Despite having played most Final Fantasy games, I’ve never been a big fan of JRPGs in general. However, Game Arts’/SkyBox Labs’ Grandia II Anniversary Edition is a re-release of the PC version I remember very fondly.
Not being familiar with the first game and being very sceptical about the Japanese art style and storytelling, the second game surprised me with a very likeable cast and an engaging (even if a bit convoluted at the end) story. It might not have the most original outset with a group of unlikely heroes who look for a deity’s weapon in order to save the world. But there were so many twists and turns in addition to interesting characters to keep me interested until the end. Not an easy feat, considering how many JRPGs lose their way and my interest in the process.
So it’s with great pleasure that I heard about the release of the Grandia II Anniversary Edition that doesn’t only include the rather bad English voice acting, but also the option to change to Japanese. The graphical improvements don’t seem like a big step up, as the game looks a bit outdated (but still sounds great with its orchestral score). At least there’s controller support and an extra hard mode.
So for those who haven’t experienced the original Dreamcast version or can’t get a hold of the PC retail box, this might be the perfect way to try and find out if there’s something here that interests even non-JRPG enthusiasts like myself. And don’t worry: You don’t need to have played the first game, as it’s a standalone title.
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