Growlanser II (Import)I picked this up off the import shelf at a local game store awhile back, and the only reason I didn't buy it was because I could figure out what they were saying.
Now that may seem like a bad reason but I prefer to at least know where I'm supposed to be going, but now when I play the english version (courtesy of Growlanser Generations which I prefer not to review since it has 2 different games) I find that I should have just ignored the language issue back then and bought it.
First off, as with all games the graphics play a big part in many people's opinion of the game. Unfortounatly the graphics are not the awe inspiring 3D rendered graphics that we have come to expect from every game that comes state side. But what we do get are some of the best 2D sprites of any game I've ever seen. They are well animated and are clean and smooth which make them easy on the eyes. The anime style character are that pops up in most major conversations is very nice as well.
Next we have the story. It's not an amazing epic of Final Fantasy proportions but it does have a slight taste of individuality blended in with all of the cliche plot twists. Nothing spectacular but it holds the events together well enough to keep you interested.
Finally we have the main course, the game play. No I admit that strategy RPG's aren't for the impatient and easily frustrated, but if you can handle the tedious task of weaving a trap for the opposing commander, of avoiding conflict with a mistaken allied unit while you're surrounded then this is for you.
The mechanics of this game in-battle are very simple with the basic Attack, Defend, Magic, Tech, and Move commands, but become amazingly complex when it come to some of the deeper elements of these commands and the victory conditions you have to follow. This results in an enormous amount of strategies that can be formulated and used to defeat a single enemy force. This coupled along with the large gem and ring equipment system creates which can take a lot of time to master
Then you have the other aspects of gameplay. The world map is mearly a point to point system which limits movement but is a welcome change generic system which we have come to know. The map also allows you to explore the world and all of it's events and locations as much as you want. By doing this you are allowed multiple side quests and events which allow for multiple endings and and an overall high replay value make this a game that's hard to put down. Oh, and did I mention that you can carry over you're hard earned equipment after completing the game!?
In the end if you're a fan of the stratagy Rpg genere then this is a must get. Even if you are just a normal Rpg fan you should give this game a look. Make sure to pick in the Growlanser Generations form, which comes with the third installment in the series as well.