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Author Topic: Growlanser:Generations Impressions?  (Read 4976 times)
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Devil
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« on: December 09, 2004, 02:32:19 AM »

I have no idea why I'm asking.  :?:
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2004, 08:10:09 AM »

Hopefully *crosses fingers* the store near me will get it tomorrow.  Then I'll be able to post some impressions.
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2004, 01:59:09 PM »

I'll be trading in MGS3 for it tonight.  Will hopefully have some impressions later.
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2004, 03:29:01 PM »

Picked it up last night, but I probably won't even break the seal on it until I finish Warrior Within. The game definitely passes the lift test, though. The box is heavier than most game cases, even accounting for the fact that it comes on two disks. Hopefully it will have a pretty hefty manual.
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2004, 04:15:44 PM »

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I have no idea why I'm asking.

I can't believe you are asking.  Do you realize this is a strategy/rpg game?   :lol:
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2004, 04:32:56 PM »

I know - I thought Disgeagegaaeea was fun and I saw this last night and it looked somewhat similar.

Doesn't mean I should be asking about it, but yet, here we are...

I'm an idiot! biggrin
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EddieA
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2004, 07:32:12 PM »

I played it for an hour or two last night, got into 2 battles, and have been very impressed so far.  I honestly wasn't quite sure what to expect, even after reading the p/reviews.  Although the game is a strategy RPG, it's unlike any I've seen.  The best way to explain is to give a rundown of the second battle (the first is a tutorial).
You start with your 2 characters going to a town to defend it.  Your commander is there, along with a couple of mercenaries.  There's a child being attacked by monsters, and you are ordered to protect him, while the commander and mercenaries go after the more difficult enemies.  You head toward the child, but enemies keep appearing on the battlefield.  You order the kid to take shelter in a house, but as you're killing the monsters who were attacking him, another busts through the house's back door.  You order the kid and the others in the house to escape, and they head toward the map's exit.  You then have to not only beat the monster that broke into the house, but also protect the people as they make their way off the map.  
While this is going on, the mercenary is called to another area of the city, and walks off the map, only to return later.  I manage to defeat the monsters, although the kid took some damage while getting away.  The mercenary returns just as your commander is getting low on hit points, heals everyone, and then kills the strong monster that the commander was fighting.
All this happens in pausable real-time, where you give orders to your units, and then watch them execute them.  At any time, you can hit square to bring up the menu to change orders or use magic attacks.  The graphics are fully 2D, and look very nice.  The voice acting (and there is a LOT) is solid, and the presentation (52-page full color manual, two-sided case liner with foil lettering) are top-notch.  Unfortunately, the games are on CDs rather than DVDs.  They work fine for me, but some people have trouble playing CD games on their PS2s.  Overall, I'm very impressed, and given the amount of variety and excitement in just the second battle, it looks like this will be a great game.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2004, 07:46:44 PM »

Damn, that sounds really cool.  Aarrgh- I'm trying to break my current gaming streak so I can spend some quality time with movies and books that have been neglected (oh yeah and my wife too :wink:).  With KOTOR 2 shelved I though I only had to get through Jak 3 and PoP:WW to be done for the season.  Now there is a very strong possibility this game will enter my collection tonight.
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2004, 07:53:08 PM »

Also, Eddie, did you get the Deluxe edition or regular edition?
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2004, 08:09:40 PM »

Fantastic - I want it!
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Andrew Mallon
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2004, 08:55:23 PM »

Gaming Age's review has a couple of interesting points in it that illustrate why I am so interested in this game:

Quote from: "Gaming Age"
Battles are tough without making you want to pull your hair out. It's a blessing when your strategy game rewards good strategy and not just out-leveling the competition. The need for good tactics is compounded by certain stages, which change dynamically and often for the worse. There are also many fights where the goal is not to "defeat all enemies," which is a welcome challenge. Fights can have multiple outcomes, and the level to which you complete a stage has a direct impact to the rest of the game. It dictates who you meet, how the story unfolds, and ultimately which ending you receive.


