Written in 2018
Child of Light
Grandia is a series that's deep within my heart. I had a great time playing Grandia in 2000, enjoyed my playthrough of Grandia II in 2005 and even liked Grandia III when I played it in 2006, despite its flaws. The series always had nice and likeable characters, great music written by Noriyuki Iwadare and colorful visuals that peaked in the last game.
Grandia II, promo screenshot of the HD re-release.
One aspect of the whole series that always stood out was the battle system. It was a mixture of action and turn based elements. Player characters and enemies were listed on a time scale. They could place their commands when the character reached the "command" mark and then had to wait some more time until that command was executed and reached the "action" mark - depending on the strength of the attack, the execution was faster or slower. With strong attacks, characters could even kick out enemies from their action turns and push them back on the timeline. This allowed for exciting battles where you could tried to win a battle without the enemy even placing one blow.
But alas, Game Arts, the developer of Grandia, was eventually bought by Gung Ho, an online gaming and gambling company. And after this acquisition, not much of Grandia was seen anymore, except some re-releases and Grandia online, a short lived MMORPG from 2009 - 2012. Yet, it's safe to say that there won't be any new or exciting Grandia game in a long time.
Child of Light, battle scene.
And then, in 2014, a friend of mine showed me that new RPG he bought. I had heard of Child of Light beforehand, but for me it was nothing but a small RPG with the visual engine of Rayman.
When I saw the first battle, I almost dropped the game pad. There was a timeline, character and enemy icons on this scale, a command section and a action moment. Weak and strong attacks with the ability to kick out enemies from their actions. It was the Grandia battle system. Even if there was no legal licensing deal (as far as I could find out), the developers of this game took their inspiration from that old and great RPG series.
I'm still thankful they did this, for I enjoyed some hours in Child of Light, had fun with the battles and was able to experience this magical storyline and loveable characters - another similarity to Grandia.
I'll never forget that moment when I fought my first battle in Child of Light.