A First Look at Relink and Versus: Rising

In a special event organized by One PR at the Hotel Emblem in San Francisco, CyGames invited members of the media to experience a special preview of Granblue Fantasy Relink and Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. This was an opportunity to learn about both titles from the development team and get a hands-on preview. 

During the preview session, I got the chance to play both Granblue Fantasy Relink and Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising for the PlayStation 5. At the same time, I got some insight into each game’s development along with what players could expect upon launch.

Welcome to the World of Granblue Fantasy 

Prior to the hands-on preview, we were treated to a presentation with the developers on what to expect from each game. This included details about the characters and gameplay along with what to expect at launch.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works and a follow-up to Versus. Players will take on the role of one of the 24 beloved characters from the series and battle others in an arena. There will also be a variety of mini-games along with special unlockables. 

Granblue Fantasy Relink is an action RPG that takes place in Zegagrand Skydom, one of the many locations in the world of Relink. Players take on the role of the Captain (a role assigned to either Garn or Djeeta) as they lead their party in a series of quests. Players could experience over 100 quests solo or in co-op with three additional players. To have a good idea about the story and the world, should check out the first few episodes of Granblue Fantasy: The Animation on Crunchyroll

Also highlighted during the presentation were the Deluxe Edition and Collectors Edition of Granblue Fantasy RelinkDeluxe Edition will feature the base game along with an art book, the official soundtrack, and collectible postcards. Collectors Edition will include everything in the Deluxe Edition along with a Sword of Eos charm and a Proto Bahamut figurine while packaged in a special box.

Playthrough of Versus: Rising

Versus: Rising was the first game I decided to play during the preview session. Available for us to experience on the PlayStation 5, I could play as any of the 24 available characters and battle it out in the only available arena. During my session; I played as Ferry, Eustace, and Garn just to have an idea about each different character. My opponent was the CPU at first, which gave me some practice. I also played against other people, showcasing how bad I am at fighting games. 

Playthrough of Relink 

During my playthrough session, I got to experience one stage in a seven-minute demo. It begins with selecting my playable character, I had the choice between several of them. During my session, I played as Gran with Katalin, Io, and Rackam in the party. Each character has their own special abilities that can be an asset based on the situation along with the player’s preferred style.

The stage begins with a battle between an army of skeleton soldiers who were at levels 15 through 17. This allowed me to have an idea of the combat mechanics along with practicing some combo moves. Once the area was cleared, it was time to move on to the next area. It was after a while that I encountered the first boss, Gerasene. While the goal was to defeat him, I would be rewarded even more if I could defeat him in under 5 minutes and used a Full Burst link once.

After defeating Gerasene while completing the prerequisites, the Rock Colem boss appears. Despite the intense fight, I was unable to defeat him before time ran out.

Final Thoughts

I’m some what familiar with Granblue Fantasy as I did play it for the mobile device but that was a long time ago, thus I went into this with tapered expectations. I don’t play that many fighting games but I did enjoy how easy it was to get into Versus: Rising while also figuring out all the combos for my character. Relink gameplay was easy to grasp and master while visually it does capture the essence of Zegagrand Skydom. 

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is set to launch for the PC and the PlayStation consoles on November 30th, 2023. Granblue Fantasy Relink is set to launch for the PC and the PlayStation consoles on February 1st, 2024. 

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides insight into the gamer community of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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