Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising – Review
Follow Genre: Fighting, RPG
Developer: Arc System Works, Cygames
Publisher: XSEED Games
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PC

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Graphics, A varied roster of fighters, Meaty experience
Bad: Less interesting for those looking for a meaty story experience
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in 2020, we were lucky enough to try out Granblue Fantasy: Versus, which proved to be an interesting new fighting game that not only played great but looked amazing as well. Two years later, a Legendary Edition was released, which allowed gamers to truly experience everything the game had to offer, and even now, we sometimes boot up this beautiful fighting game. Now, however, a new entry in the series has been released, which is in many ways a sequel, even though a big part of the story still overlaps with the original. With a bigger multiplayer focus for this one, we were curious if we would once again be enamored by this pretty arcade fighting title.

Story

Even though the game is somewhat of a sequel, the story mode is pretty much the same as in the original game. You’ll have new content, of course, but it’s only somewhere in the last chapter of the game that you’ll experience new things. Even so, you once again play with Gran, who is protecting Lyria. Lyria used to be a guinea pig for the evil Erste Empire. Katalina, one of the Erste Empire’s top-ranking warriors, originally betrayed the Empire in order to save Lyria. Now, however, Katalina has no more memory of her adventures together with Gran, Lyria, and the rest of their compatriots. It seems that Gran will have to make Katalina remember who she truly is, even if he has to knock some sense into her.

All in all, the story is a lot of fun to play through, and the visual novel-esque setup allows everything to be properly fleshed out. There are actually several missions in the game that will only have dialogue and no actual battles. All in all, even though the game doesn’t offer that much new in terms of story, we still very much enjoyed playing through this Granblue-original adventure again.

Graphics

Arc System Works and Cygames both know how to create a beautiful game, and they truly showcase that with Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. The pastel-colored anime-like characters look simply amazing, right from their character models to the actual combat animations. We were impressed by the very fluid movements, and it was simply a joy to try out all the different characters to see their special moves. The backdrops all look nice as well, even though there often isn’t enough time to actually take them in. The high quality is also visible during the visual novel segments of the story, even though these sections often only consist of the different characters talking to each other.

Sound

Rising’s sound design is superbly handled. Not only will you have an explosive soundtrack during battles, but the story mode is also fully voice-acted, which is fairly impressive considering how much dialogue is in the game. You can opt for the original Japanese voice acting, but there is also an English dub available, which is also handled by a very experienced cast. The SFX are also quite satisfying, as they pack a proper punch and the overall audio feedback is great.

Gameplay

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is an arcade fighting game very much like its predecessor. Unlike the previous installment, however, the focus is more on competitive online play, and this is made clear by the many online options you have available. Don’t fret, however, there is still a story mode present in the game that will take you roughly four hours to beat, but this mode is somewhat more akin to a visual novel. That being said, the game is extremely straightforward, as you just pick the mode you wish to play, select your favorite character, and you’re good to go.

Even though this is still a relatively new series, when it comes to the fighting game genre, we were mainly impressed by how varied the cast of warriors is. You’ll have a lot of different types to choose from, ranging from faster and agile fighters to bulky heavy hitters. The game is fairly accessible to newcomers, as learning the basic combos and special moves can easily be done when investing some time into the game. Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising also has fairly extensive tutorials you can go through, and after that, it’s basically a matter of practice.

Duking it out online is fairly easy to do. You’ll either pick more casual modes of play, where you just fight other online players in a cute little overworld where you can sit at arcade machines until an opponent shows up opposite of you. As there is no real matchmaking here, you might end up against a lot stronger players, but getting a few combos in against a heavily skilled player is already quite satisfying. As the players’ ranks are shown next to their nicknames, you might also be able to find an arcade machine opposite another equally skilled player.

Ranked matches play out pretty much as you’d expect. When queueing for a ranked match, the system will match you with another player who is roughly the same rank, and you’re good to go. We got our butts kicked more times than we can count, but even so, the matchmaking was fairly decent, and we never felt cheated by the system. That being said, if you’re not into ranked play, you can also opt for the lighthearted Grand Bruise! mode, in which you’ll play through a variety of mini-games. These mini-games are a mix of Fall Guys and Mario Party-esque mini-games, and by playing you’ll also be rewarded with extra currency for the store as well as a few cosmetic items.

Conclusion

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is a great ‘sequel’ to 2020’s Granblue Fantasy: Versus, with a bigger multiplayer focus and a lot of fighters to try out. We felt right at home thanks to the great accessibility, and we were never bored thanks to the different modes available. While we would have perhaps liked a meatier and more expanded story mode, as this one recycles a lot from its predecessor, newcomers to the series will certainly have their work cut out for them. Fighting enthusiasts who have played the previous iteration will still have plenty to do, and even the Grand Bruise! mode proved to be a very amusing change of pace. All in all, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck here.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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