Quote from: "Gaming Age"
On the subject of magic, it works in an interesting way in Growlanser. On top of having to wait for your spell meter to count down, there are a couple of other nuances. Spells can gain levels, and higher levels are not only more powerful but give you more options as well. Say you've decided to use a heal spell on your teammate. The heal spell is max level three, but you think you only need the first level of that spell. So after choosing heal and level one, that character starts to wait for the spell meter to empty. Meanwhile, two more of your teammates got hurt from enemy attacks. When your spell meter empties, you can pass on the level one spell and continue to charge it to level three. Now, when you make it to level three, you can dole out those three levels in any manner you choose. You can put all three levels on one person for a more effective heal, or in our example, you'd throw one level to each of the three injured teammates.


The gameplay sounds really rich, with a lot of tactional and situational options. The descriptions I've read of the hybrid turn-based/real-time battle system make it sound really fun.
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2004, 09:15:47 PM »

I'm kind of torn which game to play first.  From the reviews it sounds like I would prefer GIII- superior story, overland and town maps, etc.  BUT it has random dungeons, which I'm not a fan of.
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2004, 09:33:03 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
I'm kind of torn which game to play first.  From the reviews it sounds like I would prefer GIII- superior story, overland and town maps, etc.  BUT it has random dungeons, which I'm not a fan of.


I think . . . I'm just going to go in order.  I mean, if I don't like GII, even if GIII was a bit different in those departments I still probably wouldn't like III anyways.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2004, 09:38:22 PM »

Quote from: "depward"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
I'm kind of torn which game to play first.  From the reviews it sounds like I would prefer GIII- superior story, overland and town maps, etc.  BUT it has random dungeons, which I'm not a fan of.


I think . . . I'm just going to go in order.  I mean, if I don't like GII, even if GIII was a bit different in those departments I still probably wouldn't like III anyways.


What throws a wrench in the whole thing is that GIII is a prequel to GII so in some ways starting with GIII wouldn't even be out of a order!

My thing is that I severely doubt I will make it through two long RPGs in the near future but I might make it through one.  So maybe I want to play the one I think I will enjoy the most.  I don't know though...
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2004, 09:41:12 PM »

Man I hate all of you.

I thought I was finally through with this bumper year after I got KOTOR2.

Bastages! smile

s
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2004, 10:03:03 PM »

Quote from: "Devil"

I'm an idiot! biggrin


I was wondering why you buy just about every game made.... :twisted:

Mike
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Devil
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2004, 10:53:51 PM »

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I was wondering why you buy just about every game made


Probably won't be getting this one any time soon but it does sound good, huh?
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2004, 11:52:22 PM »

Yikes maybe I WILL play the third then before the second?!  Decisions decisions!

Grabbed it today - I like the sparkly cover, haha  =)  Actually *EASTER EGG ALERT* you can reverse the cover for an alternative one, but I much rather prefer the skimpy looking female with the bow thank you very much.  What an easter egg I know

I'll try to get some impressions tonight, though, I have plans of "adventuring" in FFXI right now.  So impressions will be later   smile
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Devil
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2004, 12:20:12 AM »

Can someone describe the combat in comparison to another game? Is it like FF, KOTOR, Disgeaeaeaea, ToS, Paper Mario, Zelda, none of them?

THANKS!!!
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EddieA
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2004, 02:04:33 AM »

"What throws a wrench in the whole thing is that GIII is a prequel to GII so in some ways starting with GIII wouldn't even be out of a order!"
That's true, but if you have a finished save from G2, you can import it into G3.  I'm not sure what you get for doing so, though.  Also, G2 is supposed to be pretty short (20 hours maybe, but is supposed to be very replayable with different story branches), while G3 is much longer.

As for the combat system, I'd say it has the setup of a game like Disgaea, but with a combat style similar to KoTOR.  You order your characters to attack, use magic, move, etc.  They will keep attacking until you give them a different order by pausing the game.
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Devil
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« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2004, 02:50:31 AM »

Thanks Eddie!
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vagabond
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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2004, 04:36:46 AM »

What is the character development, leveling like?
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« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2004, 04:57:40 AM »

Put a little bit of time into both II and III tonight.  

