2023 is seemingly a big year for Granblue Fantasy as they’re getting two video games ready for Playstation and PC within the year. While most of the game system has been announced in previous reveals, the series’ General Director Tetsuya Fukuhara, and Granblue Fantasy: Relink Director Yasuyuki Kaji shared more about what we can expect from the two upcoming titles at today’s “Dive into the world of Granblue Fantasy!” panel in Anime Expo 2023.
As you may know, Granblue Fantasy Relink is a high-octane action RPG featuring a so-called dynamic battle system. Players will engage in real-time combat with a party of four, and teamwork will be the key to gaining victory as you make use of the game’s Link Attack and Chain Bursts system. And apart from its main story, the game’s director Yasuyuki Kaji promised that there are over 100 side quests and a customization system where you could customize characters through a variety of skills, weapons, and more.
“Although Relink fits into the original game’s story, we wanted to make a plotline that even new gamers of the franchise could enjoy. So it is more like a stand-alone story in the wider Granblue universe!” Kaji said during the panel.
And according to Kaji, the story will occur across linear maps that feature a bunch of new and the series’ signature locations. While some areas can be cleared quickly, there’re others that allow players to freely explore. The Grandcyper will also be there, as it takes you to different destinations, as well as featuring a training mode to hone your skills before you go on your adventure.
Kaji also mentioned that Granblue Fantasy Relink has been developed to provide a complete experience. But even though the main story of Relink already has a proper ending, there’ll be updates to provide more content. “We’re working hard to make Relink the full package—including a story that wraps up nicely. We’ve planned future support for players who want to get the most out of the game, including epic battles and all the surrounding content,” he said.
Just like the original Granblue fantasy game, players can switch between Gran and Djeeta at any time. And as previously announced, players will begin their journey with the five mainstay crew members; Katalina, Rackam, Io, Eugen, and Rosetta, with more characters playable along the way.
When asked whether players can switch between characters during battle, Kaji simply answered that they can’t. “You can gear up in town beforehand. Party change can only be done while you’re out in the field. There’s also a save points feature, which allows you to replenish potions and upgrade equipment,” added Kaji.
Also coming as a surprise to the panel, Ferry(CV: Madoka Yonezawa) has been announced to be a playable character of Relink. With her whip and the help of her pets, Ferry can perform mid to long-range attacks and act as support from afar. The panelist also streamed a short video showcasing how exactly she can control her various pets and support her teammates. The Ferry reveals rounded up the Relink session and Kaji promised that more information will come in August.
▍Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising
The panel continued with the Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising showcase as General Director Tetsuya Fukuhara introduced the systems with more first-time reveals. He explained that the fighting game sequel will feature revamped gameplay and a totally different fighting system. However, the notion to create a fighting game for both beginners and veterans was never changed.
“In a previous teaser we showcased an action that looked like Rush, but that was actually part of a prototype system. It was omitted during development and later reborn into Raging Chain” Fukuhara apologized for the confusion and mentioned that Rush, Backshift, and Overdrive won’t be returning in Rising.
And in addition to the enhanced fighting system, Rising will also feature engaging new features, such as an online lobby that you can play a few rounds on match stations, take a break and even experience some fun attractions on the island. There’s also a mini-game, Grand Bruise Legend as you go head-to-head with other players by challenging various obstacle course and survival games!
Finally, Fukuhara introduced a new feature that tends to help players like him, “If you’re like me who gets stressed and enter self-loathing after losing a rank match, you will understand why I need this feature to keep me shaking up the feeling of being all alone in a fighting game.” What he referred to is the new Partner system, which gets you cover as your favorite GB characters cheer, praise your performance, and even give you advice after a battle.
The panels ended with the announcement of Nier (CV: Noriko Shitaya) as the third playable character in Rising. Nier can summon the primal beast Death to fight alongside her. Input Death’s skills in succession and watch as they activate in order. But be careful, as this costs Love’s Redemption, a resource that causes Death to become temporarily inactive once exhausted. And a clip of this Arcarum Evoker was also shared during the panel.
As previously announced, the GBVSR Beta is coming to PS5 and PS4 at the end of this month. Sign-up for the pre-access beta will begin on July 6 and an open beta will also follow for anyone to try the game. The beta version will open up 25 playable characters including the new character, Siegfried. But unfortunately, Anila won’t be available in the fray.
The Open Beta Tournament of GBVS is also coming to Evo 2023 on August 4 and August 5 in Las Vegas as pre-registration starts today. The tournament will be streaming on the official Youtube channel and director Fukuhara will also be there to hold a special panel!