Praise Granas! Grandia 2 is being remastered for the PC!
Soon a new generation will be able to enjoy this legendary JRPG, and long-time fans won’t have to haul out their Dreamcasts or PS2s for a nostalgia trip. That’s right – Grandia 2 is coming to Steam!
Some amazing news for diehard fans of the Dreamcast and for old RPGs – the legendary epic Grandia 2 is in the process of being remastered for a PC Steam release!
First released in 2000, this now-fifteen-year-old JRPG gained a substantial 90% rating from Metacritic, and wowed fans the world over with its engrossing, nuanced storyline and what is quite possibly the best and most rewarding battle system in any RPG ever. Seriously – the Grandia series is pretty renowned for its compelling take on battle mechanics, and Grandia 2 is the pinnacle of it all.
Now, GungHo Online Entertainment, which owns original developers of the Grandia series, Game Arts, has announced a remastered version of the game to be released on Steam for PC. They haven’t said when, but it’s in the works. And, like the Tongue of Valmar from the game itself, I am gluttonous for more.
What can we expect to see in the remastered version? Well, as with the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X, it would be wonderful to see some updated graphics that more closely match the seriousness and maturity of the game’s plot – something that was reduced to slightly cartoonish low-count-polygons in the original, due to technical limitations of the time. But more so than this, I’m hoping that GungHo Online Entertainment take this opportunity to iron out some of the bugs in the Playstation and old Windows XP remasters of 2002 – the most glaring of which was the odd choice to up the volume of sound effects against background music and voice, leading to some hilarious clumsy moments during heartfelt, emotional scenes. I can think of a particularly traumatic scene that left me in tears in the original Dreamcast version, but which had me laughing aloud in the Playstation 2 release. Fans who have had no choice but to play on PS2 or XP have had to put up with this rather silly bug, so hopefully this is our chance to have this fixed!
It would also be nice to see the introduction of some difficulty settings. When you’ve played the game enough, battles become as fluid and intuitive as reading the Alethiometer of Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials fame. If you ever reach that golden moment of completing a boss battle by being able to block every attack that comes through via expertly-timed evasion, countering and cancelling-out, you’ll know what I mean. The fun doesn’t diminish, but it would be great to be able to up the difficulty even more, introduce some new challenges.
And talking of battles, I’d love an option to skip the special attack cutscenes. Yes, I agree, Sky Dragon Slash is the coolest sword technique since forever, but I could do without seeing it a hundred times.
Maybe there’ll be a few more easter eggs hidden around the world too? Fanservice, that’s what we’re talking about!
With a stellar voice cast including Jennifer Hale (FemShep), Cam Clarke (Leonardo from TMNT) and Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid), it’s pretty clear that there should be no attempt to recast or even redo the voice acting – it’s spot-on perfect. The soundtrack is good, solid, rocking stuff too, and I’ve talked before about the similarities between progressive rock and JRPG soundtracks, which is a really awesome thing. So let’s hope that doesn’t change.
Finally, the game’s story oftentimes revolves around rather basic archetypal principles, and the game itself is incredibly linear – both things I wouldn’t usually condone – but I’d actually defend these choices as integral to the Grandia 2 experience, as it mirrors the characters’ growth and what they come to fight against. So I hope this doesn’t change much, either.
In all, there’s a lot we could speculate on at this stage. But really, what I’m most excited about, and no doubt what many old fans are too, is the fact that once again we’ll be able to play a beloved, iconic JRPG more easily, that once again this super-awesome game is refusing to be lost to time. And that those of you who have not experienced it now will have a fresh chance.
We’ll keep you updated as the situation progresses.
images © Game Arts