Let's point it already: this isn't an RPG as good as those two, it has a lot of flaws...but still, there are a lot of special things about it, that really deserve to be analized.
Basic things first: as I said, it was released November 6, 1997 in Japan, June 30, 1998 in North America and last, February 26, 1999 in PAL territory, developped by "Shade", or better know as "Quintet", a develop company most active during the '90s, with many action RPGs released on the NES and SNES system, like "ActRiser 1 & 2", "Soul Blazer" and "Illusion of Gaia" ("Illusion of Time" in Europe), but also with some other release in recent period, like "Godzilla Generations" for Dreamcast and "Orphen: Scion of Sorcery" for Playstation 2 (an interesting game that will probably deserve his own article in the future, we'll see). Sadly there isn't a lot of activity from them recently, except for some collaborations with other games
Anyway, let's talk about this specific game...
The Granstream Saga backstory is about a great war between two factions, the Allied Spirit Army and the Imperial Wizardry. At the climax of the war, the Imperial Wizardry built a special weapon that, based on their calculations, should have striked with heavy damages the enemy field...but, hey, guess what? It didn't worked, instead, they caused massive damage to the whole planet, changing the planet axis and causing global warming and the rise of the oceans, nice job!
|Always a war...why can't they solve things with some cookies?|
We take control of Eon, a crimson-haired young orphan who lives with his adopted father, and archeologist named Valos, on the Wind continent of Shilf, where Valos job is to cut whole pieces of landscape with the help of magic stones, to make the continent lighter and save it from falling down. But there are no more magic stones, so the continents are doomed...or maybe the solution will rest inside some old ruins, where the search for a solution will result in Eon finding about a mysterious power he possess thanks to his parents memento, a strange crystal on his bracelet.
During his quest, he'll travel to all the continents, meet with interesting characters and facing REALLY hard choices...
|My hair has the same color of my shirt, your argument is invalid|
In this action RPG, you control the main character in a top-down visual, exploring towns and dungeons. In the dungeons you will trigger the battle by entering in contact with enemies who are fully displayed on the map: there will be no transactions to a battle screen, the camera will move to a more dynamic angle and you'll start fighting. The battles are quite simple: you can attack, defend or use magic, chaining basic attacks for a quick combo, running or dodging. Yours and your enemies life is composed by two bars, one is the HP bar, the other is the Life Points bar: when the HP bar is depleted, you'll lose one Life on your Life Points Bar, and start again with a full HP bar, if you lose all your HP with no more Life Points, it's Game Over, or victory if you do this to the enemy.
|Striking the enemy with your weapon is good, but don't forget we have still MP for some spells!|
Graphically talking, there are some flaws we need to point out: character designs for the important ones are pretty good, but still, nothing exceptional; also, funny thing to point out, characters models DONT' HAVE FACES!!!
|Eon : WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, WHERE IS MY FACE????|
I don't know the real reason for that, but still, it's a funny thing/unusual lack.
|Eon : I wanted to, but i just remembered that I don't physically have eyes...|
|First dungeon in the game, we'll see a lot of them, don't worry...|
|As I said, important plot points...|
The english voice acting...it's not the worst I've heard, but it's so bland and uninspired, there is very little effort in it, and it fail to give "emotions" on the different situations. Pretty average is the music and the sound effects, nothing remarkable, but still nice to hear.
Pretty obviously, my favorite music in this game is the battle theme
So, is there anything left to say about this game?
I guess I covered most of the important things to say: it's not a masterpiece or a game that would start a competition against other RPGs, but personally, I don't think it was his purpose.
"The Granstream Saga" greatest misluck was to be released on a console during a time period where Squaresoft was dominating with his products.
Sometimes a nice concept and a great story, with some nice, even if not perfect, graphic and music is not enough to pierce the market, even if, the players who tried this game, never forget it, probably, that's the best moral victory it could be achieved.