Granblue Fantasy: Relink is the latest installment in the series, and from the beginning of the game, it wastes no time jumping into the thick of the story. As someone who’s never played any of the games before this one, it was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I was immediately thrown into an epic anime fight, but on the other, I had no clue who I was playing or what I was even fighting.
Granblue Fantasy: Relink
Price: $60 USD
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 (reviewed), PC
MonsterVine was supplied with PS5 code for review
Right off the bat, the tone for the game is immediately set when you and your crew are forced to fight a giant Kaiju-like monster. Without giving too much regard to what it was, everyone except me seemed to know what was happening. This seemed to be a constant thing up until I played through a few hours of the game. Although there are diaries and entries you can read to help catch up on everything that’s happened until now, it’s usually not a good sign when you have to do homework just to know what’s going on.
But once I was able to get over the initial hump of not knowing anyone, everything started to become more clear. There were side missions you could do that would explore each party member, giving you more insight into who they are and why you should care about them. After completing a handful of them, I found myself caring about everyone. In the process of completing a lot of these side quests, I was able to level up each respective character, and it very much felt like knocking out two birds with one stone.
Leveling up each character felt a bit challenging at times. After each person jumps up a level, you’ll earn points that can be spent on their skill tree. But the catch is these points are shared amongst your entire party. It forces you to think about who you want to spend your points on. But at the same time, this system also encourages you to do side quests.
Side quests are unlocked as you progress through the main story. Even though most of them are fairly straightforward, I never felt like I was grinding. Mainly because of how quickly you can knock them out. In addition to receiving good loot that can be used to upgrade or buy items, it’ll also level you up extremely fast. There was hardly a moment in the game where I felt as if I was underpowered and I sometimes felt like I was overpowered for some missions.
As the story started to kick off, I became more invested in everything playing out. Granted, Granblue Fantasy: Relink doesn’t have the most complex story, but it’s still a compelling one nonetheless that doesn’t talk down to you. As you progress through the story, it throws plenty of twists and introduces new foes to help keep things fresh and exciting.
One of the things that Granblue Fantasy: Relink excels in is the over-the-top boss fights you encounter throughout the story. At certain points, it’s made for you to feel as if you’re David fighting Goliath. But instead of throwing a stone at him, you’re taking control of the mech to even the odds or sliding down a mountain to escape its wrath. The music being played was a nice cherry on top of many fights. There was never a moment where I found myself ignoring the music, and at times, I found myself prolonging the fight just so I could jam out for a little bit longer.
But as fun as the fights were, it often felt repetitive. During a lot of the fights, I found myself mashing one of two attack buttons. Although there was a series of power moves you could perform, after doing them, you’re left with a cooldown immediately after. This lead again leads to mashing either Square or Triangle until your next power move is ready. When I was in situations where I had to fight multiple people at once, the lock-on system became extremely frustrating because it would often prioritize enemies nowhere near me, causing me to almost die.
Although, for my review, I couldn’t play any co-op, it was something I demoed during a preview event, and that alone added much more flavor to Relink because of all the possible combos you can do.
Despite some of Granblue Fantasy: Relink‘s flaws, it still manages to convey a compelling story within a short amount of time. In just fourteen hours, I was able to hit the credits, and I still felt compelled to try and max out all of my characters because of the bond I formed with them. Granblue Fantasy: Relink follows a lot of anime tropes, such as the power of friendship, but not to a point where it diminishes the story. Many lighthearted moments like that make the journey much more enjoyable.
The Final Word
Granblue Fantasy: Relink does stumble when it comes to being newcomer-friendly, but it does make up for it as the story goes on. Although the combat can feel repetitive, the power moves and boss fights offer enough to spice things up.
– MonsterVine Rating: 3.5 out of 5 – Fair