Granblue Fantasy: Relink – A Skyfaring Adventure

As someone who has navigated the pixelated worlds of old RPGs and found solace in the emotional narratives of series like Final Fantasy and Persona, I approached Granblue Fantasy: Relink with both excitement and a critical eye. This game, steeped in the rich, sprawling lore typical of an RPG, and featuring a real-time combat system, promised a mix of the classic and the contemporary. Here’s what I uncovered in my adventure through the sky realms.

Story and Setting

Granblue Fantasy: Relink sets the stage in the Sky Realm, a world where islands float amidst the clouds. You play as the captain of a skyfaring crew, which includes a colorful cast of characters: Vyrn, a feisty little dragon, and Lyria, a young girl with mysterious powers. Your goal is to reach Estalucia, a fabled island at the far end of the skies.

The narrative does a commendable job of weaving together personal backstories and broader lore. Each crew member has their own Fate Episodes, allowing players to delve into their histories—a feature reminiscent of the character-driven storytelling found in series like Persona and Xenoblade. However, it sometimes feels a bit clunky compared to the tight, immersive narratives of those classics.

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Gameplay and Combat

Gameplay is centered around real-time combat with a party of four. Each character has their unique weapons and skills, making for an engaging mix of strategies. The combat system itself is fluid, with Link Attacks and Chain Bursts adding layers of depth and spectacle.

However, the fast-paced, action-based combat might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those more accustomed to the turn-based system of older RPGs. Additionally, the Assist Mode—which automates actions—could be a double-edged sword. While it makes the game accessible to less experienced players, it can also reduce the challenge for veterans looking for a more hands-on experience.

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Granblue Fantasy: Relink Visuals and Design

Visually, this game is a feast for the eyes. The Sky Realm is beautifully crafted with vibrant colors and detailed environments. Character designs are another highlight, each crew member brought to life with a distinct flair. The art style strikes a perfect balance between the fantastical and the grounded, making exploration a joy.

Lore and World-Building

One of the game’s greatest strengths is its rich lore and well-crafted world. The journal entries, side quests, and Fate Episodes provide a deep well of content to dive into, much like the expansive worlds of Ultima and Wizardry.

However, the combat system, while polished, may not entirely cater to fans of traditional RPGs who prefer a slower, more strategic approach. The narrative, although engaging, occasionally feels disjointed, lacking the cohesiveness of top-tier titles like Final Fantasy.

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Granblue Fantasy: Relink Conclusion

An ambitious title that blends elements of classic RPGs with modern gameplay mechanics. For those who have a penchant for deeply layered worlds and character-driven stories, this game offers a lot to love. On the other hand, traditionalists who long for the turn-based strategy of yesteryears’ games might find the real-time combat less satisfying.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the greatest RPGs, it is a solid entry that deserves a playthrough from fans of the genre. Its beautiful world and engaging characters provide a worthwhile adventure, even if it occasionally falls short of its lofty aspirations.

Recommendation

If you’re a fan of character-rich, lore-heavy RPGs with a penchant for real-time combat, give Granblue Fantasy: Relink a chance. Just be prepared for a different kind of challenge if you’re used to the turn-based classics.

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Useful Gaming Tip for Beginners

Tip: Focus on mastering one character at a time. Learn their unique abilities and how to effectively use their skills in combat. This approach will help you understand the intricacies of the real-time combat system and make the game more enjoyable and manageable as you progress.

Want to check it out yourself? Click here to see it on Steam.