Test Granblue Fantasy Relink – Great ambitions in a limited formula

A true pillar of the mobile gacha genre since its release in 2014, Granblue Fantasy has established itself as a strong brand that has given birth to several more or less successful spin-offs through different media, with an anime, a manga, and even a fighting game, which offered a new and refined version in December. Enough to attract a large audience even if this license still lacked a genre more likely to be appreciated by a large mass of players, that of action games and JRPGs on consoles. This has finally been done with Granblue Fantasy Relink, which must open up new horizons for the franchise after a particularly long development. A game that, on paper, could have served as a new foundation for its future, but which ultimately is just another spin-off. But a very satisfying spin-off.

Test conditions: We played more than 30 hours of the PS5 version of Granblue Fantasy Relink, enough to finish the game’s story, complete the majority of side quests, and access the endgame with missions that unlock a higher level of difficulty.

No Remedial Classes

In a decade, the gacha genre has considerably developed, making the promise of a JRPG in this world terribly tempting. Traveling alongside Gran, Lyria, and the crew of the Grandcypher on the celestial continents is quite appealing, as this world provides an adequate playing field for a great adventure. Relink could also have been a new entry point for newcomers to the saga, who could then discover the other adaptations that revolve around this universe. However, it is quickly understood that this is not the intended goal of Cygames, who apparently want to speak to their community above all else.

Do not expect to be told the early adventures of our heroes: Granblue Fantasy Relink offers a unique story set on a never-before-seen celestial continent, which fits into the broader storyline of Granblue Fantasy, like a parenthesis that wants to stand alone,. This means that the Grandcypher group – the flying boat that serves as the troupe’s headquarters – is already formed with characters whose introduction is completely overlooked. And if you don’t know who Io, Eugen, Rosetta, and the others are when you start the game, you won’t know much more about them when you finish the main adventure. There is, however, a glossary that underlines the important terms of this universe, which seems to be the bare minimum here.

Of course, for those who already know the franchise inside out, it avoids a certain redundancy by escaping yet another presentation of the characters and their encounters, but for newcomers, it’s more problematic. Especially in France, where the mobile game Granblue Fantasy has never been officially released, and where, consequently, the franchise is less known.

Out of Breath

Traversing the game’s central story gives the unpleasant sensation of jumping on the train midway through. It’s as if you were starting a classic JRPG by diving straight into its second act. This feeling is reinforced by the breathless pace of the story, with a rhythm that accelerates as if its climax could arrive at any moment. Relink begins in medias res and never stops, asking us to chain together spectacular battles and never giving its protagonists a chance to catch their breath (hence their lack of development). This is probably because, when it comes to putting on a show, the game particularly excels.

By going full throttle, Relink places us in a frantic race where we constantly fight creatures that are bigger, more dangerous, and more intimidating. All of this with staging that is completely unrestrained, with boss battles that a certain Final Fantasy XVI would not disown. It’s easy to come out of some of these battles with goosebumps, which is greatly helped by a truly satisfying soundtrack, featuring several types of very catchy sounds, even if some tracks have too short a loop for battles that can drag on.

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