Republished on Wednesday thirty first August 2022: We’re bringing this overview again from the archives following the announcement of September’s PlayStation Plus lineup. The unique textual content follows.
A combating recreation adaptation of the immensely widespread cellular title, Granblue Fantasy Versus stands as yet one more shining instance of developer Arc System Works’ supreme expertise. Just because it did with Dragon Ball FighterZ, the Japanese studio has taken an present property and labored it right into a incredible wanting and extremely aggressive brawler.
Again, although, like FighterZ, you do not have to apply for hours a day with the intention to benefit from the recreation, and the educational curve in Granblue Fantasy Versus is very easy. At its most elementary degree, Versus may be very straightforward to choose up and play. Move lists are brief and to the purpose, and the overwhelming majority of inputs require little or no execution. What’s extra, a devoted shortcut button — R1 on PlayStation 4 — permits gamers to throw out particular assaults by urgent simply two or three buttons on the identical time.
Even superior gamers can get mileage out of the shortcuts, weaving them into combos that will in any other case require way more dexterous digits. It’s a easy however efficient system, and it is balanced by the truth that particular assaults are primarily based on cooldowns. Use a shortcut model and you will have to attend longer earlier than you are able to do it once more. Use the common model, sometimes full with 1 / 4 circle or double-tap directional enter, and the cooldown’s barely even noticeable. Already there’s an incentive to get higher, even when you’ve by no means touched a combating recreation earlier than.
But it is not simply the accessible controls that make Versus attraction to gamers of all ability ranges. In phrases of visible design and pacing, it is an extremely clear fighter that is straightforward to learn and perceive. Where different Arc System Works titles like Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, and the aforementioned Dragon Ball FighterZ place a heavy emphasis on lengthy and devastating combos, Versus performs extra like Street Fighter. At its core, it is a grounded and deliberate combating recreation. There are nonetheless combos to grasp and massive injury to be discovered with the precise setups, however you will not be juggling your opponent within the nook for half of the match.
Truth be advised that is most likely essentially the most reserved combating recreation Arc System Works has launched in a very long time, however that is definitely not a criticism. Matches in Versus are diverse and rewarding, whether or not they’re cautious poking contests or brutal beatdowns. It helps, after all, that it feels nice to play; assaults have a satisfying weight to them and each character is enjoyably distinct.
But we won’t presumably write about characters with out mentioning the scale of the playable roster. At launch, Granblue Fantasy Versus solely has 11 playable characters, a quantity which, in itself, is not an enormous downside offered that they are all enjoyable to make use of — and they’re. The actual subject is that it is a full value launch that already has not one, however two seasons of DLC within the pipeline. It’s a mannequin that leaves a bitter style, which is a big disgrace contemplating how effectively crafted the sport is.
To be honest, outdoors of the character roster, Versus may be very a lot a whole package deal. There’s a reasonably customary arcade mode that provides a load of problem choices, a versus mode, a apply mode, and tutorial challenges for every fighter that walks you thru the fundamentals. But Granblue branches off from its friends with its intriguingly named ‘RPG Mode’ — a mission-based beat-’em-up journey that boasts its personal storyline.
RPG Mode is repetitive in its construction however it could actually definitely preserve you busy when you’re enjoying alone. Sandwiched between voiced dialogue scenes — in English or Japanese — are side-scrolling ranges that job you with beating up every kind of enemies. From generic monsters to massive unhealthy bosses, it is really a great way to familiarise your self with the sport’s really feel. It does not skimp on RPG parts, both. You degree up your celebration, acquire loot within the type of completely different weapons — the skins of which will be utilized in different modes — and customarily simply grind out missions till you’ve got had your fill.
While we doubt that combating recreation lovers will spend that a lot time in RPG Mode, it is nonetheless a fairly strong single-player (or two-player co-op) providing that evokes some welcome Dragon’s Crown Pro vibes. That stated, when you’re excited about shopping for Granblue Fantasy Versus for its RPG Mode alone, you will need to watch for the sport to go on sale. It’s good, but it surely undoubtedly is not expansive sufficient to hold a $60 price ticket. Plus, these annoyingly prolonged loading screens are method too frequent.
Chances are that when you’re not grinding in RPG Mode or going head-to-head in opposition to a pal regionally, you then’re placing your abilities to the check on-line. After blasting by way of a couple of introductory matches to find out your beginning rank, you are free to make a foyer, be a part of a foyer, or let the sport discover an opponent for you when you heat up these fingers in coaching mode. It’s all effectively made and matches come rapidly, however the netcode appears hit or miss proper now. Against sure opponents right here within the UK we loved rounds that had been just about excellent, however the connection does are likely to dip every now and then, leading to noticeable delay. By and huge it will get the job completed, but it surely’s yet one more instance of why combating video games should contemplate rollback netcode going ahead — a debate that is actually began to choose up steam in current months.
Before we leap over to the conclusion, we now have to a minimum of spotlight simply how superb this recreation seems. Arc System Works is not any stranger to eye-popping visuals, and Granblue Fantasy Versus doesn’t disappoint. It’s a very attractive title, full of pristine art work and completely excellent animation. Even the HUD and menus are a deal with to behold, though we did spot a couple of minor dialogue typos dotted round.
Arc System Works has completed it once more. Granblue Fantasy Versus is a fantastic-feeling combating recreation that is jaw-droppingly attractive at instances. It’s additionally extremely accessible, selling an impressively easy studying curve. This is a good, satisfying fighter that offers approach to some fantastically paced matches, and the devoted RPG Mode supplies further longevity when you primarily play alone. Our solely actual criticism is pointed on the title’s disappointingly small character roster — a difficulty compounded by the truth that a lot DLC is already in growth. An particularly bitter observe that takes away from an in any other case good launch.