Price : $79.99
Brand : THQ

The Granstream Saga

You know you’ve got it bad when you need to cut chunks off your home to slow it from sinking into the sea. That’s the predicament facing Eon, the hero of Granstream Saga, whom you must help discover a means to save his floating homeland and its neighboring continents from a deadly descent into the ocean far below. But good graphics and an intriguing premise aren’t quite enough to make Granstream Saga succeed. This hack-and-slash action/role-playing game is pleasant, but it just doesn’t live up to its ambition and ends up feeling small and empty. Granstream Saga looks fantastic at first: The fully polygonal environments are colorful and detailed, the frame rate is smooth, and brilliant special effects light up the screen. But further inspection reveals an inconsistency in the game’s appearance. The slick frame rate bogs drastically at times and comes at the cost of texture mapping, as the characters you’ll meet are all faceless and plain looking. Otherwise, the animation in the game runs from plain to bad, and the overhead perspective is very close to the player character, such that things can start to feel claustrophobic since you see so little onscreen at any given time. Yet altogether, Granstream Saga is one of the better-looking PlayStation RPGs in recent memory, especially when you consider its frequent use of high-quality full-motion anime cutscenes, which move the story along during key plot points. There isn’t much sound to speak of in the game, and what little exists is appropriate but forgettable. You hear speech only during the cutscenes, and it’s about as good as you can expect from English-dubbed anime. The soundtrack, meanwhile, consists of booming and resonant fantasy themes that correspond perfectly to whichever setting you may find yourself exploring. It’s not the most memorable soundtrack you’ll ever hear, but the music in Granstream Saga is perhaps its most impressive aesthetic achievement.


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