Review by ScubaSteve2010

"Plowing down fifty bucks for this game is suicide"

...*sighs*

I don't want to review this, but I played through it. Therefore, this game is going to get the beating it deserves.

Let's just get this over with:

GRAPHICS: 7/10

...Don't get too excited, this is one of the only somewhat okay things on this game. Never mind, I'll admit it, the graphics are pretty good. I love the environments in this game. Though it is nice, it's nothing we haven't seen before. You have the typical forest areas, the typical ruins, the typical everything. Nothing has an original look to the game. Don't get me wrong, the graphics are nice, but people don't pay fifty dollars to look at scenery, that's what landscaping is for. But the environments are the only promising graphical feature in the game. The cut scenes are okay, but nothing compared to some Role-Playing games that came out as far back as four years ago. (Like Final Fantasy X, and Kingdom Hearts, for example). The characters aren't even that promising, as each of them look so bland and poorly done.

GAMEPLAY: 8/10

...I'm getting the good things out of the way first. Gameplay is fantastic in this game. If you've played the previous Grandia games, you'll become well acquainted with this one's battle system in no time. Your characters move along something known as an IP Gauge, which is now in the form of a circle at the top corner. The enemies move across as well, and your job is to fight off the enemies using your array of spells and skills. Trust me, it's alot better than it sounds. You can do other enjoyable things. They have added some more attributes to the battle system, like Aerial Finishes and Guardian Orbs, making the battle involve more strategy and fun to this tragic loss of a game.

Another added attribute is the mana fusing. You can fuse mana eggs, (Mana eggs are the eggs in which magic is embedded in) Fusing mana eggs allows you to, obviously, create more powerful mana eggs. You can not only fuse, but extract mana eggs and skill books. (Skill books are the exact same as mana eggs, just involve skills instead of magic.) When extracting, you can gain yourself more skills and magic.

Why this got an 8? I bet you're wondering. Well, some people forget that exploration is part of the gameplay mechanics as well. Not a single sidequest? what the heck? Well Square thinks they can redeem themselves by adding plane flying to the game. Well, sorry to burst your bubble Square, but not a good move. The plane flying is pretty slow, and it gets boring easily. And to top it off, there are places on the map where you can't even go. This agitates me, I mean, why tell us about a place and not let us go there?

And that is why it deserves an eight.

STORY: 1/10

Now this is where it all falls apart. Well, I'll go in depth on this. Grandia 3 is about a young boy named Yuki who wants to fly airplanes. He has longed to fly his whole life, and has worshipped a pilot by the name of Sky Captain Schmidt. Yeah, not the greatest name. Well one day, Yuki and his pal Rotts build a plane, and Yuki can finally fly across the mainland, which is supposedly "The Greatest Feat an Airplane Fly-er could accomplish." For some reason, Yuki's mom, Miranda sneaks on to the plane while Yuki flies it one night. Well Yuki's mom crashes the plane in the forest and they meet a young girl who is being chased by a mob of crazed people. You save her, and end up helping her throughout her perils. And Yuki falls in love with Alfina (The girl) at first site How cliched is that? Turns out Alfina is trying to get to a temple so she can find out the truth of her brother. And so the story begins.

The story does actually seem interesting for about the first 8 hours of the game. Soon, however, it all falls apart slowly and painfully. Well, to start things off, the only two good characters leave for good. Never again are they seen, let alone mentioned. And they are the only two characters in the game who actually seemed like they were developing. Instead, two other people join you. So the gang of this whole shebang are Yuki, Alfina, Ulf, and Dahna. Ulf is a dragon rider, and Dahna is some Village Chief with an oversized rack. Throughout the story, everything is so poorly explained and you have no motives for going to wherever you're going. They don't explain much of the main character's past, which is why it seems that he has no part in the story whatsoever. In fact, the only person who seems to have an importance to the story is Alfina, and the rest are just pretty much for show.

I'm not going to spoil anything, except for some things to look forward too. A story full of plot holes, characters with no personality, a bad guy with the typical "Destroy Everything" motives, are all things to expect in this story. So don't be too surprised if you ever do pick up the game after reading this review.

SOUND: 1/10

I may seem strange, for Square usually does well with the music scores in their games. But no, everything is so repetitive and no song is of any greatness whatsoever. Every song in the game is mediocre, leading to me literally turning my Television all the way down during the game. And don't even get me started on the opening theme to this game. It may seem positive and all, but if you listen to the lyrics, it really doesn't have anything to do with the game at all.

The voiceacting is another fault in this game. The only good voice was Emelious, and you rarely hear him talk. The main characters don't talk much, for their are around 10 cutscenes where the characters actually talk. Most scenes just consist of reading dialogue. In this game, executes that horribly. You can't control the reading, so it takes maybe 30 seconds to get through someone saying "Kill Emelious." Plus, there are no sounds at all during these cutscenes, so you have no sound at all, even in the midst of a so called "Deep Cutscene." And a question of mine, why don't they talk in most of the cutscenes when we have supposedly achieved so much in gaming technology? I mean, what I don't get is, the characters in Final Fantasy X talk in almost every scene, when this game came out four years back, and it's from the same company.

RENT/BUY/PASS:

Definite Pass. Enough said.

OVERALL:

I really wanted to like this game. But so much is holding it back. It may not seem fair that I gave it a 1 when it doesn't average out to that. But, I play RPG's for story, not for scenery and gameplay. Sure the gameplay is good, but it's nothing Grandia's predecessor's can't accomplish. Therefore, this game gets a big 1/10. I regret that Square Enix worked on this game, for they may have ruined the Grandia Series. Grandia 2 was a great game that was overlooked, and Grandia 3 could have put the series back on the lists, but nope. It fails in every aspect. My idea is, if you want to play a Grandia with a great story and great battle system, go buy Grandia 2 for 10 bucks at your local retailer.

Bottom Line:

1...out of 10


Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 06/06/06


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