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Granblue Fantasy Relink (2024)

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Granblue Fantasy Relink (2024) - recenzja gry - rascal.pl - Recenzja Gry - rascal.pl
Granblue Fantasy Relink (2024)

During their journey in search of the kingdom of Estalucia, Captain Djeeta and her crew—consisting of Lyria, Vyrn, Katalina, Io, Rackam, Eugen, and Rosetta—arrived in the sky kingdom of Zegagrande aboard their airship, the Grandcypher. They were attacked by monsters upon arrival, forcing Djeeta and Lyria to summon the mythical beast Bahamut to fend off the assault. However, Lyria suddenly lost control of Bahamut, who turned against her. The crew barely managed to stop him. Lyria fell overboard due to the effort needed to regain control of Bahamut, and Djeeta and Vyrn jumped after her to save her. After miraculously surviving the fall, they headed to the nearby town of Folca. While the Grandcypher was being repaired, the crew met a local clergyman and self-proclaimed handyman, Rolan.

Introduction

Firstly, I’d like to emphasize that I always use the original voices in foreign media. This holds true in this case as well. Whenever I mention voices and characterizations, I’m referring to the authentic Japanese voice, not some subpar English dubbing. The first thing I did right after starting the game was to dive into the options and tweak something that should have been set by default.

Additionally, I would like to mention that I know absolutely nothing about the world of Granblue Fantasy. I’ve often come across fan art and similar materials, but I’ve never engaged with any canonical story from this world.

Video

The visual layer of this game deserves a long elaboration. What the team at Cygames managed to achieve here is worthy of every praise. I can say with a clear conscience that this is the most beautifully executed game in this style that I have ever seen. It’s not just about the character design (which is also quite nice). It’s about how everything works together so incredibly well. The character animation is at an extremely high level, making all the battles look epic. It made approaching fights genuinely enjoyable. But that’s not all—the animation of the cutscenes was equally high quality. I also really liked the combination of 2D drawings in many places in the backgrounds (or generally in the very distant plan). It added to the aesthetics and blended perfectly with everything else—which is really rare.

The level of detail in the environment made a big impression on me. The quality of textures and lighting effects was very pleasing to the eye. The only thing missing for complete experience was HDR implementation, at least in the PC version, which is the one I played. It’s hard for me to say how optimization fared because my setup is powerful enough that it would take a lot to strain it. However, I didn’t notice any frame drops, even during very intense battles, where the screen was filled with various flashy and colorful light effects. The whole experience was amazing on an OLED TV with 4K and 120 frames per second. The visual presentation is definitely one of the game’s strongest points.

Audio

The voice acting cast is top-tier. Virtually every character has a seiyuu from the highest ranks, including some living legends. Touyama Nao, Tamura Yukari, Kugimiya Rie, Sawashiro Miyuki, Hanazawa Kana, Kamiya Hiroshi, Hayami Saori, Kanemoto Hisako, MAO, Chiba Shigeru, and many others. It’s simply a feast for the ears.

As for the soundtrack, it didn’t particularly stand out to me. While pleasant during gameplay, the orchestral arrangements were quite generic and unremarkable. They didn’t leave a lasting impression and seemed designed primarily to maximize the epic feel of the battles. It’s not a soundtrack I would want to revisit outside of the game.

I also have one complaint about the audio mix. For some reason, the voices of the characters and effects were about twice as loud as the normal dialogue. This forced me to constantly adjust the volume. I checked the options but couldn’t find any suitable settings. Changing the speaker type also didn’t help.

If Granblue Fantasy Relink were a game heavily focused on character development in dialogues and had extensive lore, this paragraph would be the length of the entire rest of the review. To be clear, the translation wasn’t as bad as it was in Xenoblade 2, where most of the dialogues, the entire lore, and all the names were changed. However, this doesn’t mean it was good. It wasn’t even acceptable. The dialogues were filled with memes, Zoomer slang, and many things were added to make them ‘hehe funny.’ It was painful to read, and I felt sorry for the creators who wanted to portray their characters as quite normal and likable. Unfortunately, the localizers once again showed that they are unfulfilled writers who believe they know better than the creators how to present the characters and what personalities to give them. It’s 2024, and sadly, fans of Japanese games still have to deal with such incompetence and embarrassment. I’ll end here, leaving a few screenshots.

