the Final Fantasy X so… You can say this game was ahead of its time!
Regarding the OST… One of the best OST’s I’ve heard in my life! It does have a way more light tone to it than your average RPG, being fantasy and all. Nevertheless, the music is catchy and makes your playability more enjoyable! My favorite is:
The game is completely playable at the moment! Especially if you like the classic RPGs style. Yes the graphics are outdated (how couldn’t they?), nevertheless the game is still able to transmit its magic into you! Moreover, the game has something even better than many RPGs I’ve played in the past few years, the story! The plot is written in a way that really pulls you in, making you laugh and cry in the needed moments. The characters construction is also really well done and only builds up the deepness of the plot. Basically this is a must play classic if you like RPGs!
That’s all I have for me to say today! 🙂 I’m not gonna give ratings in these posts since if I tell you that you should play it then it’s because the game is good! 😛 I mean, for a classic to be playable it’s because it has to have its own magic right? Have you played Grandia? What did you think of it? Comment down below!
Also! Tell me in the comments if you think this series would be something you would look for or not ^.^