I had never played a Growlanser game before, but I was excited to get another JRPG for the PSP before everything moved over to the Vita. Although I was looking forward to playing it, I really wasn't expecting anything above average. Man, was I blown away when I realized I was playing a game easily on par with some of my favorites of all time!
-Excellent story where every character has their own part to play.
-All characters are interesting and there weren't any party characters I didn't like.
-Gorgeous anime art-style.
-Fun Battle system: When I read something on the box like "Battles aren't just about winning or losing", my first thought was "Yeah, that's what they all say" lol. But it's true. The battle system is similar to traditional Final Fantasy games, with a wait bar for each character showing how long before they can attack, use a special move, use an item etc. But in this game you also control where your characters move around the map, kind of like a strategy rpg but with no grid. Anyway, each important battle or mission will have some objective that you need to accomplish in addition to or even instead of defeating all the enemies, such as retrieving an item and escaping or protecting a certain character from harm. There is some trial and error involved (especially in certain missions where you pretty much HAVE to have a certain skill to be able to succeed), but when you do figure out how to win you feel a real sense of accomplishment.
-Choices that can actually change the story and your ending: You choose which party characters to get to know and even pursue romance with (including male characters ^^), you make story choices that can drastically change how things turn out, and what you do in and outside of battle will determine if certain characters live or die. There are over forty possible endings by the way lol, including some you can only get in New Game+.
-Lots of side quests/optional stuff to do.
-Good music. There weren't any songs I found annoying or out of place, and I really loved the Valkania theme.
-The voice acting isn't terrible, but it isn't anything special either. A lot of the voices I felt didn't match the characters at all. Only the anime cutscenes have voice acting though, so it isn't a huge deal.
-Armor in this game has strength requirements you have to meet or equipping it will make your speed go down a certain amount. Not a big deal really, but it's kind of a bummer when I can't equip my best stuff right away when I start a new game.
-The animations for casting spells or doing a special move in battle are waaaaay too long. You can skip them by tapping O though.