PlayStation 4 and Vita gamers looking for a great tactical turn-based role-playing game may have their wishes fulfilled when MonoChro and Nippon Ichi Software America unleash Grand Kingdom on June 21, 2016.
The game, featuring a vibrant and colorful 2D art-style, places you in the shoes of the leader of a band of mercenaries, one hundred years after the fall of the once-prosperous Uldein Empire. As the Four Great Nations of Landerth, Valkyr, Fiel, and Magion battle for control over the continent of Resonail, you will need to complete various contracts for each nation, helping them gain the upper hand in the constant power struggle.
The world of Grand Kingdom is comprised of several different areas that will require varying approaches as you explore with your mercenary squad. You will need to fight through each map to make it to your goal within a set number of moves while avoiding defeat by the hands of your enemies. As you navigate on the map, you will see visible enemy units moving at the same time, thus forcing you to plan your moves if you wish to avoid battle (you could, of course, charge into every enemy and take them down, if you prefer). Some enemies are invisible, and some will remain even after battling, which is where your special troop skills come into play. You have the ability to utilize these skills to reveal hidden foes and teleport past these other enemies, providing they are guarding a treasure.
Once you do enter battle, you will be taken to the combat screen, with four lanes set up. As you move your characters forward, backward, vertically into adjacent lanes, or turn around, you will decrease your character’s action point meter. That said, unless you have initiated an attack, you can always hit a button to return your character to his or her original position.
Positioning is also quite important in the battles of Grand Kingdom, thanks to the friendly fire factor. If you aren’t careful, you could give your enemies the advantage by healing them when you’re aiming to heal one of your characters, or even hitting (possibly killing, depending on how careless you are) your allies as well with an area of effect attack.
Your attacks don’t have to be one shots either, unless you wish. Whenever you cast a spell, fire an arrow, or swing a melee weapon, you can continue to mash the attack button for a certain amount of time to chain together attacks. Melee is fairly easy to time, but the ranged attacks are a bit trickier as there will be a targeting indicator moving below your enemy and, if you mistime your attack, you will miss the enemy you’re firing at. Once you have the hang of it, however, you can quickly string together assaults to wipe out your opposition.
You will be allowed to customize your troops to a great degree, with 17 classes (only four are available in the beta), a diverse set of outfits, hair styles, and skin tones, as well as up to 24 different types of voices and the ability to rename your characters. Once you have a powerful squad together, you may want to show off your prowess online with the player-versus-player feature of the game, in which you can align yourself with one of the kingdoms and battle for 24 real-time hours. At the end of this period, the winning faction conquers the region upon which the war took place.
If the rest of the game is like the beta, then Grand Kingdom will certainly be a tactical role-playing game that fans will want to keep an eye on, even more if they find appeal in the aforementioned war periods. It will be arriving on June 21, 2016 for both the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4, at a price of $39.99 for the former and $59.99 for the latter.
Those interested can also get their hands on the Limited Edition at $79.99, which includes a poster, 128-page art book, transparent decals, and a Premium Otter Box, or even a Grand Edition at $99.99 that comes with a hardcover Compendium of Resonail, soundtrack, three posters, six mini-art prints, decal sticker sheets, and, of course, the collector’s box.
Charlie's a gamer who loves a challenge. The harder, the better, though there are very few games that he dislikes. He enjoys titles both old and new and loves tracking down gaming myths and attempting to debunk them.