Author Topic: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal

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Maxximum

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Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« on: September 04, 2015, 10:38:22 AM »
Gather round boys and girls, it's story time.
...Ahhem...
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (or really, really close if you happen to be living in Japan), there was a company named
Sega



Once, they ware known for Wonderboy



Then Sonic



And, at one point, threatened to have this gentleman track and beat the living snot out of you if you didn't play their games.



Why a story about Sega you ask?
Because of this, the Dreamcast!



Before meeting it's doom in early 2001, the system managed to score several, now classic, games.



That's right folks, Grandia 2 was one of them, and now it's making it's way to our beloved PC platform (again). Being a Playstation man at the time Grandia II was first released, I missed out. Well, NOT ANY MORE I say, because it's finally here (again), on steam, AND IT'S GOT ACHIEVEMENTS. If those ego pumping pixel plaques aren't worth the 15 year wait, I don't know what is.



Lets go over our list 'o' port stuff
Grainy FMVs?
Up scaled 3d
Pillarboxing

NOSTALGIA GLASSES


Now to set resolution, rebind a few keys and choose between Japanese and Metal Gear English voices.
Righto, lets do this!

After what I can only assume is an epic battle between good and evil the game skips ahead and we meet Ryudo and his aptly named pet buddy, Skye, who also happens to be a talking bird. No one seems to find this the least bit peculiar, but that's hardly the weirdest thing I came across in the few hours I've spent with the game. At this point, I'm staring to get an odd feeling of Déjà vu. "These voices sound familiar" says I, "lets see what Wikipedia has to say about this". OK, so I'm playing Liquid Snake with a shoulder mounted Colonel Campbell, sounds reasonable, let's move on.
Ryudo is a grumpy "Geohound" (dude with sword, for hire), but the game tries to make it clear right off the bat that no one likes people of his profession.
The game tries to make the above statement abundantly clear within the first few minutes of playing.

Ryudo: Job's done
Man: You're a piece of s**t.
Ryudo: Ok then.

Ok, so I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that's more or less how I remember it.
Right, bop a few monsters, take a few steps, find note on a tree, score a new job. Yep, that's apparently how you hire Geohounds.

Let me just say this right now. This battle system is pure nostalgic gold. I'll gush over it later but DAMN, that's an itch that needed scratching.

So, Grumpy Snake and The Colonel make their way to the nearest town where the new job awaits at their local Church. This is where we meet Jennifer Hale, because she's Jennifer Hale and SHES EVERYWHERE.
Well, at least Jenn didn't play in Metal Gear right?
What's that Wikipedia? Naomi Hunter? Wasn't that Carren Learning? Oh... More than one character you say, well who else did she play? OK, never mind. No, I don't want to read about fish.

Ryudo, persuaded by a sack'o'cash, reluctantly accepts the escort mission and stumbles to the inn while being a pr**k towards everyone in earshot.
That last one is on me though, I like to explore and chat with NPCs. Well, actually I don't, but I feel obligated to due to my Obsessive Completion Disorder (though limited free time and a review deadline some time during this century act as a miracle cure for my condition).

Where are we going again? Big ominous tower. Exorcism you say. Wait outside?
Sure, what could possibly go wrong?...
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 10:41:58 AM by Maxximum »
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Rucks

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 12:51:26 PM »
I was going to start my own certain to never be finished LP of the PS2 version of Grandia II on here this afternoon.  Cray.

Beat me to the punch.  Or maybe it might be interesting to run concurrent playthroughs of two remarkably dissimilar versions of the same game?

"This goes way beyond pumpkin spice" "Whale oil beef hooked"

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 01:16:47 PM »
I was going to start my own certain to never be finished LP of the PS2 version of Grandia II on here this afternoon.  Cray.

Beat me to the punch.  Or maybe it might be interesting to run concurrent playthroughs of two remarkably dissimilar versions of the same game?

Go for it, I have Dreamcast button prompts so its completely different.
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Rucks

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2015, 01:33:58 PM »
I was going to start my own certain to never be finished LP of the PS2 version of Grandia II on here this afternoon.  Cray.

Beat me to the punch.  Or maybe it might be interesting to run concurrent playthroughs of two remarkably dissimilar versions of the same game?

Go for it, I have Dreamcast button prompts so its completely different.

From what I can tell, the new Anniversary Edition is a lot closer to the original Dreamcast game than the botched PS2 port. 

"This goes way beyond pumpkin spice" "Whale oil beef hooked"

Klutz64

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2015, 03:05:41 PM »
Best of luck with this one!

I say that, because I probably won't read this. I do plan on eventually getting around to playing it one of these days, so I don't want to spoil anything for myself.

Anyway, have fun!

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 07:38:49 PM »
NPC chatting in Grandia II is both a blessing and a curse for the OCD, because NPCs often have multiple things they say each time you press them for dialogue.  I'm also fond of the dinner chats.
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Maxximum

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 04:57:40 AM »
Best of luck with this one!

I say that, because I probably won't read this. I do plan on eventually getting around to playing it one of these days, so I don't want to spoil anything for myself.

Anyway, have fun!

I don't intend to give the whole game away, this is a first impressions thread that will eventually lead up to a more formal full game review :)

NPC chatting in Grandia II is both a blessing and a curse for the OCD, because NPCs often have multiple things they say each time you press them for dialogue.  I'm also fond of the dinner chats.

