RPGs Across the Board; or, Grandia II - The Beginning

One of my favorite genres of video games is the RPG. I'm not overly attached to the turn-based combat (although I have come to like it over the years): I like the stories, and the bigger RPGs have great composers, like Final Fantasy, or the Mario RPGs. I had at least one RPG on most of my major systems, like the PlayStation, Gamecube, Gameboy etc...but something was amiss.

I had no RPGs for the Dreamcast! And because my current system had no affordable games available at the time, I made it a goal to get at least one good game. Fortunately, my brother had received a gift card to a local retrogaming shop. I had gotten Final Fantasy 7-9 there, so I hoped that they would have at least one good Dreamcast RPG. They had two.

Grandia II won out due to a lower price tag (Skies of Arcadia was almost $50 dollars), and I was hyped. At first, I thought it was a two-disc game, a la some of the PlayStation JRPGs, but it turned out to be a disc of selected game music! We were over at a relative's house, so I eagerly anticipated playing as I previewed music from the game. (One key reason for me playing JRPGS in the first place!)

As of yet, I've only gotten a little bit into the game, but I already like it. The camera is a bit constricted at times, but I like being able to turn it freely. Also, the main character is a bit jaded. But more on that later, as I make more progress in the game.

I'm no expert, but the Dreamcast feels like it would be the best system for RPGs, in its generation. CD based for affordable capacity, good processor, and nice controller. I'm no Nintendo hater, but the Dreamcast controller feels a lot more comfortable and well-designed than the N64's weird design.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to continuing to play Grandia II to see how things turn out for the embittered protagonist and the naive client he's body-guarding. Stay tuned for more updates!

Image source: Wikipedia


Tom Charnock said...

Looking forward to hearing how you get on with Grandia - it's a game I also own but have never actually placed into a Dreamcast on account of not being particularly fond of RPGs of that style!

B# Major General said...

RPGs in general, or JRPGs? I can see why you wouldn't, I suppose.

Tom Charnock said...

Just JRPGs I think. I've played through most of the Zelda games (pre Wii) and stuff like the Mass Effect series and Shenmue - if you can call those RPGs. Just not really 'into' JRPGs for some reason. Final Fantasy 7 really put me off with it's random battles and boring gameplay I think.

B# Major General said...

I get that.

What about Earthbound? It's fairly short, quirky, and has no random battles.

nocarpayment said...

I shunned Rpgs since NEs days. I hated dungeon exploring, getting lost, having to search for this artifact or that key. I also hated been lost in some cave or dungeon for hours. Gamers on other site suggested this game for my reasons i just listed. Grandia 2 is more straightforward maybe a little too straightforward. I quickly fell in love with the game. To my recollection it is the first Rpg i ever completed. Not even passing or in fact owning a Zelda Game. Ironically my small gripe was the game was a little too much point A to B a little too linear. This took something away from an otherwise fantastic game. It needed more secrets or a another subplot thrown in. Despite this im sure you will enjoy the game as I did. I almost didnt want to end and kept putting off finishing it once i knew i was getting close to the finish line.