Hello everyone and welcome to Honey’s Anime. We were invited to check out the new updated version of Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS at Granblue Fantasy Fes 2019! We previously had checked out VERSUS while at E3 this past Summer 2019 and during that time, there were only about 4-5 characters to choose from and the stages and combat were rather simple. Now, a good 11 characters are available to play and they are Gran, Katalina, Charlotta, Lancelot, Ferry, Lowain, Ladiva, Percival, Metera, Zeta, and Vaseraga with more stages and characters available later on upon the game’s release.
When first diving into Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS, you are shown a really nice animated cutscene before the menu screen. Then you’re taken straight to the character selections screen where you see your 11 characters to choose from. Once you’ve selected a character, you are then shown a specific entrance animation to each playable character prior to starting the match. Prior to your fight with the next opponent, you can choose different colors for your character’s outfit. When looking through the selections, it seems to be just 3 different colors to start: Normal (Blue), Black, and Red. Once you have chosen the outfit, you then are shown the animated cutscene and then you can commence the fight.
The camera movement is very nice and during specific moves or Skybounds, it is seamless and has no frame drops, no lag, no rendering issues, at least to the naked eye. The character’s skills and attributes are unique and fun, especially, when you activate your characters Skybound which I must say, Lowain’s Skybound—and this is mostly because he is a trickster in the franchise—is hilarious!
As soon as you see the animated cutscene, you will notice the attention to detail for each character’s armor and costume. Each character, as aforementioned earlier, will have their own entrance cutscene to enjoy and each being very specific to their personalities, companions, and/or attributes from the mobile game/anime series. Did you know there is an animated series of Granblue Fantasy? Well, now you know! There is a very nice amount of cell-shading which seems to be a popular process in anime-related videogames as of late, and a good amount of CG imagery accompanying the cell-shading. With it, the character’s movement are more seamless and fluid, making it easier and balanced when trying to hit that counter-attack when receiving a beating.
The visuals definitely do the game justice when a character’s fighting and showing off the special moves; Special moves like the Skybound and Super Skybounds arts, to be exact. The animation and imagery pop out with fantastical colors that are vivid and clear with little to no framerate issues—at least to the naked eye. After you see some of the Skybound moves come to life right before your eyes, you’ll definitely want to plan out the perfect attack where you can finish it off with spectacular visuals.
The combat mechanics are pretty smooth and very responsive. With the help of the visual being boosted in magnificent colors, you can better plan your combat routine based on the character you are using. There are few combat users you can play with at the moment are Swords, Spears, Scythes, Axes, Daggers, and Magic Bows, to name a few. Within those types, you have ground-based combat characters, air-based combat characters, and ground-to-air and vice versa. You have your basic meter gauge for HP and XP levels which paying attention to them is very important, obviously. When fighting, each character has a secondary power-up level you can acquire for more precise and chain-combos to effectively take out your opponent. After that, you can power-up to use your Skybound and Super Skybound moves for the finisher.
Character balance is pretty good to start but there are some characters with a better advantage than others which we feel right out the gate, Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS will most likely have a character nerf/de-buffer patch. Some character moves are incredibly faster than others and their chain-combos being equally hard to counter. There were times we just sat there and took until we finally landed a counter to break free and recover our dignity or whatever was left. The HItbox is also something to point out as it is very precise and will affect your fighting style whether you are using a long-range to a close-range fighter. It would be night and day if the opponents are dagger and spear users. The spear fighter can get the most damage for the count but if that dagger user gets close to you, it’s practically over unless you can keep your distance.
These are some of the most notable attributes that we noticed and we can only wait in anticipation for the full release of the game. Canceling out, completing link chains/combo chains are pretty smooth and easy to use depending on the character. Leveling up and landing Skybound attacks have also been fun and with no issues that we could tell.
The Final Verdict
From our short but awesome experience we had with Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS and actually playing with other attendees at Granblue Fantasy Fes 2019, we can definitely say that Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS is on our radar and will be a very nice addition to the EVO Japan tourneys. Heck, even Anime Ascension would be great for Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS as the game holds up with diversity in combat mechanics. Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS is not going to be forgotten when it releases.
There is a huge fanbase for the mobile franchise and having a version made for the FGC fans, it will definitely be something to check out. During the event, Cygames had announced the first set of Season 1 DLC characters which include Chaos Bringer, Soriz, Djeeta, and the beloved franchise character, Narmaya! In addition to the Season 1 DLC announcement of characters, Season 2 DLC characters already include Belial, with many more to come in the recent months during this year of 2020.
Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS does include other beloved characters of the franchise which are NPCs and include Lyria, Vyrn, Rackam, Io, Eugen, Sierokarte, and Lady Katapillar. More to come in the near future as mentioned so make sure you all are keeping a close eye on this wonderful gem coming to the FGC scene. Will Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS be on your wishlist this year? Will you check it out when it appears on EVO Japan for the first time? What do you think about Granblue Fantasy: VERSUS? Make sure to let us know in the comments below!