Granblue Fantasy: Relink: JARPG from Cygames

The game is coming to PS4/PS5/PC on January 29/February 1st. And there’s a demo on PS4/PS5 in New Zealand now, and it should unlock for more territories as time advances.

Here’s the steam page:

Here’s a boss battle trailer.

Was just checking to see if we had a topic yet. Is anyone else playing? I’m about 6 or 7 hours in and really enjoying the game. So far the story is pretty paint by numbers, but the combat is really fun and the set pieces and boss battles are quite impressive. The game also looks absolutely lovely. It’s a really gorgeous realization of the art style from the original mobile title. Comes across as a real labor of love.

Dia Lacina’s review over at Paste is a really good overview of what makes the game charming.

I heard Platinum did some of the combat. I played the demo but I think this particular brand of Japanese action RPG is something that I want to like more than I actually do.

I will get this eventually when it goes on sale, I guess? That said, I didn’t try the demo. It I try it and really like it, I could buy it before, but I have so much to play I think the wise thing would indeed be to leave this for later.

I also am interested in this and had it on my calendar of releases, but feeling a little overstuffed with choice atm and will wait a little to pick it up. The latest Momodora is too good to drop halfway.

A launch discount would have got me to bite, though. Missed opportunity on their part :)

I’m enjoying it. 9 hours in already! I have played the original gacha rpg casually for years now and it is really lovely how they brought their 2d art direction into 3d. In particular the backgrounds. The hub town is gorgeous. I haven’t dug into playing the different characters yet outside of the fate episodes (character backstory) missions for the core story characters. I think I’ll be eating pretty well for a while.

Probably on the top #3 RPG games, by graphics.

I have not played it, but I have seen streams and the graphic quality is uncanny.

Game is pretty.

Yeah, the towns are so beautiful, and the mostly static scenes used for interstitial transition are also gorgeous.

I’m loving this. Loving it.

And yeah, it is gorgeous. It may well be the most striking game I’ve played in term of visuals (art style, etc). It might even deserve the overused title “visually stunning”. I’m super impressed. And the gameplay is really good - the different characters are indeed different in a variety of pretty awesome ways.

If I have any complaints so far, I’d say the localization is sometimes a little… “unhinged”? I get that a “literal” translation from Japanese sometimes may feel a little repetitive and dry for English-speaking audiences, but sometimes the translations in this game are a bit too creative. It’s not everywhere, mind you - and thankfully it mostly avoids the trap of using current-day slang to sound hip, like in other recent translations (cough Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising cough) - but it interprets more than it should often enough to be noticeable, even to someone with a really limited knowledge of Japanese like myself.

Sounds like this is a pretty big hit on Steam, outperforming Persona 3 Reload and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth by a lot, and both of those are doing series best numbers for their respective series too.


For good reason. It’s a lot better than I thought it would be. And Io might well be the best mage in an action RPG game since Dragon’s Dogma. I dig that.

I’m just surprised that people have so much money to spend in January/February. I guess they aren’t all tapped out like me in December on bargain sales. Instead they can spend full price on Palworld, Yakuza, Prince of Persia, Persona and Granblue, all well received. Ok, Price of Persia is apparently not doing well despite great reviews. Just like Rayman Origins and Legends. That studio can never catch a break.


So I’m a bit confused, but do I have this right: Granblue is a 2D turn-based JRPG from some well-known JRPGs devs from about ten years ago. It had a fighting game spin-off and now this is a 3D action RPG spin-off? But for all intents and purposes, it’s just a standalone action RPG, right?

Oooh! A standalone action RPG with an awesome mage character? Hmm. Given I kind of bounced off Gale in Baldur’s Gate, maybe I should try this one?

So, if you ever played Dragon’s Dogma and enjoyed playing as Mage or Sorcerer, then chances are very high that you’ll love Io. That said, she’s not the only mage in the game. Cagliostro is a 2000-year-old master of alchemy with powerful magic and basic attacks that basically create constructs not unlike Green Lantern. She’s fun and a pretty good support, but she plays more like a melee of sorts, so it’s not really normal mage gameplay. And there’s also Rosetta, who is a “tower” mage? She summons roses that have various effects depending on what she does - from support to damage. Really interesting archetype in itself, but not your standard mage.

There’s also Ferry, who is a summoner of sorts, but not really a mage. Still, the game has really interesting characters who mostly play quite differently from one another, and some spectacular set pieces, so I recommend it if you’re curious. On that note, there’s a demo out, so you can have an idea of what to expect before investing money or time.

