I’m about 5 hours into Grandia II and my initial impressions are very mixed.  As always, the battle system is amazing and I really wish they’d license it out to other RPG developers.  There are so many strategic options that it makes wandering around and fighting monsters a complete joy.  I also love the fact that there are no random battles.  Once you clear an area of monsters it stays cleared.  It makes me feel like my little party of misfits is truly wandering the countryside and getting rid of the bad guys.

Then I get to a town or a conversation and everything becomes really painful.  First is the fact that there’s no way to adjust the text speed and there appears to be no way to speed through the text most of the time.  Then at the end of just about every sentence there’s a 1-2 second pause before the little arrow appears indicating you can press the button to advance to the next part of the speech.  That 1-2 second pause, repeated over and over, is murdering my soul.

Then there’s dialog like this:

If your idea of fun is wading through rivers of blood, gobbets of flesh and gut fresh upon your lips, then yes, it will be fun.

It all just combines into a relatively painful experience so far.  It doesn’t help that the main character is a completely uninteresting, whiny little bitch.

So I’ll play a bit longer and see if things improve.  So far it’s a great battle system with some completely bizarre design choices.

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