E3 2019 Preview | Granblue Fantasy Versus
Unbeknownst to me, Granblue Fantasy is a pretty popular franchise in Japan. Developed by CyGames, the titular game was an RPG released on mobile devices and web browsers. It garnered enough acclaim to receive an anime adaptation in January 2017. Despite my limited knowledge of the franchise, I was eager to try out the newest game in the franchise: Granblue Fantasy Versus. Developed by the maestros at Arc System Works and Published by XSeed, this 2D fighter is shaping up to appease not just fans of the brand, but even those searching for the next stylish fighter.
While the roster is going to be larger at launch, the E3 demo only featured five fighters: Gran, Katalina, Charlotta, Ferry and Lancelot. Each of them have their own unique set of moves, as well as their own specialties. For example, Ferry has a whip she can use to attack from afar and specializes in zoning, yet she doesn’t do as well in close range.
The fighting system takes cues from previous ArcSys games. There are three main attack buttons in addition for a skill button that functions differently between each character, similar to drives in BlazBlue. However while that game is extremely technical, Granblue was far easier to pick up and play. In fact it was easy to link combos together regardless of which character you play as. It is also extremely easy to pull off super moves by just a simple quarter circle motion and using the R1 button. Using the super move does come at a cost though, as it puts all special attacks on a cooldown.
The game looks absolutely spectacular. The game uses a similar engine that’s used in both Guilty Gear Xrd and Dragon Ball FighterZ. While the characters may appear to be highly detailed sprites they’re actually fully rendered models. Like those previous ArcSys games, they’re shaded to resemble the classic sprite look.
In addition the camera will move around when character perform special attacks. Before the fight begins characters will often have conversations with one another, and depending who fights who, the dialogue will change accordingly, which is a nice touch.
As someone who has never been into the Granblue universe, Granblue Fantasy Versus is shaping up to be a fun fighting game that even those who are not into the series can find a lot to love. Beautiful graphics, easy to pick up fighting system and a colorful cast of characters are all part of this package. Previously the game was announced for Japan only, so it’s nice to see XSeed bringing this gorgeous fighter to the west. While the game is coming out in Japan in 2019, the Western release shouldn’t take much longer.