Neoseeker : Series : Growlanser
The Growlanser series currently has six installments and two port remakes. The first Growlanser game was developed in 1999 by a Japanese company called Career Soft, which had previously created the Langrisser (Warsong) series. The first game was released on the PSX, and all subsequent games have been developed for the PS2. In 2009, an enhanced remake of the first game was released for the PSP and in 2011 an enhanced remake of the fourth game was also released for the PSP.

To date only Growlanser II, III, IV and V have been released outside of Japan. In 2004, now defunct publisher Working Designs released "Growlanser Genereations", which included English versions of Growlanser II and III. Atlus USA released Growlanser: Heritage of War, the fifth Growlanser game, in 2007. An English translation of the fourth game, Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time, is scheduled for North American release on July 24th, 2012 for the PSP.

As with many JRPG series, Growlanser games do not necessarily share a common history or world. Growlanser II begins while events of the first game are still happening, but some characters from Growlanser I make appearances, and a few may even join the player's party. Growlanser III is a prequel to Growlanser I and II, taking place 1,000 years before the first game. Growlanser IV has an entirely self-contained story and takes place in a separate continent / universe. Growlanser V takes place in another distinct world, while Growlanser VI is a direct sequel to V.

The Growlanser games feature large casts of memorable characters and dramatic storylines with multiple story branches and endings. A common theme found in the Growlanser series is war. Throughout the series, many of the devastating effects that war can have on humanity are represented.

The Growlanser series is probably best known for its unique battle system that blends turn-based and real-time strategy. Growlanser games use a free-range movement SRPG battle system. Unlike grid-based SRPGs, a character can move virtually anywhere on the map, avoiding obstacles along the way. In addition, movement speed is based on the amount of MOV points a particular character has. Another unusual aspect of Growlanser's system is that its active-time based rather than strictly turn-based. Instead of each side taking its turn in waves, both sides act based on individual units' speed stats. Melee or ranged attackers must move towards the enemy to connect the blow within its range, while magic users must take the time to chant their spells in exchange for being able to hit enemies from further away. Because actions play out in real-time, a player can interrupt the playable characters' actions at any time to issue new commands.

Another interesting aspect of Growlanser series battle system is that story events occur even during battle and killing all the enemies is seldom the only objective in battle. Growlanser simulates a realistic world where the surrounding NPCs are not merely spectators. For example, if the battlefield is in a city, then citizens may also involved in the fight. There are a wide array of mission objectives such as scotuing out areas, preventing enemies from escaping, destroying an ememy base, protecting NPCs, etc. In addition to simply surviving or being killed, you can also get Mission Failed, Mission Clear, and Mission Complete. All outcomes let the player continue the game, but some may influence which story branches are available.

All Growlanser games feature a complex relationship system with dating sim elements. The player can improve or damage the protagonist's relationship with others based on the conversation options chosen and as well as other major decisions they make in the game. A party member's portrait in the status menu gives a clue as to how close their relationship is with the player character; the happier they look, the better their relationship

The equipment system is also quite different from most RPGs. Characters can equip two pieces of armor, one being a "Ring Weapon", which is a magic ring that can transform into different weapons based on the character's preference. Players find these rings often after the defeat of an enemy and can equip different rings for different stat bonuses and different gem-equip slots. Many types of gems appear in the series that cause various beneficial effects such as adding extra attacks, elemental defenses, or adding spells to the character's repertoire. These gems all have an innate level and that level must match or be lower than the slot available in the Ring weapon to be equipped.

Profiles that belong to Growlanser

TitleRelease YearNew ReviewsUser ReviewsFAQsCheatsForum
PS2
Growlanser Generations 2004 p/reviews user reviews FAQs cheats forum
Growlanser II (Import) 2001 p/reviews user reviews FAQs forum
Growlanser III (Import) 2001 FAQs forum
Growlanser IV: Wayfarer Of The Time (Import) 2003 user reviews forum
Growlanser VI: Precarious World (Import) 2007 forum
Growlanser: Heritage of War 2007 p/reviews FAQs cheats forum
PSX
Growlanser (Import) 1999 FAQs forum
PSP
Growlanser (Import) 2009 FAQs forum
Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time 2012 p/reviews user reviews FAQs forum

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