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SummaryDefinitely worth a try for fans of the Final Fantasy genre
The GoodGrandia II has a better than average storyline, which really helps tie the game together and help one play through when the repetitive Final Fantasy style gameplay gets monotonous. I was very pleased with the ending, and was even a bit startled by a subtle underlying emotivist/taoist philosophy. But don't let me scare you away (or get your hopes up) - this isn't educational software. In general, Grandia II plays much like the Final Fantasy series -- for those who don't know, the style consists of much running about, collecting items, and fighting monsters in a turn-based fashion. Victories earn you experience points, which in turn raise your level and increase your stats. Occasional cinematic cut-scenes present the storyline, which really draws one in as the game advances.
Grandia II also sports some unique character advancement options: You can increase your magical ability by spending 'Magical Coins', or MC's (earned from battles) on your 'mana egg', the object which allows you to cast spells. You can also increase the ability of your special moves by using 'Special Coins (SC's). Finally, you can alter your character in a number of beneficial ways by equiping special skills found in 'Skill Books'.
The Bad1)The graphical quality of the cinematic scenes was a bit disappointing.
2)Since your (Ryudo's) travelling companions are added/lost during cutscenes, you don't have any control over your party composition. (In other words, you can't choose who to bring with you and who to ditch.)
3)Battles were a bit too easy, in my opinion. Even in the final battle, none of my characters lost more than half their hit points.