Grandma Destroyed Growlanser Generations
Grandma received the deluxe version of Growlanser Generations as a gift from Vic Ireland with Working Designs, who decided her addiction to RPG's, threatened by the influx of third person shooters and platforms, should be reignited with an epic example of gaming. Sweet Jesus, she agreed.
At first, Grandma wasn't digging the battle system, which requires you to scope out routes to your enemies and plan your attacks carefully, rather than maxing out your weapons and magic to the point where the "X" button on her Dual Shock becomes a lethal panacea to all things Grandma deems evil. Her Squaresoft way of thinking finally drifted away, however, and she found herself audibly planning her campaigns; her War Room a comfy armchair; her soldiers anime characters with 2D dialog faces.
After she mastered the Ring / Gem / Armor combinations, and later in Growlanser III, the necessary "unknown ring" "Judge Ring" skills, she sent her characters into battle prepared. Much of the random battles within Growlanser III delt with protecting livestock which she dubbed "her turkeys," which were sort of a Chocobo-Cow crossbreed.
Basic combat training out of the way, the boss battles were difficult not because of the difficulty of one particular beast or enemy but rather because the collective strength of their platoons of minions. Growlanser III was particularly hard in that the large groups of controllable characters, an intimidating list of friends with varying abilities, were eliminated, leaving Grandma only four players. Grandma bitched about too many characters on screen in Growlanser II, but missed them dearly in Growlanser III, proving once again that you don't know what you got until its gone.
Grandma found the voice acting on the second disc a significant improvement to the first, as well as the better map system. The ability to save at any time on the first disc was replaced by a save point system, which created long nights in dungeons facing particularly hard monsters. "Jesus CHRIST, this just keeps fucking GOING!!!" she would lament at the discovery of a new sub-level. She was persistent enough to get some badass rings with 9-9-9 gem capabilities and across the board stat increases, so it was worth it, man.
The length of Growlanser Generations did not disappoint. Here's Grandma: "I REALLY liked Growlanser Generations, it deserved a lot of the hype it got when it first came out, although the 'anime only' designation really isn't fair. Shit, Xenosaga was more of an anime game than Growlanser, and I don't hear people bitching about THAT. Then I ask people who claim to be into RPG's what they thought of the Growlanser series, and they tell me something about not wanting imports or some bullshit and ask me how much I loved Final Fantasy X-2; let me tell you, Growlanser Generations may not have the graphics of FFX-2, but as far as gameplay and just...you know, FUN goes, Growlanser Generations blows Final Fantasy X-2, which amounted to a really long game of dress-up, out of the fucking WATER. If you have a Playstation 2 and you like RPG's, there is no reason you shouldn't have played this game; especially if you have FFX-2 in your games cabinet. It reminded me a lot of Final Fantasy Tactics, another hard-to-find gem, so if you were into Tactics, you'll like it. One thing though, it's fucking LONG. Two discs, two games, it's BIG- so be prepared for that. Otherwise, just be ready to level up as much as you can through random battles, get your strategy right, and you'll get through just fine. Oh! In Growlanser III, try to get the Transport magic as soon as possible; you'll thank me later."