Game Review: Grandia II, Part 1
I hope you’re doing terrific today,
I spent my free time during my first semester at school playing Grandia II, instead of studying. The game was not only fun to play, but the story was interesting. Grandia II was the first roleplaying game I played that utilized a real-time, turn-based system. The characters instead of performing actions and waiting, could run around and attack or evade. This mechanic made it fun, but the characters and the story are what make Grandia II a great narrative game.
In reviewing Grandia II’s narrative structure we will see how the narrative enhances the game. Often, a narrative could make or break a game, regardless of mechanics and graphics.
Fans of real-time roleplaying games (RPG’s” would be interested to know that this game received positive reviews for the Sega Dreamcast version. Receiving a 5/5 from Gamepro Magazine, receiving 5.0 for graphics, 4.5 for sound, 5.0 for control, and 5.0 for fun. The game also received 8/10 from GameInformer.
I played relentless hours playing this game when I first bought it. Forgoing parties to kill goblins and monsters. I even bought the Playstation 2 version after the Dreamcast became obsolete.
We will go over the background, characters, plot, and production of Grandia II to see how the elements come together to build a narrative.
Grandia II was released in North American on December 6, 2000, by GameArts. The game had CG story sequences, anime-like designs, and the visuals for the attacks are amazing. Grandia II’s story revolves around the death of Granas. A Christ-like figure, who died in battle with Valmar, who is the antichrist. The result was that part of the land was split and Valmar was also killed. However, Valmar’s darkness still looms and the Church of Granas is trying to perform holy ceremonies to keep the darkness sealed.
Grandia II is a fantasy-based world that is similar to other RPG’s with its sword and sorcery background. The characters do fit archetypes but are different enough to provide comedy and drama. The plot is also a typical hero’s journey to defeat the villain. However, the themes and story propel the plot forward for a fun and entertaining game.
The game is not a direct sequel to Grandia, with the idea being a more “mature” product that the previous title. This is evident by the protagonist of the game, Ryudo, a geo-hound (bounty hunter) who will be discussed later. For now, think of him like a Han Solo from Star Wars or Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He has issues with the church but is brought into this battle between good and evil. Along with a very loose seven deadly sins theme, the writers do a wonderful job in crafting a narrative.
In the next part, we will discuss the characters of Grandia II. Until then…