Grandia II HD Review (steam)
Grandia II HD is a good game, a really good game! If you like RPG’s and have a PC you won’t find many like this on your system. Its a very fun game with, of course, some flaws like all games. The real review here is how to stay objective despite playing several other RPG’s and having the hype of this game match what it really is.
First of all the graphics are very nice, here are some screens to show you…
So looking at it you see that there are some blocky environments true to the original but in a nice resolution its very clear and crisp looking. The low polygons have been given a really slick HD paint job. The images are only telling so much of the graphics here. Sorry they are the STEAM screenshots, I’ll try to get better ones.
So, the next part of the review is the story. Its interesting and concise with only a handful of main characters. But along the way there are a lot of side stories and interesting things happening in the world. If you like RPG’s this game should interest you, its a mix of fantasy with magic and element attacks as well as strong physical attacks.
The next part would be game play, I like the menu system and the upgrade system, though its not a skill tree with different paths, just a sort of gather points until you max out everything system. This is fine but modern games that limit you from maxing all kinds of attacks make it seem like the character has a personality that you created not just an ideal character that everyone will eventually get. Out of all the older (ps1 era games) RPG’s I’ve played, the only one that really made that happen in its time was FF7 and its Materia system! Luckily you can switch out magic sets for some strategy/customization.
The FPS moves nicely and the battles are quick, but the battle animations are generally long, a second or two longer than most other games. This gets frustrating over time and I usually set things on auto attack and multitask during battles. I think the wait gauge works well, but its tough to see why the next person doesn’t just make their move. Instead we have to sit for 10 seconds and wait for the next person’s gauge to fill… can’t this be sped up while no one is doing anything. Though the characters are moving around a bit and are getting into positions on the map so that affects things too. Perhaps the longish wait times are needed, but gets a little boring is all.
A lot of the effects in the battles are really done well but a lot of things look like they weren’t upgraded at all. Seeing the low resolution is a bit off putting but ultimately still works. Character icons and backgrounds are very low resolution at times. Distracting, sometimes but not a game breaker.
The sound and music are my final notes, and they are nice ones, as well the voice acting. The limited voice acting segments are good too, though sometimes the text seems to stutter while you are traversing conversations, hopefully this is fixed in a new update. The last notes of the ending music where really nice to hear and overall the score is pretty good with no grating music. I will say that the scene transitions are sometimes odd as they don’t use fading in and out. Sometimes just immediate switching to a new track at times… its funny!
Game play: 8
Last Word: Check it out! Its a good RPG with a nice story and setting, though it has some minor flaws that might frustrate you like it did me, it never kept me from not playing it. And I really like the overall themes in the game about how people treat each other. Also if you couldn’t choose between Aeris or Tifa this game has another fun challenge for you…