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After reading into the game and being pressured into it. I finally got around to playing Grandia! It has been a while since I have played a turn based JRPG, so I have been eyeing this game for a while now. I am really glad to have played this game, during the first night of playing I was played it for a good 7 hours without realizing the time. I just got done with the ruins after Gumbo
Village.


I REALLY ended up loving this game. Especially with this game's combat system. The concept of being able to cancel queued attacks is something that I feel like it should be explored more in JRPGs.

Already looking forward to trying out Grandia 2. Though I have no idea when I will start that up.

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Glad you’ve been loving the game. I played it for the first time about 4 years ago and absolutely loved it. Easily one of my favorite RPGs.

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Wow, 7 straight hours! Glad you're enjoying it. Basically this and Dragon Warrior 7 were my favorite 2 PS1 games ever, and being 100% honest the Grandia games have my favorite battle system ever. Glad you're enjoying that so much too!

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I'm kind of... 40% into Grandia 1, got past the insurmountable wall, but haven't gotten much further. It's in the backlog currently.

 

I like the remaster, but they should've put speedups and stuff in it.

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Yessss, goood. I'm glad you're enjoying it!

I've finished Disc 1 myself, I decided to take a break for a bit because I was hurting myself by grinding for the sake of leveling up spells. So I needed a breather.

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On 3/13/2021 at 6:43 PM, Mattcraft said:

I'm kind of... 40% into Grandia 1, got past the insurmountable wall, but haven't gotten much further. It's in the backlog currently.

 

I like the remaster, but they should've put speedups and stuff in it.

That is probably the only one thing that I felt like this game could have used. I like the ability system, but it really does encourage you to spam them. Having a fast forward would be nice.

I believe I got passed disc 1? I got passed the Pirate Island.  The new battle music is REALLY good.

The one thing I really liked about the mechanics on this game so far, is the fact that when a party member leaves, you can get a portion of that experience given to any character of your choice. That is something that should be a standard in RPGs at this point. It doesn't feel as painful on spending resources on the character.

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1 hour ago, Twinkie said:


I believe I got passed disc 1? I got passed the Pirate Island.  The new battle music is REALLY good.
 

Pirate Island is the last thing you do on Disc 1, so yes. You're on what used to be known as Disc 2.

Be prepared for a lot of fun! Do the special areas if you are so inclined. They will help out a lot.

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11 hours ago, Twinkie said:

That is probably the only one thing that I felt like this game could have used. I like the ability system, but it really does encourage you to spam them. Having a fast forward would be nice.

I believe I got passed disc 1? I got passed the Pirate Island.  The new battle music is REALLY good.

The one thing I really liked about the mechanics on this game so far, is the fact that when a party member leaves, you can get a portion of that experience given to any character of your choice. That is something that should be a standard in RPGs at this point. It doesn't feel as painful on spending resources on the character.

I really liked that the work you put into other characters didn’t go to waste. That was a great surprise. Honestly, Grandia did a lot of things right in an RPG and it’s shocking more games haven’t taken inspiration from it.

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I don't know why it took me this long to realize it. But I had the impression that spamming specific skills would raise the proficiency. Nope. It is purely tied to skill levels. Would have saved me some time, but oh well. EXP is still EXP.

Managed to complete the Doom Tower, and working on one of the two side areas in the desert.

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I don't know why it took me this long to realize it. But I had the impression that spamming specific skills would raise the proficiency. Nope. It is purely tied to skill levels. Would have saved me some time, but oh well. EXP is still EXP.

Managed to complete the Doom Tower, and working on one of the two side areas in the desert.
I never beat them, but I sure went in and raided them. Got the mana eggs and good weapons.
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5 hours ago, Twinkie said:

I don't know why it took me this long to realize it. But I had the impression that spamming specific skills would raise the proficiency. Nope. It is purely tied to skill levels. Would have saved me some time, but oh well. EXP is still EXP.

Managed to complete the Doom Tower, and working on one of the two side areas in the desert.

The side areas can be tough but they are worth doing. With some skills/spells it’s a good idea to focus on the “fusion,” ones since it will increase both elements, or element and weapon. You might have already picked up on that, but figured I’d mention it.

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Going on about those side areas.

Soldier's Graveyard was one hell of an experience. Only one save point? Lots of monsters that are resistant to the weapons I was leveling? Lots of hidden paths? Oh man. I thought I could tackle this place in an hour but that was a big no. I also made the mistake of going after the boss without saving. The bosses in the game have been fairly easy for me at that point, and I just went for it. What a mistake. This was the first boss that I actually had to use items. The panic settled in real quick with the fact that I could have lost about 2 hours of progress. But after a long fight, I pulled through. The accessory you get from this dungeon is too good to pass up on. I actually ended up really enjoying this dungeon.

