I had somewhat high hopes for this game. Grandia 2 and Grandia 3 were both superb, Xtreme was released half-way between the two. The Grandia series has one of the best combat systems ever in an RPG game. It’s very tactical and usually gives you a sense that the tide could turn on you at any moment if you really screw up. 

I was expecting the same from Grandia Xtreme, but was somewhat disappointed.


First off, the storyline. I didn’t think it would be that important to me, given how much fun the Grandia 2/3 combat engines were, but Xtreme feels much weaker for its lack of a strong story. The characters, the plot, the enemies all seem so cliched and tired. One-dimensional. The storyline really does seem like an afterthought to the rest of the game. 

As for the battle system, I think this could have been ruined for me by playing Grandia 3. 3 is just much more refined and added so many enjoyable elements, I found myself really missing these when I was playing Xtreme. The Aerial combos were one thing I kept wishing I could still use. Grandia 3 never really made me yawn… After playing a dungeon through in Grandia Xtreme, I’m just about on the verge of needing a nap…

The other sticking point is the skills and spells system. In 3 it was easy, there were 3 classes of skills and 4 classes of spells. You had Mana eggs and Skill books that would raise the levels of a specific group of classes or spell types. You combined the Mana Eggs to increase the power of the spells. 

In Xtreme, the skill books say how many skills you can equip, and the Mana Eggs actually have the spells stored within them. To get more powerful spells, you have to merge mana eggs you find in the early 4 dungeons and merge them in just the right way to get the eggs that have the spells you want. To get the more powerful eggs, you need to merge as many as a dozen of each of the 4 basic eggs to make 1 powerful egg. You only get maybe 5 basic eggs of a type on a single trip through the dungeons. It may take dozens of trips battling the same enemies repeatedly to store up enough eggs for all your characters. The monsters (including the bosses) grow as you do, so there’s really little reason to keep leveling up it seems. The only reason to go through the dungeons repeatedly is leveling up your skills and finding new mana eggs…


I think I’ll finish each of the 4 dungeons a single time, then try and push the storyline forward. I want to finish this thing off and send it back to gamefly so I’m not tempted to try it again in the future…