Japanese developer GameArts has revealed the first details of the third entry in its Grandia RPG series. Titled Grandia Xtreme, the game is headed for the PS2 and will be published by Enix in Japan during Spring of next year.
The battle system for the game seems to offer more of the same as seen previously; not that this is a bad thing. Early screen shots and information point to a system identical to that used in Grandia II. This time around the horizontal action bar has been warped into a circular shape, but the dynamics appear to be identical. Characters are represented by icons that move along the action bar, and once they encounter the action point, the move input by the player is carried out. This system worked extremely well in the previous installment, and its return should allow fans to rest easy. New to the battle system are the Synchronized Flash System and Union Technique, which allow you to do special moves, in conjunction with a teammate in the case of the latter system.
Story details, however, are scarce. The world of Grandia Xtreme is populated by humans, beasts and fairies. The lead character is a young boy named Evan, a bounty hunter who is investigating an event that has caused a rift between neighboring countries. Fans of the series will no doubt be hoping for a little less linearity than that which plagued the previous offering.
No mention has been made of precisely how the online component, which was confirmed previously, will be implemented, though the ability of characters to interact during battle makes for some interesting speculation. No North American release has been announced, but that is sure to change in the near future. Check back with RPGamer as more Grandia Xtreme information is made public.