A highly original, highly recommendable sequel to one of the better RPGs around.

User Rating: 9.3 | Grandia II (Limited Edition) DC
Grandia came out at a time when RPGs were still just making their breakthrogh. Game Arts wasn't, and still pretty much isn't a big time developer like their chief competition SquareSoft. Final Fantasy VII was Grandia's biggest rival at the time, and though it wasn't quite as good as the aforementioned behemoth, it came strikingly close in many ways. Game Arts went into hiding for the most part after Grandia's release, that is, until they released Grandia II for the Dreamcast. In every way, shape, and form, Grandia II is a highly original, highly recommendable sequel to one of the better RPGs around. The game stars Ryudo, a harsh-spoken rag-tag soldier character who you've probably seen in, well, every RPG that's come out in the last five years. Though the characters can get a little cliche at times, the original combat system and really good story more than makes up for it. Not to mention, the game looks and sounds absolutely superb. From the moment you start the game until the moment it ends, the story will grip you and you'll want to continue, unlike so many other games in the genre. This is, without a doubt, the crowning RPG for the Dreamcast, even though it came out in the system's twilight. If there's any game in the RPG genre that should be remembered from the misfit-generation of the Dreamcast, it's Grandia II. The combat system, in particular, absolutely sets Grandia II ahead of its competition, namely being Skies of Arcadia. There isn't room for comparison, Grandia II is the superior game in that right. It has a fast, fun, and fleshed out combat system that will have you understanding things right away but has enough room for depth that will make it so you don't get bored fast. Problems with Grandia II are few and far between, however, there is one minor complaint some hardcore RPG gamers are going to have with Grandia II; it's a little too easy. While not easy in the right that you'll be blowing through this game in a day or two (unless you live, eat, sleep, and breath the game), but easy in the sense once you've got the combat system down and understand how the game plays with its puzzles, you shouldn't really be having too many parts where you get stuck or truly have to think about what to do next. As said before, the game looks and sounds really great. All of the character models and the environments are flat-out gorgeous. They're colorful, vibrant, and full of life. The game feels as if it's alive at all times. With the great voice acting they threw in there, it makes the characters feel real and very interesting. Being one of the first RPGs to have any voice work in it, it really shows just how vital it was to the presentation. And the music was pretty darn sweet as well. Not to mention, it's packaged in with the box. Grandia II stands out as one of the better games on the Dreamcast. Though it will be forgotten in a large heap of mediocrity, it will be cherished by fans of the genre and fans of the series. If you're looking for a thoroughly engaging and fun RPG with a great plot and cool cast of characters, look no further than Grandia II. It doesn't take itself seriously, it doesn't pretend to be epic, it doesn't have any hidden overtones to make you question existance, it's just flat-out fun.

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