Review by KFHEWUI
"The Granstream Saga has a few unique concepts, but ultimately fails to live up to its full potential"
Granstream is a planet that has been ruined by war, and a hundred years ago, the evil Imperial Wizardry used forbidden technology in an attempt to kill the Allied Spirit Army however due to technician error, the weapon knocked the planet off its axis causing the ice caps to melt and flood the world. Four wise men came up with the idea to make the four continents to float using an orb however the continent's orb must be recharged to keep the continents from crashing. Eon is the main character, and the continents are sinking. Valos, the villager elder whom raised Eon since he was a baby, uses a magic stone to slice off part of the continent to help keep the continent from sinking however the magic stones have run out and the continent is still sinking. Eon soon discovers that there his scepter has magical powers, and he sets out to discover his destiny.
The Granstream Saga's story is average, and unfortunately it is full of clichés like Eon who is found in front of a church as a baby. Eon is in possession of a scepter which was thought to be lost.
The graphics look good, and the textures are nice. The cut scenes in the game are anime, and they look great. The 3D models are also look great even though the characters have no face.
Control wise the game is a mix bag. The controls are solid for movement and selecting options however the combat controls feel sluggish.
The music is easily the best part of the game, and the tracks are excellent. There is voice acting for the anime cut scenes, and the voice acting is bad however most of the voice acting is bearable except for Korky which has an irritating voice. Thankfully Korky has very few spoken lines. The sound effects are great, and the weapons make a clank when they hit the enemy's shield.
The Granstream Saga is standard RPG affair with dungeons to explore and towns to visit, but where it tries something new is the combat. There are no random encounters so instead enemies walk around the dungeon and approaching them start combat.
The combat takes place in a small zone in real time, and the player and creature can move around. What is impressive is how fluid the movement is, and there are no slowdowns at all. The enemies look unique however the game does not have a lot of different enemies and it rehashes the enemies several times over the course of the game. However the enemies have a huge problem which is the cheap AI and one notable enemy loves to repeatedly jump around whenever you get close to it which makes the combat drag on much longer than it should be. Since battles are dragged out, avoiding combat is highly suggested however it is much easier said than done since some enemies will pop up out of nowhere and other times the corridors are too small and avoiding them is impossible.
One aspect of the game that makes little sense is the level system. Unlike every other RPG, beating enemies do not net you experience so it makes the combat feel even more pointless however Eon will level up at predetermined spots which are usually after solving certain puzzles and beating bosses. The big problem with the level system is how little it affects Eon's stat. Eon's strength and defense is determined by the weapon and armor that is equipped so what does the level system affect? Eon's HP which rises by 5 with every level up.
A unique concept that the game has is the scepter. In The Granstream Saga, healing items, magic items, and revive item can be bought however armor, weapons, and shields are not bought. Instead over the course of the game, Eon will discover pieces of metal, and the scepter will react and restore the item into what it was previously which is usually a weapon, shield, or armor. In all honest, it is a unique and original concept, and the scepter is also used to solve puzzles.
Another great thing about the armor, weapons, and shields is that each one has a unique look, and in combat the armor, weapons, and shields actually change when different weapon, armor, and shield is equipped.
The Granstream Saga is a straight forward game, and the dungeons are short and usually straight forward. The puzzles in the game are not that difficult.
The game has no replay value at all which is not good especially since the game is not that long at all.
The Granstream Saga looks great and has an amazing sound track however the annoying enemies, sloppy controls, and tiresome and repetitive combat mixed with a generic and clichéd story hold The Granstream Saga back from its potential.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 06/07/12
Game Release: The Granstream Saga (US, 06/30/98)
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