Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising Review | PlayStation 5

AAA fighting games should aspire to be as good as Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising.

By Rayan, Posted 25 Jan 2024

One of Japan's most prominent video game studios, Cygames, is known worldwide. Rage of Bahamut and its hit anime adaptation, Shadowverse, Lost Order, The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage, Princess Connect!, and many more titles have come out of this studio since its 2011 founding.

Granblue Fantasy has consistently been Cygames Games' most successful IP, even though the studio has worked on Re:Dive, Dragalia Lost, and Uma Musume Pretty Derby. Although the game's developers at Arc System Works and Publishers Cygames weren't exactly overjoyed with its reception, it did quite well in sales and even inspired two rounds of downloadable content.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Katalina, NoobFeed

Apart from the new features Street Fighter 6 introduced last year, the fighting game industry as a whole is preparing for a fatal future; the delay-based net code will impede any additional expansion, as players worldwide are growing increasingly intolerant of weak connectivity. This led to the creation of Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. But players are more interested in the ability to reverse netcode and play with others through crossplay.

One of the key complaints players had with Granblue Fantasy: Versus was that it was missing something important. This is something the new game aims to address. It was built on solid groundwork but never made the most of it. Even though Rising solved most of the big issues, a few lingered.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is the straight follow-up to Granblue Fantasy: Versus, which came out in 2020. It builds on the success of its predecessor while adding many improvements and new features. In terms of fighting games, it's similar to the separate title upgrade we received with Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator. For fans of action-packed fighting games such as Guilty Gear -Strive- or BlazBlue,

Granblue Fantasy is a must-play due to a distinctive combination of storytelling depth, competitive gameplay, and a large cast of attractive characters set in the expansive world. The unique gameplay of Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising sets it apart from other fining games; it's easy enough for newbies to pick up yet complex enough to test seasoned players.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Story Mode

In Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, players continued a fresh narrative storyline in which they had to figure out what was causing the strange and ever-chaotic events that were impacting the world and the people living there. It featured a side-scrolling beat-em-up style and allowed players to utilize their full arsenal of fighting skills, powers, and support abilities. Furthermore, it is common to be able to play with an AI or a cooperative companion. The precursor chapters are present in Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, although the scenarios and their presentation have been rethought.

But the weapon system is removed in the sequel. However, the ability to find, equip, combine, and reuse weapons for the story mode characters has been removed. It's significantly less complicated overall, existing to inform you of a tale rather than providing an additional, fully-developed mode to immerse yourself in. The story is expanded by three parts in Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising.

Players who have already completed the previous game's story mode can skip ahead to the meat of the sequel if they so desire. It has the same overall tone and structure, with battle scenes sprinkled throughout the plot. You shouldn't miss it if you haven't seen the original because the story is an exact progression. The story progresses nicely, revealing and explaining some of the more unusual characters' tales; we battle with and against characters who may appear as playable characters in the future; then, you reach an interesting finale that provides room for additional stories despite this.

Also, having the ability to avoid the tedious task of managing equipment is a relief, as several of the NPC battles may be really uninteresting. However, unlike the original, this mode is now a reasonably enjoyable story mode rather than an RPG. If you're just starting, this beat 'em up mode will walk you through the fundamentals of Granblue Fantasy combat.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Nier, Lucilius

Like its predecessors, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising aims to strike a balance between lasting appeal and intense gameplay. It achieves this by allowing players to switch between manual and easy inputs without sacrificing the satisfying sensation of completing an objective or making an impressive visual display. You can now use raging strikes to lengthen combinations and even turn that section of a combo into a raging chain, in addition to the game's Auto-combo system.

It alters everything on its own, back in the day when the game's static routing was all about heavy attacks, ex-specials, heavy attacks into ex-specials again, one more heavy attack for an extra push, and finally, your character's super too close out the strategy. However, the combo technique in this version is classy, which was previously lacking.

The new combo-extending feature is tightly integrated into the primary mind games in neutral situations, making up for the game's seeming lack of technical complexity. Not only is it a welcome change from the previous version's final few mechanics, but it also seems more fulfilling overall.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising's gameplay underwent some significant and defining adjustments. System updates and reworks were carried out with the ultimate objective of creating entertaining fighters that are easy to pick up yet satisfying and difficult to master. Simplified controls underwent the most significant and contentious revisions. Although they were also included in the original verses, the player was penalized with lengthier skill cooldowns.

A little 10% damage boost is now due to using talents with technical inputs, which was previously absent. But you can't weave them into your combos; doing them uncooked will result in the same damage. It is not apparent whether the developers plan to equalize the simplified and technical inputs further or whether they think the present arrangement is sufficient.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Gran, Lucilius

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising's auto combo mechanism, now known as triple attack, underwent some welcome improvements to the user experience. Additionally, it now has a cancelable finisher and the ability to perform Dash attacks, the quality of which is responsive to the button pressed. The system associated with bravery points is even more intriguing and causes me concern. There are several methods to spin, lose, and earn them; you start the contest with three. Raging Strikes and Brave Counters are the most typical ways to spin them.

