Review – Granblue Fantasy: Relink

I Plan to Take a Trip, on the Ole Grandcypher Ship

Overview

Developer CyGames
Publisher CyGames
Genre Action Role Playing
Platforms PC, PS5 (reviewed), PS4
Release Date Feb 1, 2024

The Granblue franchise seemed, to me, a massive undertaking. So when this code was offered to me, there was no doubt going to be a lot of research involved. Another RPG game at this point in my career felt like it was going to be one point above shovelware. But to my delightful surprise, Granblue: Relink has been one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in a long time. Hop on the Grandcypher and see the scope of this adventure.

“If too much fault you’ll find, you’ll be left behind”

Content

Language
S*** and a**hole appear in the game.

Violence
Players use swords, magic, guns, and other weapons to fight vicious animals, robots, and boss characters.

Alcohol
It is referenced by one of the main characters often.

Sexual References
Some female characters are designed with revealing outfits (e.g., deep cleavage); camera angles can focus on characters’ revealing outfits and/or anatomy (i.e., upskirt detailing).

Review

Like I said before, this felt like another mediocre game and I had the smallest hope that I would get some enjoyment out of it. My feelings during the opening cinematics were almost justified as I met the one-dimensional characters; the drinker guy, the cool pilot, the small mage girl, and the buxom babe. The high-voice, spunky dragon was the last cog that made this Saturday morning cartoon ship sail. 

Speaking of sailing, my sarcastic remarks were put on hold once the flying ship carried the party through the sky in a tumultuous storm, followed by a battle with a possessed dragon. The fighting was enjoyable and reminded me of Kingdom Hearts. Special attacks, combos, and flashy effects were exciting, but then the dragon started tearing the ship apart with its claws and fiery breath. Whoa! I thought, This is different!

explosioooooooons!

I still remember the fight, even after several encounters, story, and skylands. But it’s not the only thing that stuck out to me. A strong beginning deserves a strong follow through, and Granblue Relink doesn’t land from the sky, but keeps going higher. Literally, sometimes. The worlds are themed with foundational staples of RPG: the grass world, the ice world, the fire world. But their design and layout are striking, full of pleasing scenery that had no business going so hard. The ice level begins with walking along a cliffside, down into a large cavern, leading to a silhouette of a temple with the towers lit by orange lights. It was magical. It reminded me so much of what I love about fantasy, not just RPGs. And it has so much of what fantasy/RPG lovers enjoy: sky pirates, obnoxiously big but cool looking weapons, boss fights with unique mechanics, post game content, and crazy outfits.

Where Granblue shows that it used to be a mobile game is in the in-between. It feels like fluff is taken out, and since players are ferried via airship between missions, it feels streamlined. I don’t hate this, but it would have been cool to actually fly the Grandcypher.

“Where the in-flight meal!?”

But in between the big chapter missions, there are side quests, collectibles, and extra missions that incentivize replaying bosses for more rewards. You can also play them co-op over the internet! I didn’t get to this point in time though, I sail the sky pretty late in the day. But what I lack in real people, Granblue makes up for in collecting other crew members, each with their own weapon, and abilities. Aside from that the settings have a full auto battle experience, which makes grinding incredibly easy. 

To look for anything I dislike is challenging this time, but I eventually found a few. The story is short, and I’m mixed about that. On one hand, I can move on to other games, on the other hand this game has indulged my fantasy bone, and I want more. I want a different antagonist too. The main antagonist, Lilith, is hilariously the same copy and paste villain (with the same name!) from Diablo IV. Even some of her lines feel plagiarized. Her underling, Id, has a very peculiar design similar to a very popular Final Fantasy protagonist. It probably would have gone unnoticed if I hadn’t played them so close together, and maybe no one else will notice. After all, no one else has ever used that idea before. Ever. As an aside, the day I beat Diablo IV, the official Twitter account for the game replied, ‘mother will find you again’. And I guess they were right! 

Classic rag-tag motley crew

In the end, my dislikes will only take small points away from my final score. Granblue is great, and I’m glad I got the chance to look it over. I might have slept on it. I hope there are more places and things to do in this game, so the adventure can continue.

The Bottom Line

 

Plan your trip on this good ole fantasy adventure ship

 

9

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Johnathan Floyd

Writer, Editor, President, and overall complete goofball.

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