Relink Granblue Fantasy: The Kotaku Review

“Sounds familiar.” This is a sentence I said to myself a dozen times or more in the first two hours of Cygames. Relink Granblue Fantasy. When a giant monster attacked my boat during the intro. When I realized that my colleague was a small, flying mascot with a loud voice and room for almost one emotion at a time. When a seemingly benign cult revealed its malignant intentions. And especially when the hero calls on the power of friendship to save the magical girl he saved for the first time self Living in your rural hometown after an evil empire invades.

Cygames combines and borrows bits and pieces from well-worn RPG concepts and systems. Lunar: The Story of the Silver Star, Brave default and Bandai Namco’s stories of series – and several other series besides. The result should be a hackneyed mess of tropes. But it is not. instead of, Relink Granblue FantasyHis brilliance comes from how he imbues familiar ideas with an earnestness and charm that is almost impossible to resist.

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Relink Granblue Fantasy It is a kind of sequel for Cygames Granblue Fantasy, a free-to-play mobile and browser game that never officially launched outside of Japan. A young sky pilot named Gran, if you choose the male protagonist, or Djeeta, if you choose the female protagonist, lives peacefully on a small, forested island in the sky. A girl with blue hair and magical powers named Lyria falls from the clouds one day and is pursued by soldiers from an evil empire. Our hero intervenes and almost dies, and Lyria gives them half of her life to keep them alive. Together with Lyria Catalina’s bodyguard, the two escape and begin their own adventure. Gran’s father (or Jeeta) left them a note encouraging them to seek out Stalosia, a distant mythical island home to ancient mythical creatures. precious It spends most of its time following Jeeta (or Gran) and their friends on their journey to this legendary land, getting caught up in dozens of smaller stories along the way.

A woman with horned pink hair prepares to draw her sword.

Image: Cygames

An epic journey

Cygames faced a tough challenge Relink. Gren and Jetta’s adventures span 10 years, and international audiences have probably never heard of the Astrals or the Erste Empire, let alone Lyria. Cygames collected a few paragraphs from the summary of the story in Lyria’s diary, which as RelinkIn-game archive, and then moving. It seems like an inelegant solution, but considering the duration precious‘s story is played out, this is probably the best way to handle it.

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No evil empires appear in your adventure and the main story follows a fairly predictable path, but the hero battling his father’s legacy is a nice touch that elevates the narrative a bit beyond standard RPG fare. I enjoy RPGs with great things to say about life, like Like the infinite wealth of the dragon And Xenoblade Chronicles 3so I was surprised that I didn’t mind Relink I had nothing special to say

The real draw comes from that RelinkAfter all, his characters and Cygames’ confidence in their actors mean that Relink It avoids some of the problems common to stories with large groups. Instead of trying to fit everyone in every scene so you don’t forget them or focus on long subplots, Relink It’s happy to let the characters and their relationships develop in mini-plots alongside the main story. The quality of the writing and the depth of connection between the characters means that even small scenes, such as Ayo’s precocious magic promising Lyria to share makeup tips – once she’s learned how to apply makeup herself – carry emotional weight.

Relink It completes the skate-style storytelling that is prevalent there stories of games, and the result is a more intimate experience. Relink It has all the makings of a slice-of-life anime in one second, before switching to whoever is trying to save the world, and the most impressive part of the switch is that it doesn’t shock either party.

Anyway for the main party. The downside to recruitable party members is that they never feel as fully integrated into the story as your core crew. Their internal missions are surprisingly long, but it seems like Cygames included these extra characters for short purposes and to help make multiplayer monster hunting more interesting. Although they are a lot of fun to use in battle.

The heroes of Granblue Fantasy get a griffin.

Image: Cygames

Adventure mechanics

RelinkThe story and cast are compelling, but Cygames’ excellent battle system shines even brighter. Each character has powerful basic attacks that can be chained together. Each character gradually learns new skills to join these combos – strategically, as they all have cooldown timers of varying lengths – and you’re expected to use blocking and dodging to survive.

Relink However, it adds several flourishes to make it all deeper and richer. Pulling off combos raises your skill power in a similar way Xenoblade Chronicles 2, although the process is, unfortunately, less ambiguous than RPG Monolith. Characters can perform powerful Link attacks when certain conditions are met, and if they all perform special attacks at the right time, the entire party will team up for a powerful explosive move. Each character also gets a Skybound arte, a skill that deals heavy damage. You can swap between party members at will, which is handy since everyone has different elemental affiliations, and there’s a light AI system that lets you influence how your party members behave.

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While previews and demos were compared Relinkfight with Emergence storiesreminds me more of Nihon Falcom Yes, the eighth And Yes IX. Relink Feeling less heavy and deliberate than to ariseAnd the lack of MP management encourages you to experiment with different skills and party combinations. It’s a blast, and only gets more involved and enjoyable as you collect new party members.

One character looks at the camera while another approaches from behind them.

Image: Cygames

RelinkExploration and adventure are more intertwined. The world outside the cities is a collection of large, semi-open areas with monsters to roam, secrets and treasures to discover, and beautiful scenery to stop and admire before moving on. While the treasure and environments are never exciting enough to warrant exploring for an adventure, finding hidden caches or taking down hordes of monsters is your ticket to better equipment, something you’ll need with a large enough party. Relink‘s the system works, but it’s less inspired than anything on offer here.

Cygames decision on RPG cities is less stale. The bustling villages and heavenly cities you visit Relink They have fewer points of interest and activities to engage in, but feel more alive than many settings in the genre. Everywhere you visit is abuzz with activity (noise) – vendors plying their trade in the market, people going about their daily lives, meeting, fighting, falling in love, and almost none of These aren’t related to quests or traditional RPG stuff. .

There are even a few audio segments where seemingly inconsequential NPCs talk to you and Lyria about fishing or food or other small topics you’d expect to bring up if you’re visiting a place for the first time. It’s rare for RPG cities to be this vivid, and while it’s tempting to say that none of them have any narrative significance, that’s not entirely true. All these little bits of emotional connection made me care about the islands and the people who live there, which unexpectedly gave the story an air of gravity as it unfolded.

It’s the skill at evoking emotion with so many storytelling conventions that makes it Relink Granblue Fantasy Feeling special in a landscape full of attempts to revive nostalgia or capture the essence of the most memorable games of the past, Cygames did one better. Relink Not interested in trying to recapture those feelings. It reminds me why they were special in the first place.

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