SummaryExtremely mediocre RPG.
The GoodThe Granstream Saga has a very Japanese feel to it. The storyline is somewhat interesting and slightly unique. The anime cut scenes are a great addition, and are very well done. The facial close-ups during the dialogs are also quite nice. The game isn't too long, which is a good thing for a mediocre game. No need to draw it out. Graphics-wise, the 3D objects are smooth and well animated, yet...
The Bad...the graphics are very clunky and ugly. There is very little in the way of textures, and characters' faces are nonexistent. The camera mostly stays in the sky like most RPGs, making the 3D graphics almost useless.
The music is very plain - nothing stands out. The sound effects are cheap sounding and overused. The voice acting wasn't too impressive, especially Arcia's. I didn't really expect great voice acting though.
Although the story is interesting, it almost seems as if the game designers made it up as they went. Especially towards the end, certain things happen which make little sense with no real explanation given. (Such as your end-of-game "decision".) Because of this, the story weakens towards the end. Also, many of the characters' lines are extremely clichéd, and you get no real sense of emotion from them. Everyone in this game is a cookie-cutter "save-the-world" RPG character. There is very little in the way of personalities or character development.
Game play-wise, the action-oriented battles were a mistake. The control is slow in responding, and you sometimes won't hit an enemy when you think you should. And unless you find the secret "ultimate" sword in the beginning, all battles will be ridiculously difficult. However, the "ultimate" sword will make all battles quite easy. Not really a problem again, since I really didn't want to spend too much time on this game.
The Bottom LineThere is really nothing great at all about The Granstream Saga, yet I enjoyed it. It was an easy game to finish, and had a somewhat pleasant story. Although the 3D graphics are ugly, the anime cut scenes and close-ups make up for it. If you are looking for a simple RPG to play with little effort, pick this one up.