Type to search

Reviews

Granblue Fantasy: Relink Review – Elevating the Genre with a Grand Entry

Granblue Fantasy began as a mobile game, heavily focused on gacha mechanics. However, its expansion into console and PC gaming is noteworthy, highlighted by the successive launches of Granblue Fantasy: Relink and Versus: Rising. Relink is an RPG that rivals the ambition of flagship titles like Final Fantasy or Tales series, while Versus: Rising stands on par with leading fighting games such as Guilty Gear Strive or Dragon Ball Fighter Z.

Adapting Granblue Fantasy for larger screens was a colossal challenge. Originally, the mobile game featured simple visuals, primarily sprite-based graphics or official artwork, hinting at its potential. The transition to more sophisticated platforms was not straightforward. Initially announced years ago, development began at Platinum Games but eventually reverted to CyGames due to unforeseen circumstances, leading to an in-house completion of the project.

For newcomers or those unfamiliar with Granblue Fantasy, Relink may seem to start abruptly. The game introduces players to the main characters aboard the airship Grandcypher, embarking on a journey to an uncharted island. This storyline, specifically designed for Relink, does not rely on previous lore, allowing new players to quickly engage with the narrative. Despite the initial lack of background information on the main characters, the game effectively updates players, ensuring they become well-acquainted with the cast.

The game starts aboard the Grandcypher, introducing players to the mechanics through an engaging tutorial that hints at the epic boss battles to come. Granblue Fantasy: Relink’s combat system is action-oriented, allowing players to combine the attacks of their party members creatively. Each character comes equipped with a variety of special skills for use in battle, in addition to basic attack and defense capabilities. With over a dozen unique characters, the game ensures a diverse and interesting gameplay experience.

Not many action RPGs successfully balance the core aspects of combat as well as Granblue Fantasy: Relink does. While games like Final Fantasy XVI have shifted towards more action-driven gameplay, sacrificing some RPG elements, Granblue Fantasy: Relink excels in offering a balanced experience. It provides extensive customization options, a wide range of characters, and a variety of exploration opportunities, establishing itself as a standout JRPG. It rivals, and in some aspects surpasses, genre stalwarts like the Tales series and Final Fantasy, marking a high point in the genre.

The visual presentation of Granblue Fantasy: Relink is also noteworthy. The game’s aesthetic captures the essence of playing within an anime, with stunningly detailed environments and character designs. Although the artwork’s quality occasionally varies, the overall visual experience is exceptional. The game’s soundtrack enhances this further, featuring a collection of memorable compositions. The boss battles in Granblue Fantasy: Relink reminds me of the Eikon encounters in Final Fantasy XVI. While perhaps not as visually spectacular, they offer greater strategic depth, allowing for more player influence on the battle’s outcome.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink maintains engagement with a main story that, while not overly lengthy for an RPG, sets the stage for the excitement of the endgame. The transition to endgame content marks a significant shift, not only in difficulty but in the introduction of new, challenging content that necessitates grinding to progress. This grinding aspect may deter players who have not found the game enjoyable up to this point, as replaying levels to enhance different characters can become tedious. However, the game’s combat system provided enough enjoyment to make this aspect appealing to me. Additionally, Granblue Fantasy: Relink includes a multiplayer feature, allowing for cooperative play. This feature becomes particularly relevant during the endgame grind, offering a gameplay experience reminiscent of the camaraderie found in Monster Hunter, even though the main story is designed for single-player mode.

One aspect of the game that I found lacking was its exploration component. Despite the visual appeal of the environments, they often lacked interactive elements or incentives for exploration, serving more as beautiful backdrops than functional spaces. Nonetheless, the game impresses with a diverse range of biomes, from icy terrains to areas of molten lava, ensuring a varied experience that doesn’t confine the player to a monotonous setting. The sidequests in Granblue Fantasy: Relink are notably well-crafted, avoiding the trap of simplistic fetch quests by incorporating thoughtful narratives that enrich the lore, and character backgrounds, and even offer gameplay enhancements, such as Sigil slots, which are crucial for powering up characters for the endgame challenges.

Cygames’ approach to Granblue Fantasy: Relink is intriguing. The game is structured as a single-player experience, complete with a defined beginning and ending. However, it also incorporates elements of a live-service model, with the promise of continuous updates that will introduce new content, akin to Capcom’s handling of the Monster Hunter series. This hybrid model raises questions about its ability to sustain player interest over the long term, a factor that remains to be seen.

I recommend Granblue Fantasy: Relink, even for those who are not familiar with the franchise but are interested in the live service experience. It stands out as a robust single-player RPG featuring an excellent combat system, stunning visuals, an outstanding soundtrack, and significant replay value. The game performs well on PC, including the Steam Deck. However, I encountered some stuttering issues on the PC port, and it’s worth noting that the game lacks upscaling options, despite not appearing to be a demanding title.

Granblue Fantasy Relink Game Information

  • Price: $59.99
  • Publisher: CyGames
  • Developer: CyGames
  • Platform: PC (Reviewed)
  • Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher
Score
8

Summary

Granblue Fantasy: Relink transitions from mobile to console and PC, offering a balanced mix of action-oriented combat and deep storytelling that competes with top RPGs like Final Fantasy. Despite minor exploration and performance issues, its compelling narrative, striking visuals, and innovative blend of single-player and live-service elements make it a standout title in the RPG genre.

Total Rating

8.0
Tags:
Ali Haider

Ali Haider loves to dabble in multimedia projects. He has a passion for editing and managing YouTube videos and loves writing in his spare time.

  • 1

You Might also Like

Related Stories