Dreamcast, Playstation 2, PC
Grandia II is one of twin legendary RPGs of the now dead-and-buried Dreamcast, and like its twin, the Airship Adventure Skies of Arcadia, it is rising from the ashes and finding new life on not one, but two other platforms. It is, to the best of my considerable knowledge, the only RPG to come out for 3 systems. Featuring one of the finest stories to come around in many years, solid character design, and what many have called the best combat system of all time, it is a must-have for any serious RPG players collection.


Grandia 2 is, as stated above, a port of a quickly-aging Dreamcast game. It was at the very tail end of the time when cartoony prevailed over realistic, and as such, you can expect a very heavy anime theme and color palette: Bright, detailed backgrounds, and a heavy emphasis on the main characters rather than the NPCs.. if somebody\'s name isn\'t in the manual, you can almost guarantee that they won\'t be worth looking at. I enjoyed the cartoon-like atmosphere, but people used to the realism of FFX or Morrowind may find it jarring.


The voice acting of GII is easily one of its highlights. Rather than the cast of programmers and janitors that provide the voices in a typical RPG, Ubisoft hired well known and skilled professionals to do the job. The highlight is no doubt the voice of Millenia, played by Jodie Benson (Experienced Disney fans will recognize the name as Ariel in \'The Little Mermaid\', which, if nothing else, demonstrates that she has a wide range of talents) All important scenes are voiced-over in addition to the dialogue boxes, and characters have phrases for every one of their attacks, plus 3 different sayings for victory (Depending on how well you did in the battle.) The music is fairly high quality, the highlights being the theme \'A Deus\', a hymn sung in Latin, and the wonderfully perky boss battle theme. A soundtrack CD comes with the Dreamcast version, and its worth listening to.


How much can I say without spoiling it? You are the Mercenary, Ryudo, who has taken a contract to escort the Priestess of Granas and Singer, Elena to a local tower where she will perform a ritual. Needless to say, things don\'t go quite as well as planned, and you quickly get caught up in a journey to recover the 8 parts of the Dead Dark God Valmar for the Pope of the religion of light, Granas. The plot relies heavily on twists and turns, and since it\'ll ruin it if I say anymore, you\'ll simply have to take my word that its the best I\'ve seen.

Game play

The game play is pretty much like any other RPG you\'ve ever seen.. the heroes are constantly being suckered into wandering around ancient jungles, ruins, etc. where nobody else ever goes, but for some reason are filled with flesh-eating monsters. Upon touching one of these monsters, you\'ll be taken to a battle screen, where you select your characters and their attacks. The interesting part is that combat takes place on a flat 3d plain, where your characters and the enemies move around.. rush to attack the monster, and you may miss an opportunity to set up a killer area effect spell. This adds an entire new level to the game, and the variety of attacks, delays, etc. make GII pleasantly different from every other RPG out there.


Here it starts to get slightly questionable. The game deals HEAVILY with religious themes, and while Christianity isn\'t a part of this fantasy world, its quite easy to imagine it personified in the religion of Granas. Near the end of the game it heavily promotes a rather naturalistic form of religion in a manner that I felt was heavy-handed and annoying. Fortunately it quickly moves on from there, and if you\'re willing to ignore it, its fine. I don\'t recall any heavy sexual content, nor any blood worth of note, and no language outside of a \'Da**it\' or two.


The Dreamcast version runs fine.. stable frame rate, crisp colors, beautiful on a VGA Box. As for the ports, they suffer from occasional errors in the rendering (Black lines appear in between the floor tiles for no obvious reason, etc.), but not enough to dissuade you from playing it.

Final Ratings

Graphics: 85% B Sound: 90% A- Story: 85% B Game play: 95% A Stability: 80% C+ Appropriateness: 75% C

Overall: 86% B

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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