Ever since Cygames and Arc System Works announced Granblue Fantasy Versus in late 2018, fans of ArcSys have been curious what it will bring to the table. Based upon the Granblue RPG universe, Versus brings a rich collection of characters together with the fighting game prowess that brought us Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. That said, Granblue Fantasy Versus is ready to deliver more than fan service for people who enjoy all of these things. It’s also looking like a beautiful and approachable fighting game for newcomers and old hands alike.
A Cornucopia of Inviting Gameplay
While the game was still in development at the time of this writing with only the closed beta to show for playable builds, we got plenty of looks at the game that provided a deeper glimpse into what we could expect, including an exhibition by Cygames Beast pro fighters Daigo “The Beast” Umehara and Keita “Fuudo” Ai. Granblue Fantasy Versus has a lot of systems that make it complex when it comes to forming personal strategies and fight plans, but it also features a number of things that make it seem incredibly accessible/approachable from the outset as you learn and grow in your familiarization with the game. You can check out the Daigo/Fuudo exhibition below to see what we mean.
The Ability Button
Granblue Fantasy Versus features an ability button - one of the most apparent examples of both an inviting system and one with a high ceiling. Here, you can’t launch character abilities like fireballs and jumping uppercuts freely. Instead, each is tied to a cooldown and, once used, runs on a short timer before becoming available for use again. This means players need to be strategic about when and where to launch these skills for best results and effective use. To make matters simple, there’s a dedicated ability button that makes these skills one button press away from execution.
That said, you can also apply technical inputs for each skill, like quarter-circle-forwards and forward-down-diagonals. Putting in the technical inputs decreases the cool down time on the skill, but in a tough combo, you might use the ability button to ensure you get the skill out more efficiently. It’s really something where you can use exclusively the simple end, exclusively the complex end, or a nice blend of both to form a style that fits your skill level.
Moreover, Granblue Fantasy Versus also features a block button, which is more commonly found in Mortal Kombat and a first for Arc System Works games. Players can still block via pressing back from their opponents, but by holding the block button, you can effectively put up a better defense against cross-ups where enemies attempt to rapidly switch sides to mix up your directional guard and get through for damage. It will obviously make cross-ups more difficult, but also help players with defense in difficult situations. It is unknown at this time of writing if directional or button blocking have any special benefits over one another.
A Character For Every Occasion
Outside of mechanics, the Granblue Fantasy universe just supplies an awesome well of characters for use in this fighting game. We already have rushdown players like Gran and Charlotta, trickier characters like Lancelot and Lowain, zoners like Ferry, and burly grapplers like Ladiva, but that’s only a handful of many, many more that could come to both the main cast and the DLC. The sky is the limit with this roster and there are a ton of great archetypes to be filled with what Granblue Fantasy has on offer.
Ultimately, it will remain to be seen just how inviting Granblue Fantasy Versus really is, but if early impressions were any indication, the game features a ton of beautiful art, stylish animation, simple and inviting systems, and a high cap in which to employ them. We’re looking forward to digging into the game when it comes and seeing if these things all fit together as good as they look.