The other side area wasn't too bad. The boss was a bit tough, but I enjoyed it. Spent a good amount of time here to level up my water spells.

After spending a good amount of time with the two side areas, I made a lot of progress through the story. The story takes an interesting turn of events after the time warped village. 

Spoiler

The activation of the ruin golems, betrayal, kidnapping, and help from someone I didn't expect. The entire series of events was interesting.

Going through Grandeur was REALLY good. The boss fight with the trio was annoying. Especially with the one girl who just spams that stun move. She was the only boss fight I have died to when I first encountered her. I am really glad that I took time on leveling my water spells. It saved me for the fight. The fight with General Baal was great as well. Even though I am used to the whole "this is my true power" kind of troupes. The reveal with Baal threw me off guard. I loved this entire series of events.

Now I made it to Alent.

 

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The one thing Grandia does well is how it handles familiar story beats/character types. There were times the story really surprised me because of how well it’s handled. 

I think there’s one more optional area you can tackle, but I don’t know where it is. I only found the two you talked about when I originally played the game, so you’ll have to look and up and see if there is a 3rd optional dungeon.

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I just got passed the previous part, and got a new party member. Who I am assuming is the final party member you get for the game. A bit of a shame that this character has such weak stats. Even after saving up all the perma stat boosts on them, they still are not up to par to the rest of the party. Was a nice surprise for them joining though. I managed to get through the mountains, and stopped at J Base. 

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I finally managed to complete Grandia this afternoon!

After the last time I posted, I managed to find the third and final side dungeon. I would have never found it without looking it up online. Once again, I tried again to tackle the entire dungeon in one night. I think it took me roughly 4 hours to get through all of it. The dungeon mazes were fine, but there were so many enemies that caught me off guard that I ended up losing a lot of steam by time I got to floor 8. The rewards from completing it was really good at least.

The rest of the story was pretty good. 

Spoiler

The fight with Baal (seriously love his character design), Leen's sacrifice, Feena's decision, and especially the self-doubt with Justin was all well done. The final dungeon was good, but the final fight with Gaia was really easy. I managed to destroy Baal, and the first phase of Gaia's core without getting damaged.

The story was mostly by the numbers and had a lot of clichés. But it was serviceable. There were still a good amount of parts of the story I did like.

Spoiler

There were a few parts of the story really stuck for me. The first was the entire situation with Doom Tower. Going into this area I was under the impression that this was just another side story that was already experienced throughout the game. I was thinking that this was going to be a similar situation that happened with the poison rain. Only for it to end up being a big tease of the game's final boss. Caught me a bit off guard for how weird it was. Similar situation with Baal's reveal. I have seen this very similar reveal happen with another game, but this still caught me off guard. Did I mention I love his character design?

The turning point at the ruins was really good as well. I just love how this game acts like a big mostly innocent adventure and just turns it up to 11 and have nothing but terrible things going on for the rest of the entire game.

I really like the touch of the music getting worse when they were climbing the end of the world as well.

Almost forgot about the train escape. I thought that was pretty good too.

The biggest strength of this game is easily the unique combat system. It actually makes me pretty sad that not many RPGs really have a counter system like this. Needless to say, I will be looking forward to the other Grandia games just for this aspect alone. I thought that leveling all the elements and weapons and going in between them was going to be a massive chore. But since the game was awesome enough to tell you when you will learn spells at certain levels, I started focusing more on specifics for the stat building. Loved doing that. That being said, having a cancel system like that should be more explored in RPGs. I seriously enjoyed the combat. Even if the game was on the easier side. The magic system in itself was pretty cool to by having to "unlock" elements by using mana eggs. Just wish I wasn't so conservative with them since I was afraid of party members leaving and not finding enough to cover the entire party. I think I ended up having 5 mana eggs to spare at the end.

Music was good as well. Some of the areas did have very generic and almost annoying music. But the moments where it really mattered it was really great. I remember hearing a while back on some being put off with the English VA. I can fully see why. It just didn't bother me that much since it has it's charm in a cheesy way. I am probably just used to bad 90s voice acting. The only parts that really bothered me was with Mullen in the voice acting regard. Especially at the very end. I will most likely play with Japanese VA if I ever do a replay through this in the future.

