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Played in 2024


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I think as far as a remake goes, they pretty much did everything right. However I also remembered the plot and characters being better and boy was my memory wrong.

Overall gameplay wise, it's pretty fun, simple action-lite combat where your characters have two skills equipped at first and then you can have access to 4 in total. Magic users can just cast any spell equipped via menu. I found the combat generally easy on the normal difficulty. Though there were times when an enemy would just wipe you easy if you didn't pay attention, very much a game where everyone tends to be glass cannons.

There's also the crafting system which while it's optional is pretty fun (and can be very busted) it's actually cool in that you can control your experience if you want to make the game easier by engaging into it early on. Though it can be RNG dependent which compelled me to save scumy so I can get what I wanted without wasting materials.

Graphics look great, they kept the sprite based look and while I don't know if this qualifies as 2D-HD like Octo, it's got that similar vibe. Overall it was a good decision to keep it like that. Music is also great and I liked the newer arranged tracks.

Which leads to QOL, they added a fast travel system and where you can see the pending personal actions or side quests which is handy. Enemies are now visible on the map so you can avoid/fight easier. And they made it so skill and crafting points are separate and easier to get which means you can break the game easier if you wish. You can also swap back to the older art in the menu of the other releases or the original sound track.

What didn't age well for me though was the plot and characters. While the character's aren't bad, they all have some interesting points, they tend to just fade into the background due to the fact that you can only recruit so many. So once you pass their important plot function they rarely say or do much of anything. And there wasn't any private actions added which means that affinity control has to be artificially done via items if you're going for certain endings.

The plot was kind of all over. It starts out simple enough but then it just kind of jumps the shark without smoothly transitioning from point to point, and the fact that the characters just roll with it just didn't make it believable within the context of the game or make it come together.

Overall though it's a fun JRPG and I mostly played a bit before bed. But it's not one you play for the plot but the gameplay and vibes.

I wasn't planning on picking this up but did. Had a pretty good time overall.

To start with the combat is fairly nice, fluid, and very flashy. There's a lot of characters to play with a lot of different styles. You have quick attacking characters, slow but strong characters, range characters, more support types, etc. You do only start out with a handful of characters and they're relatively slow to unlock more for awhile. Also there's no training/test room to try them out in the game that I found.

The battles are typically pretty short if your AI companions are all leveled up equally or you play with actual people. Most battles are only ~5 minutes so you can get through them pretty quickly.

Of course that can sometimes make battles not feel super satisfying since they're not typically very hard. It's not like Monster Hunter where you may spend 20+ minutes killing a new monster and after awhile you get it down to under 10 minutes. The environments in Granblue are pretty much just bland circle arenas so it's quick get in, fight, get out, without anything else to see or do.

There's also not a lot of complexity for both good and bad, some characters are more complex than others but they all have a relatively short ~8 skills and then a basic attack/combo button and a finisher/special button.

Storywise it's fine, it doesn't require you to have played the gacha or watched the anime but it can help. But overall the story is pretty generic anime/power of friendship which some people will enjoy more than others. For me I could take it or leave it.

Overall I think this was a pretty fun action game. There's some Monster Hunter DNA but with a lot of reduced grind and far more casual. But I also found that once I had my preferred character maxed that was about it. You can grind sigils to 'perfect' your build but it doesn't matter much or you can do other characters. So it didn't have the staying power of Monster Hunter for me.

Still I look forward to see what they do in the future or sequel.

Bit of a rough one to revisit. It held up a lot better in my nostalgia fueled memory than it did to replay it. I think the concept is still pretty solid between playing the MMO but still interacting with the forums and the 'real world' all while trying to solve the mystery of the game.

But it's a pretty slow start and Haseo can be a bit annoying the way he acts given his history, but him and the rest of the characters have pretty good arcs. Music is good overall, it has some great opening tracks.

Gameplay is kind of where it falls apart, it's pretty grindy and repetitive visiting randomly generated dungeons with similar environments and enemies over and over again. It's also very very easy with you mostly using skills/mashing attack. The cutscenes of the game still hold up well but the actual in game assets are pretty bland now a days.

It's an interesting experience but honestly after replaying the games it would be kind of hard for me to recommend vs many other RPG titles. I think it would be a good candidate for a real remake though, smooth out some of the plot points. Fix and improve the gameplay so it feels fresher and more dynamic and tone down the grind. Then you may have something pretty serviceable.