Review cover Granblue Fantasy Versus (Computer)
Official GBAtemp Review

Product Information:

  • Release Date (NA): March 13, 2020
  • Publisher: XSEED
  • Developer: Arc System Works
  • Genres: 2D Fighter
  • Also For: PlayStation 4

Game Features:

Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative
Arc System Works is back at it again with another lovingly-crafted 2D fighter. How did the gacha world of Granblue Fantasy translate into a fighter?

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The mobile game Granblue Fantasy is not technically released in the west, though it is entirely playable in English to those who enjoy sideloading apps onto their phone, or faking their device's app store page. In Japan, however, the series is quite popular, having long since achieved over 20 million unique players. With an anime adaptation available and a high-profile RPG on the way, it might seem a little odd that the west’s first official introduction to Granblue Fantasy is through a fighting game, but with Arc System Works behind the development of Granblue Fantasy Versus, one can’t help but be assured that regardless of the IP, the game is almost certain to be a sight to behold, a joy to play, and is likely already scheduled for time slots in multiple upcoming fighting tournaments. 

On a personal level, I tend to find myself extremely excited about the release of any licensed 2D fighter. And fortunately, it’s almost always the aforementioned Arc System Works that handles said licensed games, from Persona 4 Arena, to Dragon Ball FighterZ. I’ll play them religiously for about two to three days, and then I’ll realize that I’m not much of a fan of 2D fighters--I just like the franchises and the beautiful sprite artwork that the developer tends to use. So when Granblue Fantasy Versus was announced, headed west via my favorite publisher, and featuring characters from a series I’d always had a slight interest in, I found myself hyped for the game, despite knowing that my own enjoyment would be short-lived.

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If you've ever played a 2D fighting game, you're likely to feel perfectly at home with Granblue Fantasy Versus. Everything is as you would expect, with the game feeling like an anime version of Street Fighter, at first glance. Once you actually dig into the finer details of combat, though, you'll things that Arc Sys has tried to implement to make GFV more unique than its contemporaries. Each of the four face buttons are assigned to different attacks: light, medium, heavy, and one that differs based on your character. Much like every fighting game, you can chain those together to create combos after you've caught your opponent off-guard. 

The moves of each character feel weighty, which is incredibly important for a fighter: you want to feel those attacks connect, want to be certain that every single movement you make is being registered, yet you want your character to be agile and move nimbly across the battlefield while not feeling too floaty. GFV handles all these aspects with aplomb. Not to mention, the visuals are on point, the hitboxes feel fair and precise, and the audio design offers detailed sound effects for the clanks of armor or the slices of different weapons hitting your enemy. It’s a satisfying game to play and behold.

Where things start to differ from the norm is in the accessibility of controls. Instead of giving the player autocombos that they can fall back on, like other games tend to, GFV actually tries something different. You can manually use all your quarter-circles and other such familiar inputs, but if you’re less technical, you can just press RB and a direction on the d-pad in order to execute all sorts of different "special" attacks. It makes all the confusing to memorize combos of each character easy to pull off, but in exchange, those moves will have a bit of a cooldown on them. To contrast, manual input users don't have as long of a cooldown after each of their moves, to reward them for more technical play. It lets newbies get their feet wet and help them to use flashier attacks by using a familiar control scheme, while not inundating them with complex combos. But, it keeps the game balanced by encouraging you to do the full commands for more experienced attack chains, with less of a wait between each move's use. 

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Granblue Fantasy Versus doesn't have many stumbling blocks, but one thing that did feel noticeably lacking was the roster. The game shipped with 11 different characters to choose from, which might seem minuscule, when compared to other fighting games that feature far more characters to choose from. That isn't to say that GFV doesn't have a varied cast between those 11 fighters, but the cast does seem relatively small when compared to its contemporaries. Both fortunately and unfortunately, there are plenty more characters on the way, though they're paid DLC. 

In a world where fighting game releases--even ones made specifically by Arc System Works itself--are plentiful, Granblue Fantasy Versus still serves a perfect variety of niches. Fans of the Japanese mobile game will be overjoyed to finally get the chance to play a console game featuring their favorite waifus, fighting game pros will be enthralled with learning frame-perfect data and all the new moves for yet another lovingly-crafted technical game, and even those wary of more intricate "anime fighters" might find something for themselves thanks to the easier, more forgiving gameplay systems. 