Both are pretty charming but III's story has really grabbed me.  It has a really nice hook and I'm very curious to discover what's going on.  World detail in III is excellent too- walking around the first town provides tons of interesting tidbits on the world and various factions.  

Haven't seen enough of combat to get a read on it.  Looks like there should be plenty of interesting decisions though.

Both games have a pretty interesting character creation setup with II's "exam" strongly resembling the old "answer a series of question to determine your character" originating in the Ultima series, I believe.

Graphically- strictly PS1 level.  Could use a higher resolution and a bit more animation but very charming and pleasant nonetheless.

Voice acting and translation are outstanding.  Dialogue has been very natural.  Some of Working Design's trademark humor has worked its way in- there's already been one off the cuff reference to Final Fantasy 7.  

Very nice, detailed manual although it can be a bit confusing since it uses icons and such to detail differences between the two games.  

Conversation trees are interesting- unlike most games like KOTOR you will often only get a conversation option once so there is very little looping dialogue.  Instead you will really have to think about what option you want to choose since it could mean missing an additional piece of information *and* have ramifications on the story.
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« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2004, 06:35:01 AM »

Played about one and a half hours of GGIII:

Overall I really like it so far.  You can tell (and which is noted in the instruction booklet) that Working Designs put a lot of effort into making the English transition of the game.

I'll second that the conversation trees are pretty interesting.  Apparently they REALLY define who you are and affect a lot of things to come.  Heck, I've been playing only for an hour and a half and already out of five possible choices to comment back with some will be greyed out.  Really like this.

Combat so far is pretty cut and dry.  I know later on will involve a bit more strategy.  Also it's nice that in a random battle I'll have to do something other then JUST kill the baddies - a merchant with these horsie-thingies had been held up and I had to kill the monsters in order to get a hefty "reward" from the merchant.  Pretty neat.  Also, whenever I level I sit there and go over for about a minute or two the possible things I can use my point for.  There's everything from combat skills (critical hits - think Valkyrie Profile *more on that later*) to what magic you want to learn to other things like a spell to increase movement speed or identify rings without having to pay.  So there's a lot of choices!

Graphically I would put it on par with Valkyrie Profile, if people are accustomed to that.  Yes, it's more or less ps1ish . . . but character portraits (if it's an important character it'll have a screen wide/tall portrait which is very nice looking, like VP) look great.  Voice work is good so far too.

There's some things that remind me of VP while I played around with this game.  First off, anime'ish influences.  Large character portraits sometimes.  Second, towns.  Although it's kind of a 3rd kind of angle and you're able to roam freely unlike VP, you go to towns talking to everyone (I've even been given clues for some sidequests already!  I like that), expanding your conversation tree and such while defining you as a character.  And really, that's about it for my comparisons to VP.

So all in all I'm having a great time with Growlanser III.  Haven't tried II yet however.  But don't go in looking for fancy graphics during battle or anything.  There is an attention to detail (such as having pictures captioned and history everywhere and so forth) which is nice as well.  So far so good!
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EddieA
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« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2004, 08:38:47 AM »

"What is the character development, leveling like?"
You get EXP for attacking enemies and casting spells, and you get a lot for killing an enemy.  Upon level-up, your stats (such as HP, MP, Strength, etc) are increased automatically, and you are given "Master Points" to spend on abilities.  There are passive skills, such as adding poison to your attacks, as well as spells and battle skills.  There seem to be quite a few of these, and more become available as you level up.  You can also customize your weapon by adding gems to it that boost its stats.
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« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2004, 12:52:10 PM »

I played a couple hours of GGII last night and was very, very impressed.  Combat-wise, it plays a lot like a simplified Phantom Brave.  The strategy element is very prevalent, and you'll get wiped by basic enemies if you don't plan carefully.   The sprite characters graphics are PS1 level, but all the backgrounds and character close-ups (it switches to a larger character view when speaking) are extremely clean and well rendered.  The voice acting is a bit bland, but I'm really digging the story so far.