Introduction

I started the game on a whim. I’d never experienced Granblue Fantasy before, so I decided to explore something from this universe. I was drawn to the character design and the sky-bound world. Since it’s a multi-platform title, I opted to play on PC. After all, I needed something to utilize the power of my high-performance rig.

During their journey in search of the kingdom of Estalucia, Captain Djeeta and her crew arrived at the airborne kingdom of Zegagrande aboard the airship known as Grandcypher. Upon arrival, they were attacked by monsters, forcing Djeeta and Lyria to summon the mythical beast Bahamut to fend off the attack. However, Lyria suddenly lost control of Bahamut, who turned against her. The crew barely managed to stop him. Lyria fell overboard due to the effort required to regain control of Bahamut, and Djeeta and Vyrn jumped after her to save her. After miraculously surviving the fall, they headed to the nearby town of Folca. While Grandcypher was being repaired, the crew met the local cleric and self-proclaimed handyman, Rolan.

Unfortunately, the joy of reuniting the crew was short-lived. Soon, Lyria was kidnapped by a mysterious cult that believed her to be a shaman. Djeeta and her friends decided to do everything in their power to rescue Lyria. However, they had no idea what they would soon be up against.

Worldbuilding

The game world consists of two cities and several larger areas where events related to the main story take place. People familiar with other Granblue Fantasy stories would likely recognize countless references and familiar characters here. Unfortunately, I did not have that opportunity. The cities are crafted very meticulously. Everything is bustling with life and looks simply wonderful. It makes you want to explore every nook and cranny.

Game length and content

At this point, I must mention an important aspect of this production. As a JRPG, this game is exceptionally short. Honestly, I was very surprised to see the ‘Final Chapter’ message after just 13 hours of gameplay. I had a feeling the story was coming to an end in the previous chapter, but being accustomed to sudden plot twists and cliffhangers, I didn’t consider that it was truly the end. However, I was wrong. It’s not that I skipped dialogues. On the contrary, I completed many side missions and immersed myself in the characters’ stories.

Here, unfortunately, lies a major flaw of Granblue Fantasy Relink. I realize that this won’t be a drawback for everyone, but for me, it is significant. The game focuses heavily on post-game content. In this review, I am only discussing the base game—excluding any additional content that has been or will be added in updates. I played the game almost right after its release, and that mattered to me. The developers assumed that players would replay the game multiple times. As a result, many character abilities are locked behind higher difficulty levels. To unlock these abilities, you first need to complete the game. Unfortunately, for me, this approach makes little sense. With few exceptions, I don’t replay games that I have already completed. Not only do I have a huge backlog of older titles, but each year, several excellent new games are released. I don’t have time to replay games with stories and characters that I already know well.

I felt there was a lot of untapped potential here. The threads and mechanics related to traversing dimensions of reality or occasionally controlling mech-like units and dragon-type creatures were begging for further development.

A few words to justify the creators

However, I can understand the developers. The gameplay itself is simply delightful. Each battle is pure joy. Bosses are almost around every corner (a slight exaggeration, but the sheer number of them is impressive). Each major encounter felt completely different, requiring a tailored approach to combat. Creating such spectacular battles, animating everything, and coming up with ideas demands a tremendous amount of work, and this aspect of Granblue Fantasy Relink is highly appreciated.

Therefore, I would like to clearly emphasize that the game is definitely worth your attention. However, it might be wise to wait for a good promotion or find a used copy at a good price before diving into the short but highly engaging world of this game.

The main focus is undoubtedly on the core crew of Grandcypher. These characters are highly diverse in both personality and appearance. We have the youthful yet poised Djeeta, whom we embody—there’s also the option for a male main character, but I always choose the female character when there are no romantic storylines (Kanemoto Hisako). The enigmatic Lyria (Touyama Nao) and her guardian, Katalina, wielding a sword with mastery (Sawashiro Miyuki). The young Io, attempting to conceal her immaturity behind her extraordinary magical abilities (Tamura Yukari). The mature and mysterious seductress named Rosetta (Tanaka Rie). The marksman Rackam, standing out with exceptional skills in piloting airships (Hirata Hiroaki). The seasoned and cunning soldier, Eugene (Yamaji Kazuhiro). And of course, there couldn’t be a lack of a mascot. In Granblue Fantasy Relink, this role is fulfilled by the young lizard dragon, Vyrn (Kugimiya Rie).

The significant and sole protagonist outside the crew of the Grandcypher remains Rolan. The clergyman of the town of Folca and simultaneously the local handyman (Kamiya Hiroshi).

