Let me start by saying WOW, Granblue Fantasy: Relink totally caught me off guard! I had never heard of the series before seeing it at a Sony State of Play event last year, but man, was I excited to try it out after that trailer. And let me tell you, it definitely lived up to the hype! It’s been one of the best early 2024 games I’ve played so far, and even though I wasn’t familiar with the series beforehand, I had an absolute blast exploring its rich fantasy world.
In Granblue Fantasy: Relink, you play as the captain of a giant airship called the Grandcypher. You and your crew soar through the vast Sky Realm, searching for the legendary island of Estalucia. But things take a turn for the worse when you encounter the Church of Avia, who kidnap one of your crew members because they believe she has special powers. Of course, you can’t just let them get away with that, so you set off on a grand adventure to get her back. Let’s not spoil the details, but let me just say that the story is super engaging and kept me hooked until the very end. There’s a lot going on, with tons of characters joining your journey, but it all feels important to the overall narrative.
If you are new to the game, don’t worry. The game is designed to be standalone, and it also has these special “Fate Episodes” that fill you in on the backstory of important characters. It actually made me want to check out the anime, so be warned, this game might just suck you into the whole Granblue world! One of the things I loved most about Granblue Fantasy: Relink is how it focuses on what makes RPGs great.
Relink’s strength lies in its ability to cater to various gamer types. Casual players have their hands full with dense levels, side activities like treasure hunts and platforming challenges, and set pieces keeping the story engaging. Non-gamers and RPG fans can enjoy automated Assist and Full Assist modes without affecting harder content, while hardcore players delve into promising bosses, trophies, and upgrades leading to a challenging post-game. There’s something for everyone here.
Granblue Fantasy: Relink does a LOT of things right. The combat is fantastic! It’s like an action-RPG where you string together awesome combos with your characters, using their unique skills to deal damage, buff your party, or dodge enemy attacks. You have to time things right and stay on your toes, and there are tons of different characters to choose from, each with their own strengths and roles.
Enemies have a stun meter that builds up as you hit them, and when it’s full, you can unleash a super powerful Link Attack with your whole party. And if you time it right and build up your Link Level, you can even slow down time and unleash an even crazier attack!
Characters also have special Skybound Arts, which are basically ultimate attacks that you can use when their meter fills up. They’re powerful on their own, but if you use them together with other characters’ Skybound Arts, you can trigger a Chain Burst that’s even more devastating.
All in all, the combat system is amazing. It’s easy to learn but has a lot of depth, and it’s super rewarding to master all the different mechanics. Plus, the battles themselves are just thrilling, especially the boss fights. These guys are tough, have tons of cool moves, and can really mess you up when they enter their Overdrive state.
Don’t forget the soundtrack, a massive collection gradually unlocked in Lyria’s Journal. A symphony of satisfying sound effects, a stellar English dub, and the original Japanese voices complete the package. What’s truly impressive is the sheer volume of voiced lines – combat barks, field actions, personalized lines for the Mastery menu, and fully narrated Fate Episodes.
Of course, no RPG would be complete without towns and stuff to explore between all the fighting. You can relax in different towns, customize your characters, craft new weapons, and take on tons of side quests. The main story might be shorter, but if you want to keep playing, there’s a ton of extra content to enjoy, especially after you beat the game.