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Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Fun, technical gameplay
  • Super pretty, as Arc Sys games tend to be
  • Appreciates skilled players, yet can be forgiving to people new to the genre
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Tiny roster of characters
  • Middling RPG "story" mode
9
Gameplay
Tight, frame-perfect fighting game goodness is all you could hope for, and GFV delivers. If you've ever played an Arc Sys game, you know what you're in for, which is some expertly designed 2D fighter gameplay.
10
Presentation
These types of games are always a visual spectacle. From every punch, to each kick, the characters have been animated beautifully. This is especially true for the PC version of the game.
7
Lasting Appeal
There's an incredible tutorial that'll help you train yourself to go up against tougher CPU opponents, and if you have friends online, you'll have a blast fighting them for hours upon hours, too. There's also the RPG "story" mode that you can go through as well, if you want to spice things up, though it isn't the best.
8.5
out of 10

Overall

A solid game on all accounts, Granblue Fantasy Versus is a great fighting game to play with your friends, whether you're lacking in skill, or happen to be a total pro.
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This seem kinda late. :blink:

Though I'm not surprised of the score it got, Arc system works does it again. (yawn) Not saying it's bad but the fact fighting games keep being released with very small roster is horrendious. Not only that, they announced dlc characters very quickly which is just ridiculous. :blink:
 
Tbh, as much as the game seems good and I want it (planning to buy it later), I'm still quite salty about the female version of the MC being a DLC character. This is quite a shitty move there. I like a lot the base mobile game and I would have prefer to use her instead of the male version.
Same for the fact that the Steam version doesn't contain the bonus code for the mobile version (which was a pretty big bonus almost worth the price of Versus in the mobile game). Also the roster, while not bad, miss a lot of popular character tbh...
 
I literally only know of this series 'cus of all the doushinjis made about it, lmao.
As for the DLC bullshit, welcome to the modern triple ay scam future.
Fuck them.
 
I hope guys know that the only way to keep fighting games alive longer is to do DLC characters. Fighting games get slight resurgence whenever they release a new character


Heres my (slight) complain about this review. Yes, the roster is small but the characters available are very distinct and fill a certain role and type (grappler, zoners, tank, shoto, etc)
No one character is similar to others, except for Djeeta, who is the opposite gender to Gran. When you start the mobage, you have a choice to be male (Gran) or female (Djeeta)

One thing to point out. The RPG Mode is actually a sequel to an event happened in the mobage called 'What Makes the Sky Blue' trilogy. Its an anniversary event they made for the 3th,4th and 5th (the game just done with its 6th anniversary). Part 3 of the trilogy is going to be live soon (on 20th Japan Standard Time). So, if you want to see what happened, you can start right now. Part 1 and 2 are available at anytime to be play
Kimura and Fukuhara said that the RPG mode is standalone story and isnt connected to anything, but they lied....... eugh

As you can tell, Im a Granblue Fantasy expert lol
 
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great review

important to add though, the moves meant for beginners can be used by experts to execute moves with shorter input delays.
this can come in handy and lead to retaliatory moves when your opponents think they may have just won the match.
a long cool down does not mean much if it just gave you the win in a round. This is what makes matches between 2 good players uncertain until the last bit of a life bar hits 0 for a player

Great fighting game. Hopefully it gets a bigger following online.
 
Never expected such a highscore. It's alright combat wise, but story mode is short, not that intresting, and roster if fairly small.
 
Never expected such a highscore. It's alright combat wise, but story mode is short, not that intresting, and roster if fairly small.
You need to play the previous three story to really get the grasp of the situation, as said by me earlier

One thing to point out. The RPG Mode is actually a sequel to an event happened in the mobage called 'What Makes the Sky Blue' trilogy. Its an anniversary event they made for the 3th,4th and 5th (the game just done with its 6th anniversary). Part 3 of the trilogy is going to be live soon (on 20th Japan Standard Time). So, if you want to see what happened, you can start right now. Part 1 and 2 are available at anytime to be play
Kimura and Fukuhara said that the RPG mode is standalone story and isnt connected to anything, but they lied....... eugh
 
I love fighting games and would buy any of them day one, but for the fact that the roster is going to bump up by at least 8 in the following years, at which point they’ll release a bundle for the price of the original (which I’ll then buy).

I think in reality this DLC scheme works, but it’s definitely discouraged me from picking anything up other than Samsho in the past year (as all DLC was included free on release).
 
this game does have offline co-op in RPG mode. but man i think the PS4 version got the better end of the stick. we get codes for the browser/cell phone game. but with have to beat RPG easy and hard for 2 of them oh woe is me.
 
this game does have offline co-op in RPG mode. but man i think the PS4 version got the better end of the stick. we get codes for the browser/cell phone game. but with have to beat RPG easy and hard for 2 of them oh woe is me.
Its mostly due to Steam's refund policy. People would definitely abuse it (beat everything as fast as possible, get the codes and then refund), that was the case in the past with Japan exclusive McDonald collab with Granblue
 
People would definitely abuse it (beat everything as fast as possible, get the codes and then refund)e

THAT is what I have been telling to some people on a Discord channel I'm in, but anger still got the best of them and continue to demand putting the codes on PC. I did not regret pre-ordering PS4 version (when Narmaya was revealed on the GBF stream last year, immediately pre-ordered right off the bat on the next day) at all.
 
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This seem kinda late. :blink:

Though I'm not surprised of the score it got, Arc system works does it again. (yawn) Not saying it's bad but the fact fighting games keep being released with very small roster is horrendious. Not only that, they announced dlc characters very quickly which is just ridiculous. :blink:
agreed
 
Review cover
Product Information:
  • Release Date (NA): March 13, 2020
  • Publisher: XSEED
  • Developer: Arc System Works
  • Genres: 2D Fighter
  • Also For: PlayStation 4
Game Features:
Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative

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