Grandia

PlayStation
  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Sep 30, 1999
Grandia Image
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 144 Ratings

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  • Summary: Join Justin and friends on an epic journey through a captivating story line, providing over 80 hours of intensive gameplay. With vast polygonal worlds to explore and extensive character interaction, Grandia features innovative gameplay with a unique magic combination and characterJoin Justin and friends on an epic journey through a captivating story line, providing over 80 hours of intensive gameplay. With vast polygonal worlds to explore and extensive character interaction, Grandia features innovative gameplay with a unique magic combination and character development system and a choice of two battle modes; classic turn-based or automatic. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Story is a great component of any RPG but it has to have a quality battle engine alongside. Thankfully Grandia utilizes one of the best we have played.
  2. With an absolutely stellar story, and characters that are more lively and fleshed out than those found in other series this game provides the integral components to make for an RPG that will rule the players life until they’ve finished the game.
  3. A role-playing masterpiece that delivers in all of the ways that really matter. While perhaps a little behind in the technology curve, Grandia's innovation, atmosphere, and story make it one of the most noteworthy RPGs in recent memory.
  4. 90
    With an enormous world to explore, a great variety of puzzles, and a whole lot of humor, Grandia is sure to please any RPG fan who hungers for hours of immersing gameplay and puzzle solving.
  5. It is proof that a strong game accompanied by good, but not great visuals, can be a more compelling product than something with lots of flash, but no substance.
  6. Ultimately, I think it's the focus on the characters and the growth they experience that takes Grandia over the top. The angle the designers took for Grandia as a more lighthearted and anecdotal adventure is refreshing. It never overwhelms like the newer, over-ambitious efforts that are out there but rather, offers up the less tangible part of gaming.
  7. A great game. While it's low on the pathos, the cheery nature of the quest is rivaled only by Working Design's "Lunar" series.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Aug 17, 2018
    10
    The game has some very witty and funny dialogues. Also, the display photos of the characters when they talk to show how they feel are just soThe game has some very witty and funny dialogues. Also, the display photos of the characters when they talk to show how they feel are just so expressive. The characters are easily some of the most memorable I've seen in a game. Expand
  2. Dec 20, 2020
    10
    One of the best rpg´s ever made. A must play game. The story is fantastic. The combat system is unic and awesome.
  3. May 11, 2015
    10
    This is my favorite Playstation game I first started playing it when it first came out and still enjoy it today. It a really easy game and funThis is my favorite Playstation game I first started playing it when it first came out and still enjoy it today. It a really easy game and fun to play and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Expand
  4. Apr 7, 2021
    9
    For its time a great RPG with some flaws. Lets start with the good things: The story and characters are charming (Be warned here too. It isFor its time a great RPG with some flaws. Lets start with the good things: The story and characters are charming (Be warned here too. It is the kind that can also be annoying for others), the battle system was refreshing and the humor works well. On the negative side the localization is poor, its starts a bit slow and for the magic system I should give you a warning later on. Just for clarification: The game is now really old and does of cause not hold up in the technical and graphics categories. This however can not be hold against the game but I think the warning is fair (Also some people say it was not that good graphically back then). It is the story of teenager Justin who sets out to be an adventurer like his vanished father. He is still a bit naive but has the hearth of a hero. His adventure will become much greater and impactful than he had imagined in his wildest dreams. Firstly it sounds and look like a cheesy and child-friendly story but the plot deals with some serious issues and it is the good kind of cheesy. I already warned you that it is also the kind of story and characters that can annoy you. Even if I enjoyed it a lot I can fully see why others dislike the story and characters. For me I enjoyed the main and side characters. There is a lot of character development and interaction that never fails to deliver. It was satisfying and enjoyable in this regard. They also get the mixture of humor and seriousness right. The humor in particular was great. Be it for example the accident on the ship with Feena, the dealing with Nana, Saki and Mio or miss-expectations that lead to hilarious situations (Special mention the whole Justin to the rescue of beautiful helpless females arc;-). Lets continue with the game play. The battle system has some interesting mechanics. You can see enemies and depending how you engage or the enemies vice versa can get the initiative (Touch them behind and avoid the opposite). Then the battle starts. It is close to the Final Fantasy active time turn based battles but with a twist. There is an IP bar that shows which party member or enemy will act next. If you reach a marker you can input your command. The twist is that you have to reach the next marker to execute the command. This gives tactical options as special attacks and powerful magics take longer to perform. It is possible to cancel attacks or delay your enemies and vice versa. For this you have a fast and strong normal basic attack. Some special attacks and magic will also do the trick. It total this was a good system that added tactical depth to the battles. For special attacks: Each character has a set of weapons he / she can use. If you use these they level up and get stronger. If you fulfill the requirements you learn new skills. Beware not all skills can be used with other weapons like for example a whip attack is not possible to use with a knife. Magic: I like the system but hate how you have to unlock magic. You have no access to magic until you find a special item which was called fairy egg if I remember correctly. With each you can unlock one element (Fire, water, earth and wind. Since we don't have love no Captain Planet support for us;-). Those work like weapons. If you use them you level them up and gain access to better spells. There are overlaps like multi element spells and elemental (weapon) special attacks. Be warned that there is a finite amount of fairy eggs and these are missable. What makes this worse is that not all party members are permanent. You can waste some on characters that leave the party permanently. I think I give you the final party composition for you to plan as it helps at the end of the review with a spoiler warning. Again the total battle and ability system works great and I beat the game multiple times from beginning to end. There are also 3 bonus dungeons which are not connected to the story. These have very good items, some additional fairy eggs and strong bosses. Presentation wise the game has a unique style but the graphics divided the players already back then. Some said it was already outdated. The soundtrack is still good but the voice acting is awful. This was screwed in the localization. Overall this was a remarkable good game back then and I enjoyed it a lot. Maybe not up to date but it still has charm and good characters. SPOILER: Final party consist of: Justin, Feena, Rapp and Liete. Only use fairy eggs on those. Expand
  5. Jan 19, 2022
    8
    Grandia

