Review by beezer08

"Play it once, maybe twice"

First off I am going to say that these categories that I am about to unleash weigh differently in my point of view. In RPGs I find some categories to be more pivotal in deciding the score. So I will not determine my score from average, but the score will come from the main areas that I believe are the most important. Don't worry, little categories have some effect. So here we go Grandia III

Graphics: 10/10
(It's what you see first, and can draw you into the game)

The graphics in this game are done very well, offering the best the PS2 can offer. The colors are vivid, and the characters as well as the monsters are drawn well. The towns also have a nice touch to them, offering up nice color, and they do not have the normal "blandness" I am used to seeing in RPGs. Also the cut scenes are just awesome, some of the best that I have seen. The battle graphics do not fail either, as the skills/magic are colorful and eye popping.

Realism of World: 5/10
(Related to graphics in a way, but promotes the realism of the world)

The world itself as I mentioned before is very well colored, and it's graphics are done well. But the massive downfall in the game is the invisible walls that prevent Yuki(Main Character) from exploring anything except for the path. You pretty much have to stick to the path, and it gets rather annoying to see Yuki having trouble running up a 3 inch incline. By now in the age of gaming this should not be happening, and worlds should be immune to invisible walls for the most part.

Sound: 6/10
(Can be complementary to the game or annoying)

The music in this game is done well, and I see no downfalls in it, except for the battle music gets old. But my beef with the sound is the constant one liners that your characters echo when victory occurs. I guess it is common in RPGs for this to happen, and in all, it annoys me. Sooner or later, games need to have more variety in character lines in battle.

Gameplay: 10/10
(Very important, how the battles unfold)

I found the battle system to be this game's biggest strength. It is probably one of the best and is very polished. In reality it may be the only reason you may play this game twice. It is done very well, and uses strategy, position, timing, as well as some luck in it.

For a brief overview the battle system lets you choose commands, but you or your opponents can cancel, each others moves with timing, which is a very interesting concept. Also this game utilizes the use of combos which can be performed by knocking an enemy high into the air with one character, and then using another character to attack it while it is still in midair. It is very cool, and quite fun to do. Of course this game lets you have a variety of moves/magic to use in battle.

Another good point of this system is the fact that each character is very customizable. With the ability to equip magic to people, any character can use whatever magic at their disposal. I found this to be quite useful in the game, because in previous RPGs I wondered why some people had magic moves that did not fit their fighting style.

This game really takes a lot of strategy to play, and is very fun to do. I can really tell that the developers put a lot of time into this.

Story: 6/10
(Can make or break a game, also very important)

The story in Grandia III is going to be knocked by many for having the cliche RPG story behind it, and I agree. But since it is cliche I will not give it a terrible score. I you have played many RPGs then by now story, should not matter as much. In some games I could not care how bad the story was, as long as the gameplay itself kept me interested, which this will do. I will not give any of the story, but I will say this. It will not be the highpoint of the game. My beef with the story though is that it takes a while for it to pick up, and you just wonder, what are you doing?

Characters: 7/10
(I mean, you can't hate them if you want to play)

The characters in this game really are somewhat interesting. i find it kind of cool that the main characters is also a pilot. None of the characters are really bland, and keep the story going, but my main problem in this game is Miranda(Yuki's mom). You would never know without playing that she is his mom. She looks only a few years older, and really acts like a sister. This kind of creeped me out, and made it hard for me to take anything she said as serious. Besides her I believe that they were all done well.

Difficulty: 8/10
(No, that is not how difficult the game is, but how it appeals to a gamer)

Yes, I put this into my scoring. A game cannot be too easy or too hard for a gamer to keep interested. This game keeps the frustration down, but still offers a challenge. It does take a while to get the battle system down, but after you do the game is just fun.

Replayability/Sidequests: 3/10

This game does not offer much after you win, except to play again. There is no new game plus, and there is only one sidequest, unless you count gambling. Gambling was actually quite enjoyable though. It is one area where this game really falls, and was quite a disappointment. This can make the game not worth the $50 to buy it, and you probably should rent it because of this.

Final Review

Ok, first of I am going to show you which categories are the most important when it comes to my score. So here they are in order from greatest to least.

Gameplay
Story
Difficulty
Graphics
Replayabilty
Characters
Realism
Sound

This really bring my score between 7 and 8 in my opinion, but then the replayability brings it down to a 7, so that is my final score.




Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/28/06


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