18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Grandia fans will be happy to see this title, but those new to the series may not get as into this game as others. While the heart of Grandia lies within the battle system, which is still incredible, the other elements have suffered a little over the years. With Grandia III it's no different. It is a very good game, but the RPG veteran will notice that there are a couple of key elements missing.
Yuki dreams of one day becoming a pilot like his hero Sky Captain Schmidt. He's finally made a plane that he's sure can carry him off Titalos Island. Upon trying to leave, he doesn't realize his mother has hopped aboard the plane, taking the plane over its weight limit. Eventually the plane goes down near a girl named Alfina who is the last of the "Communicators". A race that stay in contact with a Guardian Glyph and relay the information to the rest of the world. Alfina's brother, however, has different plans, and would rather take over the world. It's your job, of course, to stop him.
The story isn't really thrilling, but the characters will make up for that. Some of the dialogue is badly written, but for the most part, the characters begin to take on a personality and you fall in love with them. Especially with how they interact over scenes when they're at dinner.
Grandia veterans will recognize the battle system instantly. After nearly ten years, the battle system is still complex, fresh and very original. When you enter battle there will be a circle gauge in the corner. This is the IP gauge. Your characters and enemies move along this gauge. You'll select a command and watch them play out in real time. Each character and enemy will go into action. If you attack an enemy while they're in action you'll delay their attack. It is even possible to cancel it all together. The enemy can also do the same to you.
The battle system, as I said, is complex, and still holds up. There is still no battle system quite like it. Unfortunately, it's an easy battle system to take advantage of. And this isn't the first time Grandia has suffered from this. If you keep canceling enemies, you'll find that many battles you'll take absolutely no damage. Bosses, however, can be pretty challenging. Especially because they have multiple parts. Boss battles are particularly long and satisfying.
Another reason for the ease of Grandia is simply because you can always see the enemies HP and what attack they plan on using and who they plan to attack. In other words, the game begs for you to take advantage. It's all a matter of canceling the attacks. However, this makes so that Grandia's battle system really does focus on strategy. For as easy as it is to take advantage of the battle system, it's just as easy to lose control if you're unfamiliar with it.
Each character also has a set of special moves to use. And as they continue to use them they'll get more skills availible to them. There are also skill books and Mana Eggs for you to equip to give you modifiers and spells. Mana Eggs allow you to cast various spells while skill books will give you abilities, such as being able to defend against poison or do more damage to a certain type of enemy.
However, there are a few things that are glaring in Grandia III. It isn't just the storyline that erks me (especially when compared to Grandia II and the first one), but the lack of sidequests and the game is short. There are not enough secrets and mini-games, which ultimately lowers the replay value of this game. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the quest. This also means the game is very linear. It also could've been longer.
That shouldn't suggest Grandia III is bad. It's not. But it makes it so that only hard-core RPGers and Grandia devotees will want to play it. If battling and having fun is your thing, by all means, play Grandia III. But if secrets and goodies is your thing, Grandia III probably isn't for you.
The visual look of Grandia III isn't bad. It's rather good. Each character is detailed and the enviroments are pretty. It's great that there is no slow down in this one, as it isn't a port. There are times, however, when the graphics look outdated. Still, it's a beautiful game. And it doesn't sound so bad either. The voice acting is pretty good, and the background music serves its purpose as well.
Overall, Grandia III is a pretty good game. As long as you're not expecting a lot you'll enjoy it. While there are a few glaring things, I have to say the game is fun. The battle system makes it so that one actually wants to battle as opposed to avoiding them. For the die-hard RPGer and Grandia fan, this is gold. If you're expecting a lot from a game, however, look elsewhere.
+Incredible battle system makes the game really fun
+While the story is nothing special, the characters really do help move it along nicely.
-The story is too simple... especially for Grandia
-No side quests and very little secrets
-It's too short
A good game, but definitely for a selective crowd.