Grandia III is out.

…and I have irresponsibly played several hours of it. It’s pretty good so far. Battle system’s good as always. Haven’t quite figured out how you learn special techniques or how the magic and skills work yet, but that’ll come in time. One character died in a regular battle - if you don’t cancel the enemies’ special moves fairly often, you’re going to get creamed.

Story looks ok. The main character is blah, as is the young elf-thing love interest, but some of the others are cool. The main character’s “mother” (I refuse to believe she is who the game says she is - she looks too young), in particular, is awesome.

There’s a casino, with one game. It’s stacked in your favor over time.

I didn’t even know it was out. o_o I didn’t read much about it, but how’s the battle system comparing with the ones from I and II? It sounds harder.

I bought it, but I haven’t played it. I’ll probly wait til I have a few hours of alone time (I don’t like to be interrupted when I first start playing a game). I heard the music wasn’t that good (which I don’t believe, but it’s scary to hear), and all the reviews I read said that the game was pretty hard. I hope so.

Same here. Bought it yesterday (wednesday) but haven’t played it yet. I also bought Drakengard 2, which I did play a little of. I’m waiting until I have a day off (tomorrow) to start Grandia.

Ok, I’m a good way’s in now. The battle system is very, very similar to 2’s, which is a good thing. The new addition is that if you use a Critical (or whatever it’s called, not Combo) attack while the enemy’s move is charging (casting time, or when it’s on its way to physically attack someone), not only do you cancel that move and set it back on the IP gauge (who goes when, basically), but you knock it way up into the air as well. If you hit it with another character’s (or mutiple characters’) Combo attacks while it’s up in the air, you’ll do a LOT more damage than usual and hit it FARTHER up into the air. So, potentially you could have one character Critical the thing up into the air and three more use their Combo attacks on it. If you kill it while it’s in the air using a Combo attack, it’s called an Aerial Finish and it’s supposed to up your chance of getting that particular enemy to drop an item after battle. So far, doesn’t seem to help all that much. Also, from what I’ve seen, many bosses can’t be knocked up into the air, so this doesn’t work on them.

As for the difficulty…so far, it is a bit harder than the norm, but nothing outrageous. Just pay attention and you’ll win.

The music is unremarkable, except for the opening vocal, and not in a good way, for that one. If you’re a fan of the dining music Grandia and Grandia II had, that’s back in a few different forms, as well as the mealtime dialogue scenes.

The main plot for the game is firing up where I am now (9, 10 hours).

Hmmm, I found I had an hour or two of uninterrupted time tonight, so I rolled a bit. I got all the way up to the end of the first boss fight.

What I’ve noticed:

  1. Graphics are fuckin’ damn fuckin’ nice. It’s retarded how good they are. It’s a little hard to get used to, though, cos G2 and GXtreme had the same type of graphics. I’m really used to that style now, heh. :stuck_out_tongue:

  2. Cutscenes…can’t pause during em’, and no captions. wtf?

  3. Music is good, but it’s very…dramatic, even for Iwadare. The normal battle music sounds like a special boss theme, or even a final boss theme. It’s off the hook.

  4. Gameplay’s pretty tight, I enjoy how they always refine their system of things slightly while keeping it fairly similar in each game.

  5. Characters are cool. I’m diggin’ the main character, and I love that the character interaction is still there. The fact that they’ve kept that dinner song is still nice (they used it in GXtreme, also). That made me smile :D! Story seems pretty typical for a Grandia game. No big deal; I’ve played em’ all, so obviously I enjoy them. :stuck_out_tongue:

What the hell’s up with that opening theme? I was expecting standard Game Arts fare, not… that. As for the graphics, they’re nice, but look a bit muddy on a larger widescreen display; the game could have benefitted from progressive scan (like Star Ocean and Radiata Stories).

Aside from that, I have the same generic complaint I’ve had about most RPGs of late: why is it that when I start a new game, I can practically ignore the controller for 20 minutes? Isn’t there a more <I>interactive</I> way that they could present the backstory?

I’m in the middle of playing it right now, but just so that it’s fresh in my mind, I wanted to state something really cool about this game that just happened (it’s slightly after you meet your fourth character, and you get on a ship…)

I love how at the beginning of the game, you’re set up so that you feel your big focus is flying, and that you wanna be the best pilot of all time…that’s all that matters…but, even after things go wrong, and you get wrapped up in other stuff…you talk to Alonso and he really puts things in perspective. “What does it mean to be the best?” “After you become the best, where do you go from there?” And now, I feel like I’m searching for a goal more finite, more concrete than just simply being the best in the world. “I know I have to fly”, but I know there’s more than just that, right? God DAMN, that’s so fucking cool.