The most prominent supporting characters, also serving as antagonists, are Id (Tsuda Kenjirou) and Lilith (Kuwashima Houko). Additionally, there’s the possibility of summoning other characters (presumably familiar to those deeply engaged in this universe). Personally, I’ve spent the most time with Cagliostro, who has permanently settled in my battle team (Tange Sakura).

Introduction

The difficulty level has been excellently balanced. The game wasn’t too easy (which unfortunately many titles suffer from nowadays), but it also rewarded mastering the combat mechanics abundantly. All battles followed a specific pattern of moves and attacks from each opponent. Understanding the enemy’s weaknesses allowed for adapting tactics on the fly and smoothly navigating through each encounter.

I won’t delve into the multiplayer aspect here, as multiplayer gaming doesn’t interest me at all. However, it’s worth mentioning that this mode is relatively well-developed.

I also won’t touch on the nuances of the combat mechanics given to us players during the battles themselves. The system may seem very simple at first glance, but the further you delve, the deeper it gets. The strategic possibilities are enormous, and each character’s fighting style can be tailored to suit your own gameplay style. Granblue Fantasy Relink is an action JRPG. The battles are the essence of the entire game. The developers focused mainly on spectacular battles, and they did it almost perfectly. I’m not a fan of action JRPGs in real-time. I definitely prefer turn-based systems. In this case, I can honestly say, even from my standpoint, that I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game.

Character development opportunities

The developers envisioned vast character development possibilities in the form of skill trees. The sheer number of skills and bonuses to unlock for each character can be overwhelming at first. Unfortunately – as I mentioned earlier – many of them (those at higher levels) have been locked until completing the game. They are only available in the more challenging gameplay modes. Personally, I don’t like this approach. However, the skills available at the normal level are entirely sufficient for comfortably completing the game. There’s not much chance of maxing out every available character, so one must carefully consider spending points, as they are tallied globally – not separately for each character. It’s worth mentioning that offensive and defensive skills have been separated into entirely different skill trees.

Skills and weapons

Each character possesses unique abilities that we can utilize in battles. There are quite a few of them, but only four can be active (available during combat). AI-controlled characters use them automatically, but we can issue appropriate commands regarding their fighting style. The same applies to weapons. Each combat tool can be upgraded to a certain level using materials collected in the game. Additionally, each weapon has its own unique abilities that enhance statistics. However, we can only upgrade weapons at the blacksmith in town.

Side quests

We complete side quests by approaching characters with the appropriate symbol indicating the availability of a mission for that particular hero. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these tasks are simply fetch quests. They are mostly carried out automatically by gathering resources during world exploration or by progressing through the main storyline. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t feel motivated to complete them separately.

Lyria’s Diary

The developers have provided us with a very extensive journal where we can find all the details about the missions we undertake, encountered enemy units, possessed weapons, and items. Here, we also find notes about the game world and characters that we discover. There’s also a section dedicated to all the characters. This section is updated with new information as the story progresses and as we fulfill the crew members’ storylines (which I’ll talk about in a moment).

Fate Episode

The Fate Episodes are storylines depicting the everyday lives of characters who are members of the Grandcypher crew. This is one of the more interesting aspects of the game because, as one of the few elements, it brings us closer (in the form of extended visual novels) to the characters with whom we traverse the skies aboard the Grandcypher.

It’s actually the only place where we can truly delve into the history of each character, their problems, and their style of being. I’d wager that most players will completely overlook this mechanic (the episodes are available at the mercenary guild leader’s place, where multiplayer gameplay is managed). Watching each episode not only provides a substantial amount of information but also rewards us with increased stats for the respective character.

Evaluation and Summary

Granblue Fantasy Relink falls short of perfection. Its storyline isn’t one that will be remembered for long. The same goes for the characters. The developers have done a lot to present their backstories. Reading the life stories of individual characters was quite enjoyable. However, twelve hours of main storyline, with few interaction scenes between the characters and dialogues among them, is definitely not enough to truly connect with and remember them. Yet, what can’t be denied about Cygames’ production is the gameplay. Here, Granblue Fantasy Relink truly shines. The battles are spectacular, beautifully crafted, incredibly enjoyable, and emotionally engaging. The voice actors have done a wonderful job, giving voices to their characters, further enhancing the overall experience. I wouldn’t necessarily classify this game as a must-play for every genre fan. However, it’s worth considering checking out this title—especially when the prices drop a bit.

Finalny werdykt

Final evaluation

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