+Lane based combat is fun, exciting, and fresh with its Strategy RPG take
+Amazingly beautiful art style that’s quite enjoyable and easy on the eyes
+An amazingly nice and settling score that is quite enjoyable
+Character classes feel unique and fresh
+Customization options were quite plentiful and unique
-Voice acting is ‘meh’ at best.
-Story feels as if it drags on versus being enjoyable
Review Summary: Grand Kingdom is an enjoyable adventure that takes players across a world that is at constant war. Bringing in high-risk with high-reward turnarounds. The game enthusiastic brings in a new and unique form of turn based combat and strategy elements. The title is a hidden treat for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita owners.
Take a look at any game on the shelves right now and you are probably going to run in on a rather familiar take on the same elements. It’s a trend the industry has grown used to. We’re seeing plenty of game clones when it comes to titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Minecraft (anyone else sick of builder games?), and even Pokemon titles. There’s zillion’s of spin-off titles that follow them. However, what happens when a game such as Grand Kingdom comes in and offers a unique twist on the strategy and RPG like elements.
Adding in traditions of the renowned Strategy RPG genre, Grand Kingdom comes in unexpected in every form of its elements that offers up for fans to enjoy. The game is a rather nice treat for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 owners. Getting our hands on the Beta that was sent out not long ago, we got some early impressions in on it, ones that taught us the game takes on the elements of your traditional JRPG while trading out some ideals from strategy titles. If that doesn’t sound familiar, then you are getting ready for a rather large, but enjoyable time sink for gamers.
If one were to want to get in on the games rather confusing story, it’s easy to break down. The world the title takes place in is a constant war, one that is filled with small militaries trying to fight off groups of mercenaries. Taking its approach as an anime-like title, Grand Kingdom’s turns into a hunt for constant money for our protagonists. The story? It’s too easy to pick apart thanks to its traditional anime-like style where players can face palm rather quickly so that they may be able to work towards a possibility of diplomacy. Unfortunately this takes away from any hope at a rather climatic story, one that brings in the tragic nature of this games visionary world of war or even the ideals of loss and damages war can cause.
Neglecting on these facts, Grand Kingdom is a rather enjoyable form of gameplay mechanics as war remains endless as ever. While there are plenty of characters that may seem rather integral to the world, there’s always the consistent threats of “kicking the enemies ass” as players take to each chapter. If it makes any sense, the whole war isn’t as serious as the game would have you believe in the long run. Sad, huh? The real part of the game that draws eyes isn’t the games lacking story, but the games rather intuitive combat design that takes on old RPG elements, and strategy elements.
Turning away from the games story that can quite easily be ignored, the mechanics, customizations, and even a fresh breath of air in a known genre. If you are a fan of board games, Grand Kingdom takes on a unique spin of a table top game as players will move their pawn across the battlefield that is set before them. Doing so will bring characters into combat randomly or with pre-place enemies if players don’t fall into traps or treasures. Nothing welcomes a player into a tile-set like watching a character getting themselves blown into smithereens by an enemy cannon.
When merging into combat, Grand Kingdom begins to truly shine as players will find themselves given three lanes that their team will be placed on. These lanes represent rows in which both friendlies and enemies will be placed upon as they duke it out to win. Given a set amount of “action” points, players will find themselves scurrying across battlefields while attempting to beat enemies into the ground. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Using characters like the archer, players will find themselves given chances to use certain abilities such as the games archer class using an ability like “Longshot” where the character will nail a single enemy. While classes such as the arcanist can send lightning bolts and fireballs across the lane. The downside? These attacks can actually harm friendly members if they are in the way of their caster.
While combat may seem rather linear with characters such as the arcanist, Shamans, Witch, and even the Dragon Mage offer varied combat – Grand Kingdom is fresh as players will find themselves with plenty to do across the entirety of the game. Thanks to the familiar art styles of Chiz Hashii that brings in beautiful details and character animations, the game offers screen-filled popping life to the entire game while character portraits also remain rather alive as well as animated. This is easily accented with some of the best music you’ll hear within the game, something that was brought to life with Odin Sphere Leifthrasirs composer – Mitshuiro Kaneda. Now if only the actors could have put as much love into the game as the composer and artist did.
Overall, Grand Kingdom is a game that offers a fresh breath of air for players that decide to give this game a chance. This will definitely be a game for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 owners to get their hands on if they give it the chance.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.