    Genre: JRPG Age Rating: Teen Original System: Sega Saturn Original Release Date: 1997 Visuals: 7 - Though the 3D
    Grandia

    Genre: JRPG

    Age Rating: Teen

    Original System: Sega Saturn

    Original Release Date: 1997

    Visuals: 7 - Though the 3D graphics are a bit dated by more modern standards, the 2D sprites are very detailed and is always easy to tell what actions the characters are doing. The animated cut-scenes are absolutely beautiful too.

    Audio: 6 - Sound effects are outstanding and very fitting. Voice acting is good and emotional (only played with Japanese voice acting, so the English voice acting is not considered in score). Music can range from mostly forgettable to genre inspiring!

    Story: 9 - The plot and characters of Grandia is full of life and wonder. The adventure the player embarks on will bring smiles to your face and tears down your cheeks for happy and sad reasons.

    Gameplay: 6 - Gameplay consists of standard JRPG tropes of exploring towns and dungeons fighting enemies, opening chests for loot, leveling up and talking to NPCs.

    Items appear frenquently and even represent what they are on the field before picking them up. It is always very exciting to find a new item on the ground and then figure out a way to get to them.

    NPCs are where this game really stand out. In Grandia very nearly every NPC has Multiple things to say and they change at what seems to be any small change in the plot. They also directly talk to certain characters in the party and even better, a good amount of the time a party member repsonds or reacts to what the NPCs say. I highly recommend taking the time to talk to NPCs as often as possible.

    Combat is basically turn based but with bars that need to fill before a character or enemy can act. In battle characters and enemies move about the screen, sometimes seemingly random, and stop when it is your turn to act. Actions can range from regular attacks, magic attacks, special attacks, critical attacks, defending, evading, using items and running away.

    There is a lot of complexity to combat, enemies have their own weaknesses and strengths and there is a good amount of strategies and options the player can take advantage of in combat.

    A frustrating flaw to combat that would appear every so often is that if a character is too for away or can't reach an enemy after an action is selected, the character would give up after a while and waste that turn.

    Another battle quirk that frustrated me personally is that there are many AOE attacks enemies have and it seems impossible to separate characters to keep all of them from getting hit, though it could just be me not understanding that particular part of the game. (Did I mention that this battle system is complex?)

    In Grandia The player can level up their proficiency in weapons they use, magic atrtibutes they learn and their overall stats.

    As typical for almost any RPG get enough EXP from killing enemies and characters will level up and better their stats.

    Magic and weapons only level up if the character uses them and it can lead to some extra grinding or some less effective battles specifically to increase one or both of these.

    Difficulty: 7 - Grandia is not as old as some other JRPGs so it doesn't try to break your spirit like some old classics, but that does not mean the game holds your hand. Knowing where to go is not a problem and since enemies appear on the field, instead of randomly encountered, it is hard to get screwed by an unlucky encounter.

    Actually battling, on the other hand, is where the difficulty lies. To my knowledge the game doesn't let it be known or really even hints most of the time what enemy is weak to or strong against for the most part. It is up to the player to try everything they have to see what weakness their enemy has, which can lead to botched first tries. While playing I battled every enemy I saw on screen even if they weren't in the way, while using them to increase a magic attribute or weapon level, because I do not like to grind in any game.

    Enemies and bosses for the most part did not pose too much of a threat for most of the game but, especially towards the end, bosses became more numerous and much tougher. I can imagine a Player rushing through levels just to see the next cut-scenes are going to have a very tough time and a lot of grinding later on.

    Grinding is a big factor in terms of difficulty to me personally. I did not grind in my play through, but on the last few bosses I had to use my tiny brain to its max to win.....with some luck.

    Final thoughts

    In the end Grandia is a Superb game that will stay with the player that is willing to put in the work and time to achieve victory late game. The visuals, audio and Story weave together to make a very moving, inspiring and fun adventure for players of all ages. The best way to play this game is through the HD remaster. I bought it online for $19.99 and it is worth every penny.
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  6. Aug 30, 2019
    8
    Cute, fun RPG about adventure that is just all around a good time. It does the RPG formula well with charming character designs, a simple yetCute, fun RPG about adventure that is just all around a good time. It does the RPG formula well with charming character designs, a simple yet fun plot, and a battle system that keeps the turn-based standard fun and interesting. Dungeons seem a little long at times, but feel rewarding for getting past them. The art direction in this game is simply beautiful! A great addition to the Playstation's RPG library, and one that still plays well and is enjoyable to this day. Expand
  7. Jul 16, 2012
    3
    Things which seemed epic when you were fourteen don't usually stand the test of time. Grandia with its shambling plot and cringe-worthy animeThings which seemed epic when you were fourteen don't usually stand the test of time. Grandia with its shambling plot and cringe-worthy anime moments fits squarely into this bracket. Expand

See all 32 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

11
8
#8 Most Discussed PS1 Game of 1999
8
#8 Most Shared PS1 Game of 1999