The New Grandia HD Collection Is Pretty But Really Needs A Fast-Forward Button

Grandia and its sequel, Grandia 2, are both very good classic role-playing games, full of charm and adventure and spirit. They came out in 1997 and 2000, respectively. Even an HD remake isn’t enough to make up for that.

Today, publisher Gungho Entertainment put out HD remakes of the first two Grandia games for Switch. The pack will cost you $60, and it includes two turn-based RPGs that rank among some of the best-written games of that era.

Grandia tells the story of a wide-eyed adventurer named Justin who winds up caught up in an epic battle. Grandia 2 features the snarky mercenary Ryudo, who’s hired as a bodyguard and... also winds up caught in an epic battle. A lot of epic battles up in here.

The remakes of both games are sleek and pretty, there’s no doubt. The problem is, like many retro RPGs — especially the ones that came out in rudimentary 3D on the PS1 and PS2 — these two games can feel downright sluggish today. They’re full of slow cutscenes, tedious random encounters and clunky travelling.

Many other publishers compensate for that antiquated feel by adding useful features, such as save states and, most pivotally, a fast-forward button, which makes all those mindless random battles feel like far less of a chore.

Perhaps the best example of a company preserving classics while also adding enough accoutrements to make them playable in 2019 is the Sega Genesis Classics pack, also available on Switch, which includes both a fast-forward and a rewind button.

Sadly, the HD remakes of Grandia and its sequel include nothing of the sort. Outside of the enhanced visuals, there are no useful quality-of-life features, which may make both games near-unplayable for those of us who might want to play (or replay) them but don’t have the patience to spend dozens of hours mashing the A button through monotonous fights. That’s too bad.


Comments

    I can still with this: Fuckin' love Grandia! Feena is the closest I ever got to wanting to Waifu a video game character.

    These were Dreamcast games right?
    Always wanted to play.

      Grandia 2 is also released on PC a little later than on PS2. Fantastic game.

    IIRC Grandia shows the monsters on the map ala FFXIII so you can opt to you know... avoid them so its not exactly "random"

    Never mind combat on Grandia actually takes into account positioning and timing not sure if FFWD is a good idea...

      The combo and critical normal attacks for stalling or interrupting enemy actions was my jam.

    I can't play turn based RPGs any more, they're just too tedious.
    I tolerate Pokemon because I have a battered wife relationship with the series. Otherwise, the only turn based games I can play are TRPGS.

      Grandia is sorta weird that it blends the ATB of FF and real time combat of Tales... sure you still pick off a menu when your "turn" arrives but timing your attacks can actually cancel a monsters attack when done right seeing as there is a casting cooldown before a skill or spell resolves.. also positioning can count since your charscter literally has to run towards the target pick one too far for slow character and they may run out of steps before they go and whack the thing.. or pick on someone at the back and you can get ganged on by the vanguards and get cancelled before landing a blow

    Grandia is the nostalgia bomb for me, loved that game so much I started to learn Japanese for it. I can't do the English version, the voices just sounds wrong to me. I gotta find out if I can get the Japanese version or if there's a dual audio function...

      IIRC the game has dual audio for the HD collection =D

    Random battles? Mashing the A button? It's like they didn't even play the games.

      Lol.. my thoughts exactly..

      Even though the combat is still menu based it plays out on real time ala Tales and careless a mashing leaves your character getting ganged on and stun cancelled.. kr even better running towards a monster out of range and basically wssting a move =P

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