! And it happened AGAIN, a few hours later…

What are you gonna do with your wings, now that you finally have them? Fuckin’ DAMNIT, yes!!! I love this shit. I feel really glad that I bought this game.

Wow, I was wasn’t sure which game to start with this or Tales of Legendia. This game really sounds good…I mean I liked the first two games.

Ohh, I’m looking forwards to this. Without spoiling, are there any snarky characters? I thought that Ryudo and Millenia were the main reason Grandia 2 held up, they were just wonderful.

And aside from that… huzzah! Another game I’ll be able to play with my toes while drunk! :kissy:

If by “snarky” you mean “awesome,” then yes. The main character’s (Yuki) mother, Miranda, is quite awesome, as is the fourth party member you encounter, Alonso. Yuki’s bland, at least to me, and Alfina’s a little to Elena-ish, really. I know there are more characters I haven’t encountered, but the NPCs have generally…um…made an impression, if in one case it was a bit frightening.

When I say “snarky”, yeah, I do mean awesome, in particular if they are of the sarcastic sort. Ryudo’s “Fine, I’ll just sit here and think filthy, impure thoughts then” in reply to the priestesses saying he can’t enter the tower where a holy ceremony is to take place, is one of my favorite RPG quotes. :slight_smile: His attitude is what makes Elena standable in the second game, as he keeps pushing reality into her blue-eyed face when she needs a healthy glass of reason.

So, I just finished this game…Here’s my final opinion on the game:

Graphics: Fuckin’ amazing. I didn’t like them when I barely started the game, cos I was so used to the style of G2 and GXtreme, but I grew to like it quick. Nothing bad to say about this.

Music: I guess a lot of people don’t like this? I think it was typical Iwadare fare for the most part. What bothered me is that most of the battle themes were subpar. The only one that kept me entertained for the entire duration of the game was the “You got surprised” battle theme. I happened to love the main theme, and even the vocal song (though I’m aware that I’m in the minority of liking pop songs like that). Overall, it was very standard of Grandia music to me, and so I’m not let down by this.

Story: Holy shit. Complete, CRAP. Starts out SO amazing, then falls apart. As soon as Miranda and Alonso leave the party, everything about this game just gets thrown in the trash. The plot becomes sparse and boring, and the main villain, who was introduced in a very interesting light (like Yuki, he seemed to yearn for complete freedom, but was bonded to his destiny as a communicator. This could have been an interesting basis for a personal conflict with Emelious and Yuki, and, had the game kept this conflict about the costs of freedom, it could have been very intruiguing) , but was then given weird, unclear, random motives which seemed to add up to particularly nothing. Practically every villain just seemed to be THERE Violetta dies very randomly, La Ilim and that other guy who tries to betray Emelious at the end were just THERE, and Kornell completely vanishes from the story at some point with absolutely no explanation.). Worst of all, most of the main cast of characters were just BORING versions of other Grandia characters Yuki is just like Justin from Grandia, except without ANYTHING to say. Alfina is like Elena from Grandia 2, except for that she’s whiny and boring. Ulf is just like Rapp, except for that he only talks about FOOD. That’s IT. FOOD. The rest of the cast, like Dahna, Hect, and Raven, seemed like just a bunch of filler, and were boring as hell, too. This has got to be the WORST story in a Grandia, EVER. I think it’s even WORSE than Grandia Xtreme, and I think the poor execution and pacing hurt the gameplay tremendously. The ending was also atrocious, and very unexpectedly bad. I thought there’d at least be an epilogue of sorts, but…nothing. I’m completely convinced that something happened to the main scriptwriter of the game at some point. It’s possible, right? I mean, this game has been in conception since before, or at least around the time that Grandia Xtreme was released. That’s more than enough time for something to go sour. I refuse to believe that the same person who came up with ALL those great ideas at the beginning would completely ignore them and trash them, or somehow be ignorant to what he built up to and go a completely different route. I’m completely destroyed by this storyline.

