Grandia Xtreme for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
A side story to the Game Arts-developed RPG series, Grandia Xtreme offers a battle-heavy experience, utilizing the franchise's renowned combat system. Players assume the role of Evann, a young man, who, after the death of his father, lacks the confidence to continue his training. As a result, he ignores a draft notice, but eventually is ambushed and forcibly drafted. As part of a small rag-tag band of soldiers he is tasked with ending the "Elemental Disorder" that threatens the well-being of the entire planet. Combat, as in Grandia II, takes place in quasi-real-time, with party members' moves (and those of the enemy) dictated by the IP gauge. Yet, unlike Grandia II, the gauge defaults to a circular shape instead of a linear one. The gauge itself represents each participant's current status via icons that move between two segments: standby and action. When an icon reaches the end of the first segment, the respective character is given the opportunity to select a battle command. Finally, when the icon reaches the end of the second segment, the character will execute the given command. Emphasizing the title's focus on battles is the streamlined nature of the overworld, which features five dungeons and two towns. Also, the way in which battles are initiated differs slightly in that players are now given the ability to "prepare" for combat by pressing a face button before coming into contact with an enemy. Doing so improves the chances of the player's party gaining the initiative when the battle first begins. During the journey players will meet up with numerous characters, many of which can be drafted into your party, effectively allowing the player to customize the exact makeup of their group. The Mana Egg system returns, but is refined somewhat, providing access to new, more powerful spells by letting the player forge more powerful eggs from the combined power of two lesser eggs. Mark Hamill, Lisa Loeb, and Dean Cain provide voice-overs for the characters Evann, Lutina, and Hoitz, respectively.