A JRPG classic celebrates a milestone with a new release.
A re-release of Game Arts’ Grandia II for the PC called Grandia II: Anniversary Edition launched on Monday.
The Anniversary Edition is a port based on the Sega Dreamcast version that first released 15 years ago in Japan on Aug. 3, 2000. The game later released in December 2000 for North America. SkyBox Labs, a Vancouver-based studio, worked on the Anniversary Edition.
This latest version has slightly improved visuals, Japanese voice acting, a new Hard difficulty level and controller support. Players can also switch between English and Japanese voice work.
The Anniversary Edition isn’t a full high-definition remake or remaster of the original release. The PC requirements recommend Windows 8 with 4GB RAM. The game is around a 2GB download. Configuration options include VSync and up to 8X MSAA anti-aliasing. The game is locked to 30 frames-per-second and doesn’t support native widescreen but instead will have black borders around the gameplay for any resolution. Selecting the widescreen option will stretch the 4:3 ratio out to fit the screen.
The Steam version includes Achievements, Trading Cards and cloud saves. It also supports Dreamcast VMU save files. The GOG version is a DRM-free download.
GungHo Online chose Grandia II for a re-release based on responses to a survey the company conducted in April about what games and franchises from the Game Arts library people would be interested in playing on PC.
“With the rise of digital downloads, it is especially important that classic games continue to remain available to play in some form,” Jun Iwasaki, president of GungHo Online America, said. “Grandia II was chosen for a PC re-release because it represents both a hallmark of the Grandia series and an example of how great JRPGs can be.”
Grandia II is also known for its combat system, with the ability to move the characters around in battle and create formations in turn-based moves. An action time bar on the screen lets players plan out their strategy.
The game also released for the PlayStation 2 in January 2002 and on PC in March 2002 for North America.
The Grandia franchise began in Japan on the Sega Saturn in December 1997 and was later ported to the original PlayStation in 1999. Grandia III was the last Grandia console game, which released in August 2005 for the PlayStation 2 in Japan and February 2006 in North America. An MMORPG called Grandia Online ran from 2009-2012 and acted as a prequel to the original Grandia.
Founded in 1985, Game Arts is also responsible for the Lunar series. GungHo Online acquired the developer in October 2005. GungHo is known for publishing and maintaining the servers for the Ragnarok Online franchise in Japan and Puzzles & Dragons, a popular 2012 mobile game. Skybox Labs co-developed the Xbox One-exclusive Project Spark (2014), assisted development of EA Sports UFC (2014) and Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten (2013) and did updated versions of PC games like Rise of Nations: Extended Edition (2014).
Watch the Anniversary Edition trailer: