Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising – A Next-Gen Upgrade for Fighting Game Fans
The cast and world of Granblue Fantasy naturally lent themselves to a fighting game setting when Arc System Works first released Granblue Fantasy Versus on PlayStation 4. With updates and sequels being inevitable, it was time to give the game a major overhaul for PlayStation 5. Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is essentially an enhanced and expanded edition of the fighting game for newer hardware, although there’s still a competent PS4 version available if you choose to go that route. However, beyond just superior graphics, this release introduces essential rollback netcode alongside new gameplay content and features. Whether you’re a fan of fighting games or the broader Granblue Fantasy franchise, this is a jam-packed release that offers a great deal of value.
Accessible Gameplay and Engaging Story in Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising
Granblue Fantasy initially found its success as an RPG, but the latest fighting game isn’t strictly for fans of the IP. Anyone looking for an enjoyable and polished fighting game can jump in without knowing much about the source material. Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising does an excellent job of standing on its own, especially in the way it introduces such an established game world to players who may not be familiar with it at all. The game’s story mode is comprehensive and beautifully presented, fully voice-acted with engaging cinematic sequences. While story modes in fighting games tend to drag on a bit, here the player remains engaged, and the action is frequent enough to prevent dialogue sequences from overstaying their welcome.
In such a crowded fighting game landscape, with bigger franchises leading the charge, it can be initially challenging to determine how well Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising fits into such a competitive scene. However, it needs to be said that this is as polished as fighting games come, given it’s an Arc System Works effort. Fans of the developer have been enjoying Guilty Gear -Strive- these last few years, and yet there has always been a lingering demand for a new BlazBlue game, an IP that had a tremendous presence in the previous gaming generation. Here’s the thing, though: Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is undoubtedly a BlazBlue game in all but name. From the fighting mechanics to the character designs and even their fighting styles, many of the core essential elements are shared, and honestly, that’s a great thing.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is essentially an enhanced and expanded edition of the fighting game for newer hardware.[/perfectpullquote]
Unique Gameplay Mechanics of Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising
The gameplay offers the signature fast-paced anime fighting experience that Arc System Works fans have come to love, providing a welcome alternative to the heavier style of Guilty Gear. Each character is mechanically unique, with a dedicated special attack bringing out their signature skill. Taking a page from its RPG roots, each character has specific special moves and skills visible under their health bar, and using these specials then requires a brief cooldown before the same skill can be used again. In a way, this effectively mitigates spamming and button mashing, encouraging a more balanced flow of combat and pushing players towards setting up combos. It’s not a handicap by any means; instead, it makes the fighting feel strategic and tempers the otherwise blistering pace.
The game feels great to play, and while the graphical prowess may not be on the same level as Guilty Gear -Strive-, the artistic direction of the franchise shines through, and the character designs are fascinating. The characters are expertly presented too, each with a ton of personality, and every one of them is a wonder to discover. To have such a mechanically diverse and distinct cast of characters with hardly a common baseline is no easy feat. It may not be the most perfectly balanced game out there, but it creates a space where both fighting veterans and casual players can enjoy coming to grips with each character.
Diverse Character Roster and Artistic Direction in Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising
The detailed tutorial and training provide a comprehensive overview of each character’s intricate fighting style. At the same time, there are simplified guides to help players capture the essence of each character’s fighting style, even suggesting specific strategies against certain characters. The point is, even when the execution of the fighting inevitably becomes messy and unbalanced, there’s no denying how well thought-out everything is given how many diverse fighting systems are being accommodated.
This is a staggering release, with an enormous cast of characters, all the essential gameplay modes, and a wealth of unlockable content using in-game currency. It’s hard to fault the release as a value proposition, not to mention the host of online multiplayer modes all held together by rollback netcode. What remains to be seen is whether there is a lasting community when we have a new Guilty Gear, new Street Fighter, and soon a new Tekken.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Anyone looking for an enjoyable and polished fighting game can jump in… The game’s story mode is comprehensive and beautifully presented.[/perfectpullquote]
Even if the online multiplayer community doesn’t quite take off, there’s so much in terms of single-player content. The story mode is an adventure that brings the game world to life, and the arcade mode provides a satisfying challenge. On top of that, there are daily challenges, all of which allow players to earn in-game currency and unlock a wealth of content in the form of costumes, artwork, skins, among other things.
Assessing the Overall Value and Multiplayer Offerings of Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising
Even in such a crowded space, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is a quality fighting game and comes in a generous package with no shortage of single-player and multiplayer content. It looks the part and performs remarkably well where it matters most. Whether it carves out a consistent online community remains to be seen, but even on its own, this is the next best thing to a new BlazBlue release.
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