|| Granstream Saga - Review
Ugly stick? Try cliché stick.
| Battle System
| Replay Value
||Medium - Hard
| Time to Complete
Granstream SaGa is quite simply, a game that was beaten severely with a
clichˇ stick. The games plot, dialogue, and voice acting are so conventional
it boggles the mind. At the same time however, this large amount of clichˇ
turns out to be Granstream's greatest asset. It certainly has an old school
feel despite the polygon's and Anime cut scenes and unique battle system, an
element that I only wish most other modern RPGs had.
The game has the most bizarre view, you look directly down on your main
character, Eon. The view, while awkward, isn't bad. It actually has good
application in an Action RPG like this. What is annoying however is the
stiffness of how Eon walks. The game came out in 98' in the middle of the
PSX's life and by then full-range motion was a norm. You are confined to 8
directions and one speed, and it is very out of place to see Eon walk like a
solider in a dungeon or town. A nice feature is that there are lots of
profile pics used during dialogue with lots of different emotions, always a
plus. The menu system is dirt simple and nice to look at, 'nough said there.
|Granstream's distint over-head view.
The battle system is one of the only things about Granstream Saga that is
unique. When you touch an enemy (battles aren't random) you go into a fight.
The shape of the arena is essentially your surroundings. The battle is
real-time and action based. You and the enemy play in a 3-D field. You can
set Eon to be equipped with a myriad of weapons and armors by the end,
assuming you find them all. The variety of weapons is nice. There are
daggers, swords, and axes, and there pluses and minus' are quite obvious.
After that however, equipping comes down to putting on the most powerful
weapon. You also learn special moves which vary with the weaponry. You must
find special moves like you must find weapons. Some Armor has special
abilities but not are significant enough to make you want to equip it in
favor of one with higher defense. You can also change armor and weaponry in
the middle of battle. The awkward aspect of battles is that there is NO
experience. In fact you only go up a level when the story specifies it. The
plus side is that the battles are refreshing and challenging, although
repetitive since you don't get anything from the battle's victories.
The music fits with the game wonderfully, it always enhances the mood of the
dungeon or town. The first town is very quaint, and you get music that fits
that aura perfectly, as with battles, the music becomes chaotic. It all fits
together very well, the occasional over-use of songs makes the music lose
some of its luster though.
The graphics are quite bland and repetitive, and it's common to see enemy
repeats with a change in color. The polygon characters don't even have
faces, just a mere point to represent a nose. Beware if you're a graphics
Like I said, the game is intensely clichˇ'd. While the story and characters
are clichˇ, the battle system and the use of the Scepter keep the game from
completely falling into the cycle of predictability. The Scepter can take a
piece of a broken object and make a copy of it in its entirety. The result
is a few interesting puzzles scattered here and there to do. Nothing too
hard or easy but still enjoyable.
freaks, but nice character art.
The plot is Clichˇ (am i saying that word to often :) but it's clichˇ at
it's best. The personalities are all standard too, the selfless hero, the
do-good girl, the spunky girl, the wise father-esque man, etc. Yet somehow
it just works. The Anime cut-scenes for the most part seem well placed. The
voice acting in them is horrible though, there's absolutely no emotion, or
too much, in the characters voices. The plot is very linear, essentially
you're told what to do and then you go and do it. You can still go and visit
anyplace you've already been to, though there are so few actual locations to
go back to (the game only has four towns). The ending also throws in a very
good twist, in which you are faced with an insanely difficult decision, and
your decision results in two very different endings, luckily the big
decision is right at the end so you can see both. The ending also throws in
a few additional plot twists that manages a mild 'wow' from the player.
The translation is nothing special. I don't really recall any
spelling/grammar mistakes. At the same time, the translation is as literal
as can possibly be. Characters really don't have their own unique way of
talking but there personalities are still reflected nicely in the dialogue.
The game really doesn't offer much in terms of replay value. You could go
back and try to find every weapon and armor, but there will be no
side-quests to stumble upon, and no plot point you wouldn't understand the
first time through. It's something you could beat in one rental fairly
Granstream Saga is an RPG where the sum of it's parts don't equal a greater
whole. Yet somehow, is some bizarre way, there is an affinity with it I just
can't break. It had some sense of nostalgia to it that old-school gamers
will notice, and I think they are the ones who would enjoy this game the
most. For those with more modern tastes, I recommend skipping over the