Review by Chilikorndog

"I remember the days when squenix put effort in their games..."

This game gets 1 point because of the battle system, plain and simple. Why might you ask? The answer lies in the fact that is is the only remotely innovative part of this game. I loved Grandia and Grandia 2, those had an original battle system and interesting storylines. I tried really hard to love this game, I really did.....

The battle system 10/10
The battle system is one of the best RPG battle systems ever made in my opinion. there is a circle showing the turn order and characters and enemies can cancel attacks if the timing is right. All of the elements are there in battle. There is an adequate amount of special moves, a fun aerial combo system, and beautiful magic. Characters can also be magically customized for battle using mana eggs, equippable spells, and Personal skills. I really played the game for the battles. The only gripe I have about the battle system is the time it takes to cast some of the later spells, one of the spells plays a movie of a star exploding every time it is cast, though it is cool to see, powerful enough to use, and shorter than grandia 2's late spells, a short cast feature would be nice.

Graphics 8/10
I didn't find the graphics to be anything special, the landscapes looked good, the character models looked alright, and the spells were amazing. The movies were pretty good really showed some cool effects.

Characters 3/10
This is one of the first areas of the game I don't like. The main character, Yuki looks a lot like fayt from another squenix game, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. He is sort of developed, he is obsessed with flying and wants to meet his hero, Captain Schmidt. He is overly generic, making standard hero moves and using the generic hero weapon, the sword. The heroine of the story is a generic healer type and has an interesting story to her, so she gets kudos. You get a couple of characters in the story who dissappear and are never seen or heard from again. You end up with a generic warrior type and another generic spellcaster. (Generic warrior really has no story). There is an NPC who is met early in the game, and who though you get to see what sort of happened to her later in the game, you never have a firm resolution as to her fate. The game designers also seemed to forget to tell you what happens to a certain boss who you fight several times in the story.

Story -10/10
Yes that is a negative 10. The story is so overly-generic it made me laugh. I found no surprises here, except for the fact that there are only 5 towns in the game. The game forces you to move through linear areas to complete generic objectives and then move to the next one. The game never allows you to find out what happened to some characters, and when you think you can find a deep developing sidequest for you characters, you discover that there is no sidequest for anyone.

Innovation 4/10
The battles in this game are good, but not too much of an innovation if you have played other grandia games. The Equipment system seems to be somewhat innovative and enjoyable, Good magic and skills are obtained by destroying mana eggs and skill books found on the maps. This system seems to be a hybrid of several systems I have seen in other games, but is simple enough to be effective. In also find it innovative that there are only 5 towns, only one of which updating equipment at one point in the game. The boss battles were also few and far between, but there was some coll innovation in there too. one boss for example, requires you to use a cancel attack on one of his subparts before it gets to attack, or else it is game over.

Overall 1/10
If you have NEVER played an RPG before, you will have a blast with this, the story will be new to you, and the battles are great.

If you, like myself, have played lots of RPGs, you will discover what happens when game designers stop trying.

Reviewer's Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

Originally Posted: 07/31/06

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