Grinsia: An exercise in mediocrity

Once upon a time, I didn't know Kemco had turned themselves into a juggernaut, releasing low-priced mobile games on a monthly basis. But then, on one of those boring weekend afternoons, I started searching through my 3DS' online shop and found this JRPG titled Grinsia in its "Indie" section and figured I might as well give it a try.

The amazing thing? That this game somehow became the catalyst to me purchasing (or simply grabbing free versions of several games) roughly three dozen Kemco games. I mean, this isn't the sort of offering that really seems capable of inspiring a person to do much other than making a resolution not to buy random titles without spending a bit of time doing research.

It's not that Grinsia is actively bad. It's just there, as a paint-by-numbers, derivative game that connects all the dots, but without doing anything remotely interesting. Unless you've never played a JRPG in your life and, therefore, its collection of time-worn tropes might be of interest.

PROS:

It's of decent length, taking me around 20-25 hours to finish. If anything, the game didn't stick around too long, completely wearing out its welcome. 

While not as interesting as other Magitec games I've played, the plot is at least serviceable. You control a family of treasure hunters who get caught in a plot by the world's empire to collect a bunch of doo-dads in order to gain all sorts of power. Or something like that. There are a few twists and turns, with baddies getting betrayed, so bigger baddies can steal the show. 

There is a decent variety in dungeons. They're basically stock dungeon archetypes with a desert one, a fire one, a water one and so on; but at least there are a good number of them, with many of them having some sort of feature implemented to make it feel different from others. In particular, one of the final dungeons stands out, as it holds many invisible trap floors that can be triggered by your party (think of it as a kinder, gentler version of the nightmare known as the Cave to Rhone in Dragon Warrior II.

You get a decent-size party, including a pair of optional powerhouses who can be found late in the game if you're willing to put in a bit of work to find them.

CONS:

This is one of those Kemco games released with the motto: "Difficulty? Who wants that in their adventures?" At least in the 3DS version, fallen foes drop healing items constantly, so you'll never run out. You'll also regenerate your health and magic after gaining a level. And you'll find areas that regenerate that stuff in every dungeon right before the obligatory boss fight. It almost takes an effort on the player's part to struggle in this one.

None of the characters come off as particularly interesting or memorable. Sure it's been over a year since I've played this one, but you'd think I'd have some recollection of these guys. But, no, they all are one-note guys and gals. One of the optional characters has a bit of development, but that's about it. 

VERDICT:

I'd go with a 2-of-5 for this game. Grinsia is essentially a competent, if bare-bones, RPG that is somewhat undone by how easy it is to breeze through it. The sort of game that essentially plays itself while you watch -- except the story isn't really interesting enough to want to watch for all that long. The sort of game that a person plays through and then realizes it's kind of difficult to talk about because they feel nothing. Too good to feel contempt for, but not good enough to have positive emotions about. It exists, therefore it is.

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Posted in Kemco Games, Reviews

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