Today we conclude our celebration of Developer Appreciation Week with a double up of thanks, as the Misses wanted to thank Game Arts for their superb work on Grandia II, while I wanted to thank Nippon Ichi Software for their excellent Disgaea series.
Of course the Misses left early today so I do not exactly know what she wanted to thank Game Arts for, and as Grandia is more of a ‘her thing’ than mine, I’mma have to think back to the game and see what I can do ^_^
Grandia 2 featured an interesting range in its cast, and it held within itself quite a journey that adventure games seem to lack currently. It also had a great deal of voice actors I recall from the Metal Gear Solid series, and it was always nifty to hear the characters interact when I could visualize them as the MGS guys battling it out.
The fighting system in place was fairly advanced, quite similar to Final Fantasy XII, which came out over six years later. Quite a feat. Madam preferred to rush right in and give a more micromanagement feel, while I preferred to tell the AI how to fight before hand and just sit back and watch like an RTS. It was one of the few games I have played that I could not wait for the story and movie bits to end so I could “get back to the killing” right away as it was such a unique experience.
The Misses did mention she wanted to thank the company for such a good storyline and that it was the sole reason she went and bought a used Dreamcast, so that she could play one of her favorite games again. From the Misses to you, Game Arts. Thank-you.
As for me, I wanted to thank Nippon Ichi for Disgaea(s). The humor involved in the game continually catches me off guard, from penguins spouting “dood!” to pirates randomly jumping onto the field of battle. It was the first tactical role-playing game I have tried, and it was a blast. I even went and got one of the fairly rare strategy guides off eBay, and man is that thang’ thick.
The graphics are light, while the game mechanics are dense. Not too hard to pass, but in most cases they are as hard as you wish to make them. Chaining attacks in a certain order to maximize damage and debuffs, leveling up a specific character repeatedly, or attaching them to a new one to absorb some of their skills to mix and match utility, to the randomness of Item Worlds and its rainbow of colored tiles on the ground. Is it best to throw your fastest unit to the end of the level to reach the boss faster, or to kill everything in sight? Should you steal all the great loot on the mobs, or toss a few on top of one another to make them grow stronger for better xp? Many options on a visually simple battlefield allows the player to tackle each situation in their own way, a great idea by the devs that was executed wonderfully.
So let us give a “Deep Fried Goodness!” salute to Game Arts, and a resounding “Dood!” to Nippon Ichi Software!