Friday, March 20, 2020

"Granblue Fantasy: Versus" Review

Set in a steampunk-influenced world, "Granblue Fantasy: Versus" packs 2D-fighter and side-scrolling brawler aesthetics into one hack-and-slash package.

The characters are diverse and distinguished while also balanced. The lore is engaging and well-conceived. And the visuals tie it all together with verve and panache, luring you into the realm of might, magic and exotic contraptions.

There are three modes in which to test your might. The main RPG mode lets you level your character and advance the story. Versus mode allows you to square off in one-and-done matches against a friend or the PC. And Arcade is a traditional match tree that puts you through the paces against all comers until you either emerge triumphantly or wither away from the challenge and give in.

The game makes the transition from mobile platforms to console with confidence and ease, with developer Arc System Works taking advantage of the additional power and visual fidelity to make the game feel as though it were built from the ground up for the PS4.

Those familiar with Arc's contributions to the likes of "BlazBlue" and "Guilty Gear" will feel right at home in the frenzied yet fair strike-parry-block metagame of mental wrestling.

"Granblue Fantasy: Versus" may not have the name recognition of its predecessors or competitors, but its fresh take on the genre is a welcome departure from the norm. In a time when escapism and empowerment fantasies are more needed than ever, the game came along just when it was needed most.

Publisher provided review code.

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