I'd like to state that I have finally received this on Goozex and I am enjoying it thusfar. Even the first real mission has some tension in it...I am enjoying the story as of now.
I am going to alter the title of the thread slightly.
After watching this thread get bumped week after week, I was starting to think you'd never try it. I'm glad to see that you're enjoying it thus far - the missions are even more fun later on - but I don't recommend playing the second game in the pack (Growlanser III) because it's just too nonsensical with faeries and amnesia as a critical plot point.
I should tell you that there are four possible outcomes for most missions: "mission complete" - the highest rank - means that you've fulfilled your objectives completely, "mission clear" means you won but a few enemies escaped or civilians died, "mission failed" means something like all the civilians got slaughtered, but nothing crucial to the plot and the game continues normally, and "game over", which is self-explanatory. If you're a completist, you'll want to strive for mission completes, as it affects the plot a little if you're able to get all of them.
Keep us updated as you play, and we'll be able to recommend more gems you might have overlooked.