Review by ZeroSol15

"Aim for the skies; Grandia Fans Rejoice! Non-Grandia Fans get ready for a great new experience"

This is my first review but that doesn't make me a rookie gamer. I've played tons of RPG's and know when something is good or bad. Anyways, Grandia 3 was a game that I just saw on an Internet add, and playing the others, reacted to tract its release. Even being busier in my life, I haven't been able to sit down to play a solid RPG in awhile, but he's where I've gotten back into the habit. Let's jump right into the grading before I ramble on too much.

-Graphics first because that's what you see first. Duh.-

The graphic are solid. Really nice especially for the PS2. Its a more simplistic style that works well, especially when flying the realism in the fog is great as well. The only downside which is just more of a letdown is that the CG wasn't that much different then the gameplay graphics too much.

Yet in CG the facial expressions and views is what is great. I'm an anime fan and they did use an anime face map of some sort as you'll be able to see from the eyes early on in the game. The faces move much better then I've seen in most games, even if they are anime based. Again, the CG isn't the most complex, but that doesn't mean they are bad, all the graphics throughout the game are nice and smooth (the reflections in the Verserealm caves are amazing). There are nicer looking games but there are still great visuals in here.

*Graphics- 8/10

-One of the most important reasons to keep playing in most games-

Ok quick unspoiling recap; Boy wants to fly the skies, builds plane with friend, boy finds girl, girl needs to go to mainland to see brother, boy and girl go to mainland after getting plane to fly. World is in peril, you must make things right.

There's a lot more trust me, thats about as bland as it gets, and I didn't want to spoil anything, trust me with the things that get you to the point, it'll hook you. I will admit, the story takes a bit to pick up. The main reason is that there are a lot of cutscenes and you'll be watching the story progress many times. There's a lot more introduction at the start and less playing for the first hour or two and maybe more.

Yet the story does pick itself up with the characters. The character's personalities are some of the best I've ever seen. The realistic reactions and just how the characters are played out as, is convincing. Miranda's love as a mother really shows later in the game. Everyone's has their own personality which is unique and is played out as you would expect them to act, as they act rationally.

It is a great story and it will get you hooked and wanting to play more even if it's a bit on the cliche side. Good story, many many cutscenes.

*Story- 8/10

-Good sound is unappreciated, bad sound can turn the game annoying and repetitive-

Good thing for us, the sound is great. Aside from the pop song, the sound will bring back memories to Grandia fans. The battle music changes depending on what kind of battle you encounter, surprise, surrounded, normal, boss, yet each is very well made. The main song is inspiring for the story and is played at the right parts every time.

As well as I said in the story section about the great character profiles, the voice acting is phenomenal. It is so well done in a world that games and voice acting do not mix well. This game pulls it off perfectly and convincing without the voices seeming to lack enthusiasm, emotion, and excitement. This game sets the bar for voice acting and I am not afraid to say that it's the best out there.

*Sound- 10/10

-Last because I know you wanted to know how it played-

Great. Grandia fans will feel right at home and learn about new techniques and added features and new players will not miss a beat because they do go through how to play without being to boring. New and old players will love it. The system is the same as it was yet better, and for someone just spectating, it will seem like a mess, but its much more simplistic than it looks jumbled.

I'm a huge Star Ocean fan and I love that free based fight system more than any other but besides that huge bias, this battle system is one to die for. If you like RPGs but find yourself playing the same game just a different story, this is totally different.

The IP gauge is a circle on the top left of the screen where your characters and your enemies will have symbols on it. They revolve on it in a relative motion to display your turn and time to take action. Your characters run about the field and wait at a point until their character symbol reaches the COM(command) part of the IP Gauge. Everything stops til you choose what that character will do and then progresses again. Depending on what you pick their icon will move at a certain speed to the ACT(action) part of the IP gauge where they will do what you told them to do earlier. It will take them longer to get to ACT is casting a spell or preparing a skill. When doing the regular attack (which is combo, you hit with 2 weak attacks, more hits by different methods) you will run towards the enemy when it gets to ACT amd then attack. If an enemy (or player) is hit with a canceling attack, a critical hit, or a certain powerful magic before they are able to do their action (between COM and ACT) that action will be canceled and not executed. There is a great strategy element put in here of when to use cancels. If that seems confusing, it will come together when you play.

The game will seem like a breeze until you get to the last boss of the first disc, and then the game will still seem a bit easy but you will start dying more often if you aren't careful by the 2nd disc. So about halfway through when the story picks up the battles get harder, much harder if you aren't careful and the strategy element in the gameplay really comes into play.

More of the techniques are brought up by Miranda, Yuki's mother throughout the beginning and you will have time to practice all these aspects, so it doesn't throw it all at you at once. Despite the seemingly complex system, it is much more simple to be played.

Overall this is one of the best qualities of the game and will shatter the boredom from normal RPGs and will make you want to battle more enemies than you need to. Very fun.

*Gameplay- 10/10

As you already saw before reading this that its a 9/10 score and wil 2 8s and 2 10s you now see why, if that even dawned on you as a care.

Great fighting system, many cutscenes.

BUY IT! It is well worth it, and it has a good 30+ hours of gameplay, thats right there's a + in the mix, I went there. Not the typical fighting system yet will break the habit of the typical fighting system. It has so many great elements to it and breaks many boundaries to set a new bar for some of the more simple things in games. Pick this one up, you wont be disappointed

*Overall- 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/28/06

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