It's been a while since an "old-school" RPG has really grabbed me.  I most recently tried Phantom Brave, but never could figure out the overly complex levelling system (do my characters get XP?  Do my weapons?  Why am I getting extra mana?  Etc, Etc.).  GGII really plays like a simpler version of it, which is a good thing.  Looking forward to putting in a few more hours tonight.
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« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2004, 02:33:22 PM »

GII, with its node-based map, really strikes me as the perfect RPG for a DS or PSP port.
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EddieA
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« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2004, 07:37:20 PM »

Working Designs has said that they may bring the original Growlanser to the PSP.
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« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2004, 10:03:09 PM »

According to the manual, the sword icon is supposed to glow according to the difficulty of the enemy I'm fighting (red- enemy has the avantage, green- I have the advantage, neutral-forgoth the color).  I don't see any glow coming from the sword at all.  What am I missing?
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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2004, 02:48:22 AM »

Quick question:

In GIII, do you ever gain more than 1 skill point (or whatever they're called) per level?  Some of these skills take 8-9 points to master, which would take forever!
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« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2004, 03:01:29 AM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
Quick question:

In GIII, do you ever gain more than 1 skill point (or whatever they're called) per level?  Some of these skills take 8-9 points to master, which would take forever!


Not sure- my characters are still around Level 7 and I have yet to gain more than one point.  Leveling is pretty quick though.
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« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2004, 06:13:43 AM »

Wow, I picked this up today to alleviate some of my post game depression from KOTOR.  :lol:  Surprisingly enough this game is quite fun so far. I am not a big fan of realtime combat. But, I will try any game and there are many with realtime combat I enjoy. This games combat is realtime but very sloooow realtime which is almost just like turnbased. :lol:  You can pause whenever you want and issue new orders. You automatically get an order screen if the character finishes off whoever they were fighting, or if somebody else finishes off whoever they were after.  You can also autocombat and turn off the spells so they don't blast and waste their magic points. I am only level 6 so far so can't comment too much on how it might progress yet. More later.
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« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2004, 09:55:03 AM »

I have 4 characters now up to about level 12. The game continues to shine. You can even turn off just one characters combat voice for those of you who get bothered by just one, without having to play the game silent. :lol: So far the only thing I dislike is they have a box with the dialogue right in the middle of the screen across the chest of these beautifully drawn anime characters. This is more a problem for the female characters than the male. :lol: More later.
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« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2004, 08:16:29 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
Quick question:

In GIII, do you ever gain more than 1 skill point (or whatever they're called) per level?  Some of these skills take 8-9 points to master, which would take forever!


At level 11 in GIII I started getting 2 skill points per level.
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« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2004, 11:58:43 PM »

I wish all games, especially RPGs, would allow the option of having the spoken dialogue displayed on screen or not.  I find it very distracting to have the words onscreen.  I can read the text faster than the actors speak it, so I find myself having to avoid looking at the screen so I don't have the whole text read before the actor is half done speaking the lines.  I'm really hoping they've added the option in Xenosaga 2 and Kingdom Hearts 2, because it really bothered me in the first games.
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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2004, 02:17:42 AM »

Quote from: "EddieA"
I wish all games, especially RPGs, would allow the option of having the spoken dialogue displayed on screen or not.  I find it very distracting to have the words onscreen.  I can read the text faster than the actors speak it, so I find myself having to avoid looking at the screen so I don't have the whole text read before the actor is half done speaking the lines.  I'm really hoping they've added the option in Xenosaga 2 and Kingdom Hearts 2, because it really bothered me in the first games.


