At Tokyo Game Show there are, quite obviously, a lot of Japanese games. From mobile based games to indies and high end JRPGs, there was all manner of these to be found on the show floor I’d never seen nor heard of before, but one of these definitely had the largest presence.
Cygames’ Granblue Fantasy.Yep, that’s the Gran Cypher, a huge fantasy airship from the game. It sat next to a screen than managed to eclipse the likes of Sony, as well as a large castle like structure you could walk through. Cosplayers adorned the airships and booth, giving it this sense of grandeur I never expected of a game that I’d never even heard of until I walked in to TGS. But there it was, a turned based RPG for mobile that has been insanely popular locally, likely gaining the same sort of traction internationally very soon.
Cygames used the show to announce an anime tie in to the popular game, but also confirmed an international English release for March 2016 – something fans of addictive mobile games and Final Fantasy should surely
dread get excited for.
The game centres around the crew of the Gran Cypher, travelling from floating island to floating island, pursued by evil forces. You’re also travelling with a mysterious and magical girl – allowing you to summon creatures in battles – with ties to ancient beings. It’s all very functional with a deliberately loose story to allow for all the battles, grinding, levelling and exploring, but from what I’ve been playing it works fairly well for the model.What initially drew me to the game, before I even knew it was a mobile title, was the art style. It’s very reminiscent of early Final Fantasy, with stylised heroes of all classes ready to do battle. The music in the game is fantastic too, scored by Nobuo Uematsu, a name many will know from his work on the Final Fantasy series. Granblue Fantasy is presented in rather a stunning manner, looking great on the iPhone screen especially.
The gameplay is fairly simple and stock standard for a turn based title. Selecting moves, organising your party and gearing up your characters for new fights were all easy to get in to, even in the current Japanese release. Variety comes in the boss fights found at the end of each mission, charging you with taking on a huge foe with more than a passing resemblance to some of the biggest enemies in gaming. Sure, it’s derivative, but even a few days playing it I found enjoyed it a lot more then many of the other mobile games I have on my phone.
The game is currently only in Japanese, as I mentioned earlier, but if you’re wanting to give it a go ahead of the international release there’s quite a large English online community for Granblue Fantasy already. You can find a guide on setting up an account and installing the game on both iOS and Android right here, with a complete English translation of menus and screens as well as tutorials here.
Even from my short time with the game in Japanese, there’s a lot of promise and depth to be found here. Assuming it gets the right publicity, Granblue Fantasy could be the next big mobile thing to hit our shores – and with the huge playerbase already, there’s no better time than now to start looking in to the world of Granblue Fantasy.