Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Grandma Destroyed Growlanser Generations

Last night, Grandma did it. Final time on Growlanser III: 64hrs 45 min. Final time on Growlanser II: 31hrs 10 min. Total combined time on Growlanser Generations: just under 96 hours. Solid. Total bags of popcorn consumed: 37. Total cans, 12oz Diet Coke consumed: 54.

Final thought:

Fucking AWESOME.

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."

Game on!!


  • At 11:33 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    I guess I'll have to check it out once I beat SSX on Tour.

  • At 2:14 AM, Anonymous J Money said…


    Thanks for the review... it's true what was said about FFX-2. I mean, c'mon... pop star fighters?!? With DRESS spheres?!?

    It's good to know that despite the somewhat intimidating look of the art design for people that aren't huge into anime, it's a great game for RPG fans in general.

    Wow, I'm really looking forward to reading regular reviews from Grandma! Thanks again!

  • At 2:30 AM, Blogger Michael Spencer said…

    (this is the same anon...oh, wait, I have an account now. I'm also known as the Canon GL2 guy. :-) )

    Excellent review. I think MTV got their money's worth. Now if they could just get some talking-head footage of OGHC saying the same thing, with some game footage for B-roll, that would fit in perfectly.

  • At 2:33 AM, Blogger Michael Spencer said…

    Oh, also...

    "Shit, Xenosaga was more of an anime game than Growlanser, and I don't here people bitching about THAT."


  • At 3:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i've been meaning to ask this for a while, is Grandma looking forward to the next Grandia game?
    man, i love the Grandia series. i reckon the first one was the best RPG ever (but then, i haven't played ff7 yet...) what's grandma think?

  • At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been looking for a good console game, and I just saw a video on a random video archives site about OGHC.

    So I gotta ask: Granny. what's a good console RPG these days?

    I recently played and beat Shadow of the Colossus and wish I'd never beaten the last boss.. the ending was horrific.

    ~ Shoelace

  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger ivorynetsuke said…

    To J Money: Yes, it's true ... dress spheres. That was one of the things that turned me away from the game.

    ::adds Growlanser series to list of games to buy::

    Time to go shopping!!

  • At 8:45 AM, Blogger Reeve said…

    Wow, sounds like some game! I'll have to check it out once I get through the strategy RPGs I already have piled up.

    As for FFX-2... eh, I appreciate it for what it is, but Growlanser Generations does sound like something I'd enjoy much more.

    Speaking of which, has Grandma played any of the Nippon Ichi strategy RPGs, like Disgaea or La Pucelle: Tactics (both excellent games)?

  • At 1:10 PM, Blogger Collin said…

    I second Reeve on Disgaea. If you guys haven't tried it, you should. It's tactical and humorous. And as much as I would LOVE to try Growlanser (which is an awful lot) there's no way I would have the time. Perhaps I'll pick it up at some point in case of sudden unemployment or debilitating injury.

  • At 4:03 PM, Anonymous cutepiku said…

    Hey, Can I make some fun recommendations to you guys?

    Well, I have two favorite games, that I always ALWAYS go back to play.

    The first is an RPG, Star Ocean: The Second Story. No, not the newly released one Star Ocean: Till the End of time. That one stunk. The problem is, it might be hard to find, since it is an older game (for PS).

    The second is ANYTHING from the Dynasty Warriors series. Perferablly 3 or 5. It's a fighting game mixed with sort of an RPG atmosphere. It's hard to explain, but it is an awesome series.

    I highly recommend them both.

  • At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Stephanie M. said…

    Haven't beaten Growlanser II yet, but I LOVE it, and heartily second Grandma's recommendation. Any self-respecting RPG fan has got to try Growlanser, at least. I wish to god we Americans could get our hands on the rest of the series.

  • At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Ethrin said…

    Grandma ought to add Shin Megami Tensei Nocturn and the Digital Devil Saga series to her stash if she's into RPGs. These games are pretty dark and earn their Mature ratings.

    I don't know if Atlus has put out Magna Carta on PS2 yet, but that game looks like one Grandma would probably dig as well.

  • At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Firebyrd said…

    If she wants another RPG to play, she should really put Dragon Quest VIII on her list. Two and a half hours in, and I'm just blown away. It's beautiful and detailed and quirky and just plain fun.

    The FFXII demo sucks major ass, though, and has almost convinced me to never play the game.

  • At 5:13 AM, Anonymous Nick said…

    I just came across this site about 5 hours ago, and for the last 5 hours, I've done nothing but read all the entries you've posted. Your grandma is a word that I can't even think of to explain her as... Your grandma just fucking rocks like 10000000000x past the word "rock" itself.

    Just keep doing what you're doing Tim, because this site is awesome. I'll be checking it every single day, hour, or minute I get a chance to.

    P.S. Tell grandma I said hi!

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