In KOTOR 2 you could turn off the subtitles, there have been others as well in which you could do so. I usually prefer them because like you I can read it much faster than the actor says it then I can click and get through faster. I don't wait for the actor to finish unless it's a crucial point in the game.
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« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2004, 11:28:58 AM »

I am up to level 24. At 21 started getting 3 skill points per level. The game requires you to do quite a bit of powerleveling. It basically pins you and you can't go anywhere until you level up enough to get past it. The levels come quickly and the levels matter. You can be having a tough time with something and 2 or 3 levels later you can handle it easily. If you leave a dungeon it respawns and you have to fight your way back in again. It also changes the layout. This sounds bad, but the dungeons are very simple it is impossible to get lost or to miss anything. At the end of the dungeon there is a save point and you kill the boss and you are able to proceed in the game. Although, twice now first time I got there I wasn't strong enough to win, and I had to fight my way back out, level some and come back.  You can only get your magic points back if you rest at an inn. So you have to fight through the dungeon on the points you have. You can only carry 9 healing items. So it can be tough to make it. Which is good and bad I guess.  :lol: It fits my strategy for these sorts of games. I get all my characters as strong as possible melee, which doesn't cost any magic points and I fight melee and save the magic points for healing and defensive spells. Your stats go up automatically when you level, but you can equip gems that give you bonuses to particular stats. So you have a degree of control over how the stats raise and what kind of character you will have.  I like the game, having fun with it.
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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2004, 12:46:30 PM »

Quote from: "vagabond"
I am up to level 24. At 21 started getting 3 skill points per level. The game requires you to do quite a bit of powerleveling. It basically pins you and you can't go anywhere until you level up enough to get past it. The levels come quickly and the levels matter. You can be having a tough time with something and 2 or 3 levels later you can handle it easily. If you leave a dungeon it respawns and you have to fight your way back in again. It also changes the layout. This sounds bad, but the dungeons are very simple it is impossible to get lost or to miss anything. At the end of the dungeon there is a save point and you kill the boss and you are able to proceed in the game. Although, twice now first time I got there I wasn't strong enough to win, and I had to fight my way back out, level some and come back.  


That's the point I'm at right now.  Just got to the fight with the Guardians at the top of the tower and got my ass handed to me.  Looks like I'm going to have to fight my way back up a couple times in order to be powerful enough to handle it.  Good thing the combat is fun.
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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2004, 08:34:04 PM »

That's the point I'm at right now. Just got to the fight with the Guardians at the top of the tower and got my ass handed to me. Looks like I'm going to have to fight my way back up a couple times in order to be powerful enough to handle it. Good thing the combat is fun.<<<<

Yes, it is fun, particularly for a realtime system. It reminds me a bit of the combat in Grandia II, which I would call a realtime/turnbased hybrid, which was one of the most fun combat systems ever. This one has the wait time like Grandia, but in Grandia you could stop the enemy from attacking or casting by getting a cancel on them right before they attacked. Added a level of strategy this one lacks, but this one is still good. I am about to try the top of that tower again myself.  :lol:

Edit: Level 26 and was barely able to fight past. That level 36 jailer thing killed my characters 3 times but fortunately not Slayn as he is the only one that can raise right now.  Got 2000 exp and some nice items. Got another level off that. Now it's back to the Federation.
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vagabond
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« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2004, 06:38:57 AM »

I am still liking this game, the powerleveling is getting a little old tho. But, it does have two things in it that while they don't make the game BAD, or unplayable in anyway but are those things that make you wonder how any one person on the planet could possibly think this was a good thing to put into a game, or that there could have been a meeting of a dozen people and somebody came up with this idea and everybody went "wow that would be great"!  First one is one many games do, limiting your saves. I understand they must have some kind of delusion this makes the game more "challenging" in some way. However, it doesn't make the game more challenging in any way, it makes the game more frustrating. I was tired of playing the game, wanted to take a break but I had to spend an hour finishing getting to the top of the tower so I could save my game and quit. What would happen if heaven forbid the power went out? It doesn't serve any purpose. This game even went so far as to have somebody standing on the savepoint at one point in the game so I couldn't save. I said, "something stupid is about to happen" and it did.

The second one is particular to this game. Sometimes you will enter a battle or dungeon area that has a chest in it. Well, one of the monsters will open the box and then proceed at double or triple speed to run out of the battle. You must kill this one before he runs off or you lose whatever was in the box. HUH? Anybody not think this is stupid as hell?
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