Granblue Fantasy: Relink (PS5) Review

A Quintessential Questing Experience

Granblue Fantasy: Relink (PS5) Review
Granblue Fantasy: Relink (PS5) Review
Brutalist Review Style (Version 2)

Granblue Fantasy: Relink felt like a game that would never see the light of day. First announced all the way back in 2016, the franchise as a whole has seen numerous other projects come out between Relink’s initial announcement and release.

To the uninitiated, Granblue Fantasy: Relink can be best described as an action RPG akin to Bandai Namco’s long-running Tales of series but set in an expansive and interconnected world of multimedia projects all based on the 2014 mobile game, Granblue Fantasy.

Outside the mobile game, there have been figurines, an anime mini-series, and two fighting games, including the recently released Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. It can be overwhelming to new players or those wanting to jump into Granblue Fantasy: Relink with limited knowledge of past entries. I, too, must admit, only had a cursory understanding of the source material, but Granblue Fantasy: Relink does a decent job at reintroducing (no pun intended) its wide cast of characters to both old and new players.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink (Ps5) Review

Gameplay in Granblue Fantasy: Relink consists of your typical JRPG trappings of exploring various biomes, cities and other settlements ranging from small to nearly open-world level vistas, talking to NPCs, engaging in sidequests and, of course, partaking in anime-inspired battles.

“Granblue Fantasy: Relink does a decent job at reintroducing (no pun intended) its wide cast of characters to both old and new players.”

Combat in Relink is a simple-to-pick-up but hard-to-master approach that never gets old, thanks to its expansive roster of playable characters. Unfortunately, for the most part, only the initial party of six is featured during the story as it unfolds, with the remaining unlockable characters only present during gameplay sequences, along with some minor lines of reactionary dialogue thrown in for good measure.

With over 18 playable characters in total, it would be unreasonable to expect everyone to be present in the story. However, it still would have been nice to see more characters pulled from the extended roster featured in the narrative more meaningfully.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink Review

Instead, additional characters can be purchased with in-game tickets, which can be earned by doing quests in addition to a few granted to the player from just playing the story. Unlocking characters feels very much akin to a mobile game gacha system, something that feels intentional, as it is likely Cygames plans on future-proofing Granblue Fantasy: Relink with the prospect of downloadable characters and content.

“… the combat in Granblue Fantasy: Relink is simple but rewarding to those who invest the time in learning the ins and outs of the many characters present.”

As mentioned earlier, the combat in Granblue Fantasy: Relink is simple but rewarding to those who invest the time in learning the ins and outs of the many characters present. Regular attacks, along with charge moves or, in some instances, different stances, make up the bulk of your normal attacks. Holding the R1 button and pressing one of the face buttons unleashes unique, character-specific moves, which can also gradually be changed and upgraded as the player levels up.

Additionally, a link system can be utilized to maximize synergy across your party during fights, which take the form of timing your attacks in tandem with your party members, which then gradually fill up a bar that, once full, can be used to enter a bullet-time style sequence, in which attacks are buffed significantly. This window of opportunity is also ideal for unleashing Skybound attacks, which act as your character’s finisher.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink (Ps5) Review

Chaining Skybound attacks will result in Bursts, while successfully getting your entire party to pull off their Skybound attack in succession will net you a Full Burst, which grants further bonus damage. Finally, depending on the affinity of the initiator of the Skybound attack chain, the Burst or Full Burst attack will match that character’s type, making it particularly useful for those wanting to tackle quests with specific enemy encounters.

Speaking of quests, the story in Granblue Fantasy: Relink can last anywhere from 10 to 20 hours, depending on how many quests you do along the way, with my playtime clocking in around the 11-hour mark. That might sound short, particularly for a JRPG, but Granblue Fantasy: Relink is all about its post-game, which features a plethora of quests, unique encounters, exclusive story beats and other goodies I won’t spoil. You can tell Cygames spent the last couple of years ensuring Relink could deliver a platform they can iterate and add on to as the game matures.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink

In a way, Granblue Fantasy: Relink feels like the natural evolution of many popular gacha-centric mobile games in that it features a robust battle system with a strong starting lineup in an otherwise short and, if I’m being honest, forgettable and trite feeling story, filled to the brim with every anime trope under the sun. Fortunately, thanks to its solid gameplay loop, expansive skill trees, weapon upgrade paths, and dozens of quests to tackle on launch, Granblue Fantasy: Relink shoots for the stars as a fun and dazzling spectacle of a game that fans of the genre will love.

With support for up to four players, if you’re looking for a game to grind out and min-max out characters, try different party combinations and just have fun taking on quests, Granblue Fantasy: Relink is hard not to recommend.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink PS5 Deluxe
  • Includes artbook, a soundtrack CD, a set of postcards, and in-game DLC including Starter Item Pack, Character Color Packs 1-3, and the weapon ‘False Sword of the Apocalypse’
  • 3D artwork with detailed character models and expressive facial animations that bring the rich history of the Sky Realm to life like never before

Final Thoughts

Zubi Khan
Zubi Khan

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