Grandia Xtreme review
Waste of time...after playing Grandia 2


After playing Grandia 2, I was really excited about playing Grandia Xtreme.
While it is consuming my time and I am addicted, there are quite a few flaws.

Graphics - The menus look clean and pretty. Framerate is nice and smooth. However, most models are blocky. The IP gauge is now a circle that is so cluttered, it's difficult to read and confusing to look at. Top that off with poor choices in fonts for the text, a resolution that doesn't look clear on a TV and it is very difficult to read. The CG movies look good, but they offer little drama or excitement.
When running around in dungeons, your view is now in a 3rd person 3D format which requires camera adjustment, rather than the overhead view. It can be difficult to tell where monsters are coming from because of this. Draw distance is also very low making objects and monsters hard to see unless they're right next to you.

Sound - The music is loud and theatrical. It is well done, but in some cases can get repetitive. Sound effects sound clean and recognizable, but can also sound forced and unnatural. Motors are usually an annoying short looped sound effect.
I give the voice acting a mixed review. All the voices are clear, unmistakably heard because they are over enunciated. It sounds like someone is reading from a script, or acting out a highschool play. Sometimes the text matches exactly what is being said. Such as EEK! Go ahead, say EEK! to yourself. Thats how it sounds in the game.

Gameplay and controls - This game is confusing. After finishing Grandia 2, some elements were familiar, some were and still are confusing.
Your inventory is limited to a whopping 30 items. It makes it difficult to buy new weapons and armor for your party. Thankfully you can store an unlimited amount of items in the item shop, but this is annoying.
There are a LOT of menus in the game, and they aren't too intuitive. You have to cycle through the sub-menus with L and R buttons.
Fighting is still pretty much the same, but encounters are different. If you want to get a first strike, you need to press the Attack button and slowly walk up to a creature. Otherwise, you may get a surprise attack.
Gaining experience is also confusing. At the end of a battle, it goes by so quickly, it's not too obvious what was upgraded.

Characters and plot - The characters aren't extemely (Xtremely?) interesting. There are very few people to talk to, and I'm just not really caring what happens to the world and why I should save it.
But, it still has that Grandia feel to it. Just a little more shallow than I was expecting.

Overall - Yup. It's Grandia. But think of it as Grandia Lite, not Grandia Xtreme. It's the cheap plastic version. No memorable characters. Grandia 2 was much better and easier to understand.

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