Grandia is a classic RPG that was released for the Sony Playstation 1 in late 1999. With a unique magic system and fun game play Grandia is a great play.
|Developer: Game Arts
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: October 26, 1999
JustRPG Score: 91%
+Unique magic system.
+Great voice acting.
+Classic RPG action.
-Slow story line.
-Some characters are annoying.
Grandia is a traditional RPG for the Sony Playstation 1. This basic role playing game is like most created at this time. Characters will level up and gain new abilities and stats and will grow stronger the more you use them. Where this game differs from others in the genre is it’s magic system. Players exchange magic eggs to learn a type of spell. As the player uses that spell it will level up and they will learn more. If you have two types of spells and level them both you will also get new spells that are combinations of the two. The story starts out really slow and is a bore at first, but later on the story picks up and gets much more engaging.
Grandia Featured Video
By, Jason Ferguson
|With the relatively recent release of Grandia Xtreme, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at the masterpiece that started the series. Although not as epic as say, Xenogears, and not as impressive as say, Final Fantasy X, Grandia is an RPG classic that shouldn’t be overlooked.|
|The story to Grandia has some low points, but it’s still a good story. The first few hours are very slow…slow enough that I had trouble pushing myself to continue with the game. Now, looking back at what followed, I clearly made the right decision when I continued playing. Not until a good way through the first disk does the game REALLY pick up, but it becomes quite the adventure after that. The main character is Justin, a young boy who wants to be an adventurer like his father. Accompanied by his friend Sue, and carrying a memento from his father, Justin begins a quest for excitement. The group manages to get trapped in the middle of a secret military operation by the Garlyle forces. Slowly but surely, you become aware of Garlyle’s evil scheme, and risk your life to stop it. I really don’t want to give too many details about the story away simply because most of the cool stuff happens so late in the game and I wouldn’t want to spoil anything. I will guarantee though, that once you get into the meat of the plot, you won’t want to turn back!|
The characters in Grandia are surprisingly impressive. Justin annoyed me a lot at first, but the progress he makes through the game is amazing. He goes from a little kid who wants to go out and play to a brave little kid fighting to save the world. The characters all progress nicely, and you’ll grow to love most of them. Sue, one of the first party members you’ll get and the youngest member of the group, is a little bit annoying, but the remaining cast is excellent.
|Combat in Grandia is EXCELLENT! For those of you who have played the newer Grandia games, it is relatively similar, but this is the one that started it all. Your party learns spells by exchanging magic eggs at stores (where you also purchase weapons and equipment…which are pretty much like any other RPG). You will then learn basic spells for whatever attribute you exchanged the egg for. The more you use each spell the more it will level itself up. Leveling a spell to high enough levels will cause it to spawn new spells, and leveling up spells of two different attributes can teach you a combined spell (for example, you can learn blizzard by leveling up wind and water). Each character also can wield multiple weapons, which also can be leveled up. Leveling up your weapons can then teach your character multiple different techniques. You also can learn combined weapon and magic attacks! It all sounds pretty confusing, but I guarantee it isn’t. Combat in Grandia is actually pretty enjoyable, and since there are no random battles you won’t have to fight very often unless you want to. When you choose to fight, how you encounter the enemy makes a difference. If the enemy comes up behind you he will have initiative and will get the first turn. If you sneak up on the enemy you will get the first turn. There’s a LOT of strategy in this game. Grandia is all about fighting, and if you don’t fight you won’t be able to level up your character, your spells or your skills. So fight often!|
During battle it takes characters a while to cast spells, or use skills. The higher level the ability is the faster it will be cast. While you are preparing to cast a spell, you are vulnerable to counter attacks, which inflict greater damage. Grandia has an IP bar, which shows the progress of you and your enemies. Once a character’s IP bar is full they have several different options of what to do. Characters can evade, dodge, run away, use items, use skills, use magic or attack. You have two different types of attack though, such as a critical hit, which is a single powerful attack that may cancel enemy actions, or a combo attack, which is a series of weaker attacks that take less time to execute. This adds even more strategy to the game! Despite the huge amounts of strategy here, Grandia isn’t a very hard game at all. Still, the combat is very innovative and fun. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself actually wanting to fight every enemy you encounter. Grandia also has the awesome addition of save points that restore your HP and MP (which lots of RPGs seem to be doing nowadays), so after you run around leveling yourself up you can restore your status and do it again! You’ll probably get at least 40 or 50 hours out of this game, but unfortunately there is no real replay value here.
|The graphics in Grandia are obviously pretty dated (only because the game is several years old), but the game still features a colorful 3D world that fits the game nicely. The camera is fully rotatable, so you’ll be able to easily explore this environment. Some of the spells have nice effects, and the characters and environments, although not really impressive, are unique and nice looking. But, don’t play this game looking for exceptional graphics or you’ll be disappointed.|
Grandia featured a good amount of voice acting. Most of the voices seemed to be really well done, but there were a select few who were just plain annoying. I’m trying my best to block out the voice of Sue when she does her “rah-rah cheer.” I suggest that you NEVER use that ability…it will likely scar you for life. Other than the occasional quote by Sue or Milda, the voices were pretty good. Some of it may seem cheesy at first, but then you’ve got to remember that half of your party consists of little kids. The soundtrack to Grandia was full of both memorable songs and dull and repetitive songs, but overall the soundtrack was of high quality, and most of the music was a perfect fit for the game.
|Sure, compared to many modern RPGs, Grandia seems really dated. However, it’s a classic that features one of the best battle systems in the world of RPGs. You may find games like Grandia II or Grandia Xtreme to be a bit more polished and less outdated, but this is where it all started! The story begins a bit on the slow side, but the game turns out to be an exciting adventure! Above all else, Grandia is a fun game, and if you give it a chance I’m sure you’ll agree. If you’re one of the many RPG fans that overlooked Grandia then I suggest you give it another shot!|
|Final Grade: 91%|