Raging Strike can be used to unblock your opponent's guard, while Break Counter can be used to escape the Guard Crush State or while blocking. You can also use Raging Chain as a follow-up to Raging Strike; however, it will drain your SBA gauge by 25%. Nonetheless, it's worth it because it allows you to stretch combinations and discover unexpected launches. Given the severity of their punishments with even a single Brave Point, being cornered by an expert feels terribly oppressive; therefore, this is a cause for concern. Additionally, this system incorporates Skybound and Super Skybound Arts, which earn you one point upon landing and one or two points upon being hit by their corresponding Supers.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising stands head and shoulders above the others among fighting game bundles. Now, we're in the era where it's trendy to just turn on three modes: Arcade, Training, and Online play. Whatever your preferred gameplay style may be, you'll be able to appreciate everything this game has to offer. As a result, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising now features a character leveling system that enables you to level up characters of your choosing and earn prizes from them. The in-game cash can still be used to acquire rewards, regardless of whether you level up set characters conventionally or not. No matter the outcome of your battles, you still gain experience, unlock new weapons, and earn awards; this is the essence of a fun fighting game.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Gran, Djeeta

Most of the game's characters are carried over from Granblue Fantasy: Versus, as well as the number of DLC it received. However, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising also features five new characters: Anila, Siegfried, Grimnir, and Nier. Additionally, Lucilius has been confirmed to be included in the game's first downloadable content pack. Each of these four characters adds a layer of variation to the roster, which now includes 28 Fighters. Though the interplay between the game's normal and systems tends to impose a certain playstyle on you, the cast is varied enough that you won't feel stuck with the same character every time.

The ability to use Anila is not overly complicated. Her sheep served as a platform for her offensive abilities and agility. Also appearing unassuming, Siegfried is actually quite clever. Some of his attacks now have a hit probability instead of a normal one because his power-up move sapped some of his health, and his install super used up half of his HP. Because of this, he isn't exactly a powerhouse character, and his execution isn't particularly complex either.

Nier and Grimnir, on the other hand, are difficult. Although, unlike most Puppet Masters, Nier doesn't have to keep her summon under constant watch, and it doesn't suffer any negative effects when it attacks. Nonetheless, she can be difficult to manage and may feel helpless without her tokens. Grimnir is an entirely new Beast; he is uncompromisingly powerful. However, you must master the art of using the dashes he receives from marking the screen to unleash his maximum potential.

For a very long time, fighting games were criticized for having an arcade-like atmosphere, and the reason for this could be a lack of creativity. On the other hand, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising offers a novel take on fighting games with cinematic multiplayer boss encounters and a comprehensive three-part story mode that simulates the original game's stat-boosting system.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Soriz, Katalina

There's Grand Bruise mode, which is essentially a full-on fall guide mode with its own rankings and rewards. In Figure mode, you may flex your creativity and become a scene master by placing characters in static and dynamic poses against customized backdrops.

There are many games in the Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising Lobby alone, like soccer and the crane game, and you can even use it as a stepping stone to the lofty levels above. There is a trial-style tutorial system where you can learn how to use all of this in the Training mode. There, even someone with no experience can learn how to control their character and the ropes of the game. It covers the basics of the game, such as attacking, blocking, striking, confirming, grabbing, and executing combos, as well as more advanced moves like avoiding projectile attacks and surviving pressure.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising included several changes, the most significant of which was the rollback, as well as some essential enhancements to the online gameplay, friend lists, and Lobby. The new Lobby allows you to choose your server and send your Chibified avatar to communicate with teammates, play minigames, or simply engage in battles of your choosing. Apart from the usual fare of casual and ranked encounters, there are also Friend Rooms and Granblue Leagues, the latter of which we could not try out because of the game's interminable queue times.

Your rank and the character's advancement are closely linked, which is a fantastic change. Playing offline versus AI isn't nearly as fun as maxing out your main in online modes and unlocking all the colors, flags, and the like. However, many people may find it annoying because you have to play online for just aesthetic items.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Anila, Female Fighter

However, I had a surprisingly rough time playing against other online people. For crossplay, sometimes you may get the impression that the Lobby is not functioning properly. Additionally, many of the new mechanics or abilities for characters are problematic. On the other hand, there are no problems when it works. It was annoying because I couldn't figure out what went wrong, but at least the developers were aware of the problem and trying to fix it.

Nevertheless, for everything the game does incorrectly, it succeeds in two or three other areas. Several changes have been made to the visual appearance of Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. On a PlayStation 5, the graphics are incredibly smooth and precise. However, compared to the last game, this one is more of an upgrade than a full departure from the original. But the game feels more flexible, like a real game.

They softened the model's form and made some adjustments to the characters, making it both more likable and appealing. Additionally, a few of the characters were modified in order to make them appear more realistic. The graphics aren't as bleached out as they seem due to some of the adjustments, though. Characters and the user interface both got a makeover. Some felt that the adjustments made to Granblue Fantasy: Versus were perhaps a little too drastic. However, this spin-off feels more and more like an original game expansion.

Like most new IPs, Granblue Fantasy: Versus started as a relatively simple game with few mechanisms to explore. The series moved along with the times. Among the many features of this game are the rich progress system, strategic gameplay components, and character stories. Throw all these concepts into a combat game, and you have the makings of what might be the pinnacle of contemporary fighting game innovation.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Review, PS5, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female Fighter, NoobFeed

There has been an argument about whether or not the game deviates enough from the source material, as the regular version costs $49.99, while the Deluxe UPS edition costs $75. In any case, it's great that there's a free, somewhat extensive edition that lets you try out four different characters at any time and access most of the game's multiplayer features. It's a fantastic promo that may entice people who are uncertain to give the game a shot, and it's also a decent beginning for those who didn't buy it.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising has many good features but is far from flawless. Nevertheless, it's a huge improvement over where the fighting game is and has been a fantastic experience. The characters are well-designed, and the new mechanics are satisfying to use, even though they might not revolutionize the series. Although there are still a few things that could use some tweaking, and we all know that long-distance matches are something to steer clear of, the game seems comprehensive. Consider giving Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising a go if you were unsure about buying it and hadn't tried the free version—you could end up liking it.


Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, PS4
Publisher(s): Cygames
Developer(s): Cygames, Arc System Works
Genres: Fighting
Themes: Competitive Fighting, Role-Playing
Release Date: 2023-12-14

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