We were recently invited to a “behind closed doors” media presentation with representatives from Cygames to show off their upcoming lineup. Among them was GranBlue Fantasy VERSUS: RISING, and we got some hands-on time with the game.
A sequel to 2019’s GranBlue Fantasy Versus, GBVS: RISING was announced at the beginning of the year. It’s worth noting that I am not at all versed in the GranBlue Fantasy series, nor did I play the predecessor and while I have a solid grasp of fighting games, I would stop way short of calling myself a competitive gamer.
Developed by Arc System Works, I found the gameplay to feel a little stiff, especially compared to other ASW-developed fighters like Dragon Ball FighterZ. The game gives players the flexibility of using command inputs as well as shortcuts when fighting, and while I lost most of my matches, neither myself or my opponents felt like anything was unfair. For what it’s worth, the balance felt right.
The developers mentioned that every character from the original GBVS makes a return, and with a deeper combat system than the last game, there should be plenty of content for fight fans to sink their teeth into.
Still, Cygames wants to keep new players invested as well. While we didn’t get to try it, Cygames also touted a new Partners feature and the interesting-looking Grand Bruise Legends mode.
From what was shown, Partners doesn’t look all too special. It’s basically just a character that’ll cheer you on when you win, or feel sorry for you when you lose. They’re there for moral support, but unless they tell you exactly what you need to do to be better at the game and it sounds better than the typical IT answer of “check your Wi-Fi”–it’s tough to really see this move the needle.
Grand Bruise Legends was something that caught my eye in the presentation. It wasn’t playable at the presentation, but what was shown was pretty much the GranBlue characters in chibi-style art taking part in battle royale minigames looking really similar to something like Fall Guys. Cygames really thinks that way more people could be playing this than anything else in the game, and I believe them, because I fall under that category.
GranBlue Fantasy VERSUS: RISING is currently slated for release in on November 30th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam. This isn’t the last preview we have on a Cygames title, so keep it plugged to SmashPad for more!