So whereas I expected a JRPG that was going to throw a few hours of exposition in my way, I am surprised at how quickly Granblue Fantasy Relink takes off and gets me to the button mashing and swirling graphics and monsters dying. It’s still starting out as gradually as any RPG, introducing systems one by one. But rather than dribbling out content, it’s pretty much a firehose! I’ve got tons of characters to mess with, twice as many as I can squeeze into the party at once, and they all seem very different, and it’s actually a little bit insane. I especially love how you’ve called out the spellcasters, @rhamorim. I’m really excited to explore these different characters.

In fact, it reminds me of another game…

I feel as if I’ve played this game before. It was called Xenoblade Chronicles. I don’t say this to be critical, but rather to say this is exactly what JRPGs need to do to grab my interest: a stable of interesting and distinct characters in an expansive and colorful setting. I played all the way through the first two and I trailed off during the third one, which had less to do with the game and more with my circumstances at the time. I’ve always had this vague inkling that I should go back to Xenoblade 3, but now I’m more than happy to push further into this little Granblue thing.

My main issue so far is that I’m in Chapter 4 and hoping the game is going to open up. So far, it feels very small and limited while it’s showing me the ropes. I’m ready to be turned loose already!

EDIT: Heh, I just found the Quest Counter with all the Undertake Quest options and Fate Episodes. Seems like an instance of being careful what you wish for!

So I think I’m ready to just uninstall Baldur’s Gate 3, which has been variously a temptation, a chore, an enigma, and a millstone to me. And I’ve barely made any progress in it. But this little Granblue ditty, in comparison, just flies by and I barely even notice it.

I guess this is what happens when JRPGs meet action RPGs instead of the traditional turn-based combat? Obviously a glib appraisal, but given my limited context with JRPGs, it accounts for how quickly and easily Granblue Relink plays. I’m now in the stage where I’m sampling the different characters, which involves not just playing them, but watching them: seeing how the AI manages them and picking up a few tips and tricks.

For instance, “Rosetta” is a chick who drops roses around the battlefield. Imaginative, I know. It’s a JRPG, so keep in mind there’s a linguistic barrier here! But her roses work kind of like pets, where she later decides whether they buff, attack, heal, or whatever. The placement of the roses is what she always does, but the management of the roses on the battlefield, and their varying functions that unlock as she levels up, are what makes Rosetta distinct from the other characters. And there are at least 20 characters in this game – I pulled that number out of my ass based on glancing at the lists of unlockable crew members, but I’m pretty sure it’s about 20 – with only four in the party at any given time.

So even if the game is getting repetitive – I don’t know if it’s because I’m in the early game, but Granblue isn’t shy about reusing level assets! – the stable of characters should keep the gameplay interesting. Which is how any good action RPG works, Western or Japanese. I can see that being the case here, even if the leveling up isn’t as spectacular and gear-centric as it is in a typical action RPG, because what Granblue offers that a typical action RPG doesn’t is the party-based combat.

Which, again, just brings me back to Xenoblade Chronicles. I also played a Final Fantasy with party-based real-time combat (I don’t recall the number, but it’s the one that begins with the boy band on a road trip in a convertible, none of which I’m making up!), so maybe it’s unfair to think of real-time combat as a Xenoblade thing when I’m sure other JRPGs have flirted with it. But, hoo boy, do I like the Xenoblade and now the Granblue battle systems, and specifically Granblue for how the various characters participate in it, how they have their own contributions to any given battle.

I’m mainly focusing on Io right now because, as a spellcaster, she’s good for standing back and watching the other characters work. And there is a lot going on during battles. A lot to watch.

Anyway, day three and I still haven’t ragequit this! I’m in Chapter 5, but I’ve been plugging away at the character stories, sampling occasional sidequests, and sort of noncommitally pushing the storyline forward. Frankly, we’ve already got one teenage anime chick in the party, so I’m in no hurry to rescure the second one.

That would be Final Fantasy XV. ;)

There are other ranged characters (Eugen and Rackam, mostly, but some other characters like Ferry and Rosetta can keep some distance too), so if you want some variation while keeping a ranged perspective, the game has that covered, too. ;)

Yeah, it’s a very breezy game. I’ve rolled credits, but there’s a lot of additional stuff to do after the first ending. I’m mostly motivated to unlock all the characters to see how they feel. There’s a girl with dual whips who summons ghosts and they sends them to beat up monsters!

And since you mention Final Fantasy, FF16 actually has a lot in common with this game in how the combat works, only expressed in a single character.

Are people playing this on console or PC? If PC mouse and keyboard?

That would be Ferry.

I’m playing on PC, but with a XBox Series controller.