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Growlanser: Heritage of War didn't break any Playstation 2 benchmarks that were set by other Playstation 2 rpg games but we can safely say that it's a pretty good rpg game that is fun to play. While the graphics and music may not be up to par as one would like, the rest of the game was right up there with what you would expect from a good rpg game. A decent story, good characters, solid rpg gameplay with a good flow, and lots of side quests & optional stuff to keep you busy. You'd be getting a good solid 50 hours of gameplay worth of money. It's always a good thing if by the end of the game, you feel happy & satisfy that you spent your time on playing it and had fun doing it. And I fully believe the majority of the gamers would get that feeling from Growlanser: Heritage of War even if it's not the best technically advanced rpg game out there.
It doesn’t seem wholly fair to examine this game on the same level as I would something like Final Fantasy XII or Rogue Galaxy, because its obviously been developed by a much smaller team on a fraction of the budget. That said, Heritage of War is an unexpectedly enjoyable title where I was wrongly and somewhat cynically expecting it to be disdainfully average. It’s hardly the most progressive RPG available and suffers from cliché overload a little at times, but if you want an enjoyable, dependable and very unmistakably Japanese RPG which successfully blends the old and the new, you could do a lot worse than this. Charming, competent, and most of all, very enjoyable.
Growlanser was created as a spiritual sequel to the magnificent Strategy RPG series, Langrisser, but its success has been inconsistent at best. The first and fourth installments were excellent titles. As fate dictated, however, only the second, third, and fifth games will see domestic releases. It's unfortunate, because they truly pale in comparison to the aforementioned "good ones," in this reviewer's opinion.
It's pretty surprising when you open an incredibly stacked box of extras, including an art book, key chain and buttons and other extras, and find that those are probably better than the overall gameplay experience. With an extremely weak story, annoying battle system and bland visuals, Growlanser: Heritage of War is perhaps the most disappointing chapter in the franchise. Unless you're a hardcore fan of the series, you may want to seriously consider whether or not you need this title in your collection.
Cheat Code Central
Heritage of War can easily last you a 100 hours if you want to explore all aspects of it. There's a lot less filler than with your average RPG, but if you're the impatient type, you're still going to experience a lot of frustration. Especially when you have to level-up new playable characters. This isn't a great looking game, nor is the story very satisfying. The battle system is the focal point of the game. If you enjoy the strategy of the Plate Flow System, you'll love this game.
The limited-edition package of this game includes goodies such as a keychain, buttons, a DVD, and some lenticular cards. But in the end, it's not the lack of content that mars Heritage of War, but the quality of it. You can truck yourself through this game and still have a good time despite some of the low points, but even at its best, this Growlanser sequel is decidedly average.
Fans of the series will probably find something to like in Growlanser: Heritage of War's forty or more hours of gameplay and selection of extras that include a battle arena and fairy contest; for the rest of us though, there is little to be found here other than an extremely average RPG that seems to do its best to exasperate its already lengthy list of shortcomings.
Atlus decided to only produce one print run of Heritage of War and that is probably the smartest decision that they made in this whole process. There are fans of this series, and on message boards they proclaim their love for this title, but if series fandom isn't blinding judgement, this game is not even worth 10 minutes of anyone's time. Bad script, bad characters, bad gameplay, nothing worth playing is brought to this disaster of a PS2 RPG. It is hard to think of the last time so little fun was had playing a video game. After the initial prolouge the game does give about an hour of fun, but one hour out of over 40 is not good enough. So how do we stop war, we threaten everyone to play this game, the fear alone will establish peace throughout the world.
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