Granblue Fantasy Versus – Review

Developers: Arc System Works

Publishers: Cygames (JP), Sega (AS), Xseed (NA), Marvelous (EU)

Platforms: Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows

Date: February 6, 2020 (AUS), March 3, 2020 (NA), March 27, 2020 (EU), March 13, 2020 (WW)

Genres: fighting game, role-playing game

Hey, how is it going gamers and gamettes? Are you all hunkering down getting some game time in as chaos reigns outside? Well, I got a little something to help take away to harsh fangs of reality. Granblue Fantasy Versus is a 2.5D fighting game featuring characters from the Granblue Fantasy role playing game. The game features the beautifully hand drawn characters and smooth animation that Arc System Works titles are known for, with intricate detailing on each of them. The controls are quick and responsive. Commands can be imputed using standard controls or via shortcut controls using the D-pad and R1 button. Using the R1 button, players can block attacks or dodge them for less damage with a flick of the analog stick. Each character has special abilities called “Skybound Arts,” which correspond to skills that the character can use in the main Granblue Fantasy game. These can be triggered with a simple button press, but the player will have to wait for a short cooldown period before they can use it again. However, if the player uses a more advanced combination of movement and button presses to launch the attack, the cooldown time on the skill will be shortened.

Even though this is a fighting game, it does feature RPG elements that the series is known for. You can customize characters giving them new weapons and armor which can improve their health, attack, defense or grant different element abilities to their attacks. Each character has support skills to assist other characters in battle. The game does feature a story mode. However, unlike other story modes, this one is a more of aside scrolling, beat ‘em up. Early on, this action style gameplay serves as a tutorial to learn the basics such as attacking and guarding. Playing through this also allows you to pick items and materials to upgrade your weapons and gain experience points for your character. Upgrading weapons grants the wielder more HP and ATK. Once weapon has reached max level, it can be uncapped with its own copies to make it stronger. Certain elements are required to defeat enemies. Using the suggested skills and tactics will grant bonus points. Adding multiple weapons to a grid will raise your character’s attack and health. Players fight through several enemies before encountering a boss character where the game then switches to the more traditional PVP fighting game element.

The symphonic metal style music of Granblue Fantasy Versus compliments the fantasy setting of the game. As a fan of fantasy and action game, I found this game enjoyable both in content and execution. Adding customization to any game gives it more variety and allows you to gear your characters to suit your needs whether it is to make them a strong attacker or a powerful defender. The side-scroll beat ‘em up for Granblue Fantasy is a hit or miss with me. It’s a hit because it is something different than story modes in other games like Street Fighter V or Soul Calibur where you battle other characters from the game PVP style. However, it does seem a bit out of place having played through the story modes of other titles that feature this. I would have liked this set up to be more PVP style where you still fight waves of enemies, but let those enemies have a fighting chance. Although the controls are responsive, I found the dodge feature a bit lagging for a follow counter. I would’ve preferred the attack to come out much faster, almost instant if you will. The lag is not significant, but there is enough for a skilled player to counter with a counter. Other than that, Granblue Fantasy Versus is decent fighting game with RPG elements that add variety to gameplay and fighting style, and it is another solid addition to Arc System Works library.

It’s 3.75 out of 5 for Granblue Fantasy Versus.
Until next time, I will see you “ On the NXT LVL!”