Yep, and it's giving me grief.
NPC's have a tone to say and the dialog can change several times during story event. Dinner chats also appear to branch depending on the order you talk to your party.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 05:06:44 AM by Maxximum »
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Rgeneb1

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2015, 08:00:54 PM »
Quote
Before meeting it's doom in early 2001
Dreamcast died 14 years ago ?!?! Thank you for making me feel slightly more ancient than normal.

Have fun, Grandia II is one of only two RPGs I've completed twice :)

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2015, 10:07:03 PM »
I really want to play this game again, but I wasn't feeling the time or commitment, so I'm happy to vicariously play this through your Journal. x)

Grandia II, IF I recall, is still pretty good with dialogue like the first game was (funny enough even when the voice acting itself wasn't always up to par).  I loved talking to NPCs, are honestly, a dickheaded lead character is soooo much more fun to follow than "'Hiro', an average boy with a strong sense of justice".

....I always wondered, does the game ever mention why Ryudo wears that butterfly medallion thing?  I always found that such a unique and peculiar (daresay, effeminate) choice of accesory.

And if my avatar can explain it, I love Elena... I have a thing for blondes with brown eyes. 
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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2015, 04:11:39 AM »
I'd love to see someone do a Let's Play of that godawful PC port Grandia II got shortly after its DC launch. It's pretty bad when the first incentive people give to get this new PC version is "it works".

Anyway, like Dice, I think I'll enjoy playing the game again vicariously through someone else instead of spending the 50 hours or whatever going through it myself. I've always had a bigger soft spot for the first game myself, so it's more likely I'd give that a replay if I really felt like going back a decade.

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2015, 11:28:36 AM »
Quote
Before meeting it's doom in early 2001
Dreamcast died 14 years ago ?!?! Thank you for making me feel slightly more ancient than normal.

Have fun, Grandia II is one of only two RPGs I've completed twice :)

Come now, there are much better words than "ancient".
"mature", "seasoned", "awesome" all fit much better :)

I'll take this to a certain point (about a third of the way in) and then follow up with a review of the full experience once I beat the game. Though, if there's enough interest, I might come back and finish the thread at a later point.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 11:32:00 AM by Maxximum »
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Maxximum

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2015, 12:32:17 PM »



Last we left off, Ryudo and Femshep went skipping through the forest to make their exorcism appointment at the neighbourhood 'big evil tower'. Details ware still scarce at the time, but I could only assume they ware trying to exorcise the voice of Jennifer Hale, who possessed yet another unsuspecting female (I only kid Jennifer, I love your work). While Ryudo and his talking bird pal are asked to wait outside, the ladies get exorcising.
Everything goes well, the world is saved and the game ends.

OF COURSE IT DOESN'T. Obviously, things go terribly wrong. The music changes to it's urgent theme, and that's when you know the game means business. Ryudo decides to ignore the 'no boys allowed rule' and muscles his way up the tower
through hordes of freshly spawned monsters. Unsurprisingly, everyone is dead, bar Elena who has a bad case of evil wings. Ryudo, having none of this nonsense, nabs the floating nun and makes their escape down a conveniently placed zipline, with just one missing background explosion separating them from a 90's action flick. Back on the ground, he consoles the grieving Elena with his special blend of being an insensitive a**hole and meaning well.

Having made it back home, yadda, yadda, yadda Millenia shows up. Yet, another lady with a case of evil wings, though not nearly as upset about it. Having an apparent dislike for Granas, the resident almighty, she makes her big entrance by vaporising his statue and pelting the village with some sparkly lightning. Outraged, Ryudo proceeds to show her who's boss by getting himself manhandled and beaten senseless.
He dies, she obliterates the village and the game ends. OF COURSE NOT. Millenia decided she likes the spunky Geohound and lets him, and the village, off the hook. Grandia 2 precedes jiggle physics as a mandatory game mechanic , but trust me, if it didn't, there would be jiggling a plenty from the moment she shows up. Millenia makes her exit and everyone is free to go about their business.

Ryudo is once again contracted to babysit Elena, this time thanks to the persuasive power of the statu'o'gold.

Destination: City I forgot the name off
The goal: Talk to a guy


LET'S DO THIS!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 01:03:28 PM by Maxximum »
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Rucks

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2015, 12:41:53 PM »
I've discovered that I actually like the "surprise" battle theme far more than the normal one.  Seems to take some of the sting off being forced to go last.

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2015, 07:16:04 PM »
Maxx,

So awesome that you're doing a journal on this.

I want to play it (as I've only played the first game in the series so far...), but I am waiting until some thorough achievement walkthroughs are finished. I used one for FFVII Steam achievements, and it was surprisingly fun going after all the missable materia. Lots of mechanics in that game I never knew about until I used that walkthrough (Odin + Added Effect = chance of insta-kill that proc's way more often than you'd expect)

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx vs Grandia II - First Imperessions Journal
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2015, 04:55:17 AM »
I've discovered that I actually like the "surprise" battle theme far more than the normal one.  Seems to take some of the sting off being forced to go last.

Yeah, I quite like it too, but I don't get to hear it too often because I'm so awesome. It's too bad they didn't put in an initiative theme as well.

Maxx,

So awesome that you're doing a journal on this.

I want to play it (as I've only played the first game in the series so far...), but I am waiting until some thorough achievement walkthroughs are finished. I used one for FFVII Steam achievements, and it was surprisingly fun going after all the missable materia. Lots of mechanics in that game I never knew about until I used that walkthrough (Odin + Added Effect = chance of insta-kill that proc's way more often than you'd expect)

Glad you're enjoying it :) Good luck getting the "X marks the spot" achievement though, the button is missing :)
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