Growlanser

This may possibly be the dumbest game I’ve ever seen.

My game came with a keychain, two fresnel lens collectable cards, some kind of graphics and music disk, an art book, and oh yes, a game disk. Almost as if the publisher thought it was worth all that marketing.

But the game itself… omg.

  1. We start with the plot.

“War is bad, m’kay? Right! How are we going to stop it? Let’s get an ultimate weapon and hold the warring kingdoms up for ransom! Yeah! Good idea! Wait a minute! What if the weapon gets stolen? Oh. Uh… I got it! We float it up in the air, that way no one can get it! Yeah! Yeah!”

I just don’t think this is going to end well. On the other hand, the boy has declared his love for the girl, married her, and got her pregnant, and I don’t think I’m done with the prologue yet.

  1. The game system.

Crude semi-real-time combat with built in do-nothing-at-all delays and clumsy controls for anything but swinging. I get all these wonderful customizable special ability and power cards, and I lay them out in a sort of tree network, which then proceeds to ignore most of the cards, and randomly raises some card levels according to no logical scheme I can see. Woot. Why do I have 4 copies of the same power card, none of which are increasing in level or giving me actual game abilities despite being in line with other active powers? Don’t ask me.

  1. Localization.

My god, the voice talent. I use the word “talent” as a courtesy. Where is Crispin Freeman when you need him? This guy has the worst Princess Bride impression ever.

  1. Evil designers.

OK, every little map you walk through generates pretty much the same enemies every time. Every time. The scumbags have now sent me to and from the same dungeon to the same town 8 times in a row in one hour of play. You have to walk through 6 lame wilderness maps populated with the same enemies every time. The bastards!

Are random encounters back, then? I thought Growlanser II was awesome (no random encounters), but Growlanser III sucked for me because of the random encounters. Random encounters in an SRPG = fail. I preordered this because I figured I would either thought it rocked or it would accrue good resale value if I kept it sealed, so I’d win either way. But the bonuses, man, there’s just no complaining about that.

But anyway, if it’s anything like the past Growlanser games, the battle system is cool, man. Do you just not like JRPGs in general? I don’t know. Working Designs’ actors did what I felt was a good job, but Atlus might not have reached that bar.

I have played about 20 JRPGs in the last couple of years. This is the worst. I have no problems with random encounters. In fact, they don’t drop on you in this game, they just appear on the map and swarm towards you when you get close enough, so if you try you can evade them. There are no battle-map/field transfers, so the combat is even seamless.

But it’s still the dumbest game I can remember in a very long time.

This sounds awesome.

Sounds like Lunar, but worse.

The series sorta peaked that Growlanser 1 for the PS1, if you know what I mean…too bad too, since I always looked at this a semi-successor to the Langrisser series. :(

Firstly, the plate will have either an arrow facing up + to the right at a 45 degree angle, and arrow facing down + to the right at a 45 degree angle, or a large yellow dot with an arrow onit going eithwer way.

You make a chain in effect. The ones with the dots you can “switch” the flow on.

Why make a chain? A couple of reasons.

  1. When you kill stuff you get “plate level up points”. They get distributed to the active chain (you can click on any plate int he lefgt most colum and set it active; all connected child plates are then part of the chain). From what Ican tell, if you have lots of plates in a chain, points get distributed somewhat evenly among them. So it’s probably nota good idea per se.

  2. If you put multiple plates of the same type on a chain, the skill/spell benefits accordingly. So if you have 3 ice barrage level 2 plates in a chain, you can cast it at level 6. I don’t know if it matters if the chain is the active one or not for purposes of this calculation.

To use an ability, it’s plate must be level1. IIRC, I had plenty of skills/spells around for the most part, so it probably means a plate that becomes > level 1 at least counts as an active skill (even if multiple in the same type don’t tack unless part of an active chain).

In summation: the whole thing is bizzare and nonsensical. It might have been neat had something been done differently. I don’t know. I’m probably taking the game back this weekend.

That’s the key part I didn’t figure out – making one chain active. But even with some active chains I randomly had going, it seemed like I had a sequence like A->B->C->D, and then maybe A, B, and D would get XP, and C wouldn’t. Anyhow, I didn’t want to spend more time to figure it out because everything else about the game was annoying.