Top 10 Hidden PS2 Gems

8. Growlanser Generations

Growlanser is just one of those odd series that could never get off the ground in the US. Of the six titles of the series, Western audiences received Growlanser Generations (which is a compilation of Growlanser II and III) and Growlanser: Heritage of War (Growlanser IV) during the PS2 era, and Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time (the fifth entry) as a PSP port.

Heritage of War… isn't really as good as the two entries of Generations, and two games are usually better than one anyway. Growlanser II is a direct sequel of the first game, and while there are a lot of cameos from the original title, it's not required to play through in order to understand II. Growlanser III is a prequel to the entire series, taking place well before the other games.

What sets the Growlanser games apart from the pack, other than the very shiny art style, is its battle system. Battles take place in semi-real time, with a character's speed stat affecting when they can move. It's not quite like a real-time strategy title in which you are constantly moving and micromanaging characters, but it's also unlike a turn-based game wherein you have plenty of time to map out your moves. Much revolves around this aspect of time, as you have to balance how to move your characters, spell casting times, and other elements as you defeat enemies or complete other tasks. It's certainly a different flavor of strategy RPG, and well worth a try for fans of the genre.