Hidey-ho, Lusisprites. As tempting as it is, I am opting not to brighten your day with an essay on the merits of potato farming in Harvest Moon, or the best way to murder your Sims. I had, in fact, intended to review Grandia 2 today, but as mentioned on the latest MAP I just do not have the willpower to sit through that game for extended periods of time. The fault lies mostly with the game’s hero, Ryudo, especially when compared to Justin from Grandia 1, I find that even if I do not measure Ryudo against the mighty Justin specifically, he still does not work for me as a hero. All of this has then led me to wonder what does it take to be an engaging protagonist in a video game, for me at least?
The answer is not as simple as “be like Justin!” because, well, I connected with and related to other heroes who were not always like Justin. Yuri from Shadow Hearts is definitely an example of an anti-Justin hero who I quite enjoyed, rooted for, and became invested in.
I tend to gravitate towards the unwilling hero, the hero who did not wake up and say “Durrr I want to be a big hero and save the day!” I hate arrogant muscleheads from certain games who might be the kinda guy I would want by my side in a fight, but do nothing to garner my sympathy and affection as an outsider at the controller. Watching someone become a hero is far more enjoyable for me than watching someone who already is a hero be a hero, and their successes are so much sweeter when I can see how far they have come. Nobody likes a showoff, though. At least I do not. Therefore I tend to not enjoy those games so much where the hero is unwilling, yet naturally gifted. A world-saving prodigy, if you will. Boring. Struggle some, please.
To bring my ramblings back to Grandia 2, what is truly disappointing me is that I saw so much potential for Ryudo to be my kind of hero. He seemed to be an outcast, and looked down upon by society for being a “Geohound”. He did not seem to deserve the contempt he received. However he has done little to endear himself to me, so while I do feel a bit sorry for him and do wish him all success in his adventures, I am not exactly on the edge of my seat, dying for the story to progress. He also has a touch of that world-saving prodigy syndrome in the sense that he is already worldly and battle-ready. Yawn.
How do you all feel? Do you enjoy the macho hero that you can idolize? The underdog? Or maybe the strong but completely silent and personality-free type?