I ended up really enjoying this game. It scratched my 2.5D itch I had for a while. Sadly I am now in the mood to start replaying through Lunar 1 & 2. Not sure when I will get around to Grandia 2. Even if it turns out to only be half as good I would most likely still enjoy it.

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Glad you liked the game! Grandia was a fun experience.

Voice acting wise, I’m right there with you on Mullen. His voice acting and Rapp’s voice were easily the worst ones of the entire game. The others were so bad it’s good, but those two...not so much.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I started up Grandia 2 a couple days ago. Since I found the first game to be really easy, I decided to start in hard mode. I gotten a third party member and enjoying it so far.

I was thrown off at the start. This game seems to have a bit of a darker tone over the original. 

Spoiler

I wasn't expecting the girls to all die during the ceremony. Already made this game a lot more dark.

The voice acting is on par on what I would expect, and the gameplay mechanics itself is what I would expect too. Glad they stuck with the combat system. The new mana egg system is good so far. The only problem is that I am now super paranoid I might miss one in a dungeon. So I will most likely be a lot more attentive so I don't miss out on any. I still prefer the elements in the previous title. I feel that having the magic coin system tied to elements instead of specific mana eggs would have been a great balance. Either way, the system is pretty good. The new mana egg system makes the combat flow a lot better.

Only two complaints. First is that you have to press start to access the menu. I was used to pressing Y to access it. So I ended up rebinding the controls a bit in the system settings to deal with it. Much more tolerable. I also really don't like the main character so far. He is a completely rude in situations that really don't call for it. And not in a charismatic way either.

Edited by Twinkie
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Oooo, so you’re finally starting Grandia 2? I might have to duck out of this topic then Twinkie since I haven’t played it yet but really want to. Want to go in as a fresh as possible after reading your early impressions, so good luck with the rest of your adventure.

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I am about a good 15 hours into Grandia 2. Enjoying it so far. The story and characters don't really hold my attention that much. Though it seems like I am making a lot more progress in this game for how much faster the combat is flowing.

Hard difficulty seems to be a decent balance. Enemies are easy, but the bosses push back a bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was planning on giving a more detailed log to play while playing the game, but I just kept playing the game in small sessions and felt like it wasn't worth posting about 1 hour of gameplay each time. Then I just forgot to post about it. Oops.

Either way, I completed Grandia 2.

In terms of story and characters, I really don't have much to say about it. Only that it was serviceable. The story did pick up towards the end, but the rest of the game just felt "okay". I didn't really care much for the characters this time around either. The original Grandia was far stronger with characters and story. The story wasn't terrible, but I don't think this game will have that much of an impact.

The gameplay is really great though. The gameplay flow goes a lot faster over the original, and I really liked the upgrade system. Playing the game on Hard did provide a good amount of challenge for a handful of boss fights. So I am glad I ended up sticking with it. The normal encounters were pretty easy still. But the bosses pushed back pretty hard. I would suggest just playing the game on this mode for experienced players. Though it did make the boss fights last pretty long. I don't know if I prefer Grandia 1 or 2 with mechanics. They are both really good.

I really enjoyed Grandia 2. It is still worth a playthrough. Not sure when I will get around to Xtreme and 3, but I do plan on trying those at some point in the future.

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I was planning on giving a more detailed log to play while playing the game, but I just kept playing the game in small sessions and felt like it wasn't worth posting about 1 hour of gameplay each time. Then I just forgot to post about it. Oops.

Either way, I completed Grandia 2.
In terms of story and characters, I really don't have much to say about it. Only that it was serviceable. The story did pick up towards the end, but the rest of the game just felt "okay". I didn't really care much for the characters this time around either. The original Grandia was far stronger with characters and story. The story wasn't terrible, but I don't think this game will have that much of an impact.

The gameplay is really great though. The gameplay flow goes a lot faster over the original, and I really liked the upgrade system. Playing the game on Hard did provide a good amount of challenge for a handful of boss fights. So I am glad I ended up sticking with it. The normal encounters were pretty easy still. But the bosses pushed back pretty hard. I would suggest just playing the game on this mode for experienced players. Though it did make the boss fights last pretty long. I don't know if I prefer Grandia 1 or 2 with mechanics. They are both really good.
I really enjoyed Grandia 2. It is still worth a playthrough. Not sure when I will get around to Xtreme and 3, but I do plan on trying those at some point in the future.
Nice!

I'm recording a Grandia 2 podcast actually tomorrow night since the last cohost lost the recording we did last July.
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