Grandia II is ever so nearly upon us, and EuroGamer was able to get its hands on a copy early. Described as a Beta, the version we played is nigh-on what you will be buying in the shops a few weeks from now. And we reckon you will be buying this, because at first impressions, it's a top game. For those of you that don't know, you take control of a young lad called Ryudo, ever helped along by his good friend Skye, who just so happens to be an eagle. Ryudo is a Geohound, a pseudo-mercenary who goes around putting his awesome sword-fighting skills to use ridding the world of monsters, without a care in the world, and no strings to hold him down. That is, until he meets Elena. Before long he's caught up in a tale of mystery and intrigue, dating from the War of Good and Evil, when the great God Granas gave the world the holy Light, plunging his arch-nemesis Valmar to earth with a sword that cut a deep trench like a scar upon the face of the planet. Grandiose is about the only suitable word, one would think. And as I said, it seems like it could be the biggest RPG on the Dreamcast since Shenmue. Even bigger, one might argue. However, despite its popularity in the States, and how impressive it looks at first glance, we were a little disheartened to see the odd niggle here and there. One annoyance is the animation of the characters themselves. They tend to glide somewhat, when they run or walk, their feet edging slowly forward, which smacks of lazy programming. Obviously these problems can be resolved in the last few weeks pending release, however, and we hope they are, but even in spite of them, Grandia II is shaping up to be something truly spectacular. If you're interested, we've also captured a few screenshots from early moments within the game. We're anxious not to give too much away, but check them out anyway! Related Feature - Exclusive Grandia II Screenshots
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