First of all, I really like the Grandia games. When I first played Grandia II, I was really surprised. Let me go at it one by one.
First, the game's graphics.
--- Of course, what to expect from a simple game? Simple graphics. It wasn't entirely impressive though I'd have to say that compared with Grandia I, this was certainly better off. Game Arts and Ubi Soft still hadn't let go of that 2D effect especially when the characters' are having conversations, those little icons of the characters' faces would pop up, I'm not getting tired of that. On the whole the graphics was better unlike Grandia I, the characters there still maintained a 2D look though the places were mostly 3D already.
Second, the storyline and characters.
--- Well, come on, to tell you the truth Grandia II started out to be a lot like the first one. With just different characters and a twist in the storyline, another epic adventure was made. Yet again, here comes the cliched hero coming to the rescue to save the world and the girl of his dreams. Unlike Grandia I which the lead character named Justin was portrayed as an eager boy wanting to become a great adventurer along with his small sidekick Sue. Game Arts had definitely produced a kind and justified hero in Grandia I. In Grandia II, however, the hero had become the opposite of kind and justified. The makers now emanated a new look upon the hero giving it a dark, shady past that haunts him in his sleep. How about the leading ladies then? For the first one, Feena was made as an adventurer with a lot of guts and strong personality but has a weak and gentle side for she harbors a secret she doesn't even know of while Elena in the second Grandia was portrayed as a Sister following the ways of their God, Granas. She explicitly expressed the weakness of her heart from the start and a genuine love to help the needy and she also harbors a dark entity inside her body. That was a good twist considering it's tiring to see same old storylines.However when I saw the pattern in which how they made the game, I was likely to see that they haven't actually strayed far from the original. Heck, I think they've based it off on Grandia I. On the whole, it's still the same, a blundering hero with a damsel who's always in distress revolves in the story of Grandia.
Third, the gameplay.
--- Oh, this is it. The gameplay. The battle system. Goodness, I don't even know where to begin. I wasn't really impressed with battle system. Come on, it's basically the same except they've made some interesting or more likely a bit irritating alternative to the Special Techniques and Magic. As you can see in the Screenshots, there is a picture there wherein they've won a battle. You can see the Special Coins, Magic Coins, Experience Points and the money won. Special Coins and Magic Coins are the new additions to the game. In the first Grandia, you have to frequently use a spell or a technique in order to get it to level up and you'll be able to decrease the waiting time to perform it. In order to get new techniques, you have to level up a combination of weapons you can use and frequently use it again to learn a new technique. For new magic, you have to obtain a Mana Egg first in dungeons you go to then you can use it on character in order for them to learn a new magic (Mana Eggs can only be found in towns or dungeons and can only be used ONCE) then you need to frequently use it again to cut the waiting time and level it up to create some new spells. Well, that's how it works in Grandia I basically. Pretty challenging right? I like the first gameplay. They have more challenge unlike in Grandia II, you just have to battle monsters to get some Specials Coins and Magic Coins and tada, use it to learn a new technique or spell or level it up. However unlike in Grandia I, the Mana Eggs are now equipped so now you won't have all the spells available to you. It all depends on the Mana Egg your character is going to be equipped with. Ugh, boring! Oh, and there's also the skill books in Grandia II wherein you also use either your Special Coins or Magic Coins to learn some skills then you can equip the skill to your character. Ugh. On the whole, the challenge is much simpler now compared to Grandia I. There's no more combination of weapons and Mana Eggs. So pretty boring. No challenge at all.
Fourth, who can play it?
--- Well, pretty much everybody who likes a Role Playing Game can take this one on. It's not really an "under Parental guidance". It's like this was made for children and adults alike.
--- Yes, yes... the voices. The characters' voices and dialogue.... Well to be frank, it sometimes seems inappropriate to me. The way they sound was awful sometimes. I like Millenia's dubbing, it was very convincing but Ryudo sounds like the worst. I really don't agree with the person who picked to dub him. Nasty. The way he talks... eek, gives me the goose bumps, in a bad way.Skye, well, he's okay. At least he's showing to be an intelligent sidekick than the hero Ryudo who's turning out to be a joke sometimes when he talks. The other characters' dubs are all okay and appropriate but Millenia's dubbing was, I believe, the best in the game.
To put it simply, Grandia II was a simple RPG. Not all that impressive but I like the how it still came out. Still, I do prefer the challenge of the first one. This wasn't at all bad, just watch out for that dubbing. The graphics and characters are in pretty much 3D, a simple 3D but it was better than the first Grandia, of course.