Gameplay: Altogether? I’m not too impressed. Some of the new ideas were really cool, but they only served to make the game easier overall. I stopped doing air combos very shortly after starting the game, pointing out cancel attacks in a wait-timed battle system is ridiculously in your favor, and being able to set skills and magic based on ability level rather than equipment gives you the opportunity to give everyone the same ridiculously good skills and magic. If Grandia games want to really provide a challenge, I think the next step would be to take a majority of the ideas from this game and do them in full real time (giving clear indication of when to go for a cancel could be good in a real time system, where you have to weigh your options quickly), instead of just making the bosses RIDICULOUSLY fast. I only died like twice going through this game…one time was because I just stopped paying attention after playing through endless hours of fighting, and the other time was when I got surprised by a mini-boss (forest protectors; Omni-laser x3-4 = GGPO. It’s retarded). This method they’ve been using for the entire series just makes the bosses into long, obnoxious endurance tests. For a game that flaunts its combat system like the greatest thing ever to grace RPG-dom, it certainly doesn’t provide an amazing challenge; I think it would be in their best interests to shift gears into full real time.

There’s also the fact that the story pacing directly hurts the combat, in that you have to do SO many dungeons in a row (so many of them seem pointless; the entire chain of dungeons after leaving Terrarium is a blur, it was SO stupid, and it took me like DAYS to muster up the will to finish it). Less fighting. More. Exploring. This shit just got old after a while. I actually avoided all combat except for bosses in the last few dungeons. I was just plain sick and TIRED of fighting.

Overall: I’ve played three games in the past twelve months that started out with such OUTRAGEOUSLY amazing potential, only to just get tossed aside. One of them was Kingdom Hearts. The other one was Shadow Hearts: Covenant. The last one has been this game. It makes me LITERALLY sad to think of how amazing all of these games could have been, but Grandia hits the hardest; even Grandia 1, with its archaic, horrible fighting, terrible voice acting, obnoxious 12 second dungeon loops, and marathon dungeons, was able to keep me going with its interesting dialogue. Do you know how much it HURTS to say that Justin and Rapp were more interesting than Yuki and Ulf? Lemme tell you what: It hurts a LOT. I fucking HATED Rapp. But moreover, I hate how two of the most interesting characters I’ve ever seen in an RPG were just instantly shoved out of the game forever. I hate how one of the coolest themes I’ve ever seen in an RPG was thrown away for “all you need is love.” I hate the squandered potential of what Emelious could have been as a villain. And, I hate what this game became. I can’t reccomend it to anyone.

I concur. Let us join our hate into one black beam of death and send it at GameArts.

Fuck yeah

SG, still got that picture you made concerning Rapp?
(The one with Justin, Feena, and Rapp in the menu screen.)

What’s left of them, anyway. GameArts is practically just a subdivision of Square-Enix now.

Square-Enix has proven to me that they only care to make one game series with me in mind (Dragon Quest) and then intentionally focus the rest of their game series’ away from my interest, even those that I’ve liked in the past. I used to love Final Fantasy, and I’d practically foam at the mouth for every new release in the series, but the most recent games in the series (aside from IX) were all directed at a completely different crowd. I even tried to give FFX-2 a shot (Gun Mages!!! :smiley: :smiley: :D) but ended up just proving my point that it wasn’t for me (how did they make something called GUN MAGES suck?!?!?! D: D: D:).

Fuck yeah I do…

Take that picture x87, and you get Grandia 3.

Gosh darnit. I need an RPG fix but everytime I get interested in one someone tells me it’s just subpar.

If you don’t mind me asking, why’d you hate Rapp so much? I mean, I thought the game as a whole (Grandia, I mean) was terribly, terribly mediocore. To the point that I didn’t mind the horrible deal I made trading in Grandia and Brave Fencer Musashi for Wild Arms 2. I like WA2. There’s some feelings that come up when I think about WA2, despite it’s flaws. Grandia was just something that existed. I expected Grandia 2 with poorer graphics. I got something worse than that. Grandia 2 had a shaky theme from what I remember, but I’ll be darned if I wasn’t drawn to it. Yeah, love is cool and all, but Ryudo’s sarcastic, cynical presence was much more interesting than the cardboard cut-out RPG archetype Justin was. Not only that, but Grandia ruins the best part of the whole game at the end when Leen’s sacrifice is diminished because she’s revived. Talk about killing all the drama in that brilliant scene…

Ah well, that’s one less game to distract me while I finish my shrine…

Ehh… Mullenkamp, I still hadn’t finished Grandia I… bah, it’s okay, the characters aren’t what interested me the most anyway. Justin was okay, he was more of an anime cliché than a game stereotype, but he could pull one or two funny tricks from time to time.

And to be honest, I hardly paid attention to anything in Grandia 2 besides Ryudo. Good Lord, there should be more characters like him.