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Grand Fantasia review


Grand Fantasia review

Publisher: Aeria Games

Genre: anime style MMORPG

Play Grand Fantasia for free

"Grand Fantasia is worth a definite recommendation. Provided that you can put up with those slightly-annoying nuances, you'll find a lot to enjoy in Grand Fantasia.

Grand Fantasia "Grand Fantasia is worth a definite recommendation"" reviewed by Jeffrey Davis, Written on Rating: 4 stars


Trust me on this: I've definitely seen my fair share of MMO games that are so far off the road that you don't know what to expect right away. Or those with surprise twists in the means of your average tutorial missions (the pre-credits implementation from Vindictus comes to mind here). Or those with surprise, in-your-face extremities that dump you into a double-take situation. But when I stepped into the role of a so-called “sprite messenger” in the world portrayed in Grand Fantasia, I certainly wasn't expecting anything like this before I started playing the game for this Grand Fantasia review.

Grand Fantasia town

...Something for everyone

Grand Fantasia, like so many of the MMO games inspired by the anime visual style, has charming, colorful visuals that remind me of so many pan-Asian imports that you'll find in everything from Dragonball to Pokemon with that special flair that makes the visual style into the friendly, “everyone in the house” aspect that it evokes thereof. You'll also find those simplistic elements of friendly, “something for everyone” dialog and content that makes this one of the more family-friendly MMO titles out there, as opposed to some of the upper-deck maturity in games such as Shaiya and World of Warcraft that would be more of a nuisance to the underage crowd. There's definitely something for everyone in Grand Fantasia, and a full truckload of surprisingly-charming monster designs and in-your-face shenanigans that will evoke the occasional sens of hilarity that you might not be expecting to come over from the left side of the field. Indeed, from the very moment that you start your journey you're going to see everything in the book show up in front of you – sans the kitchen sink, of course.

Grand Fansia review

Painful start

But first off, I need to make a big confession thereof: actually getting started on this journey wasn't entirely painless, or at least in the way that I was expecting. For starters, the downloader for the game absolutely will not function like it should under certain specific conditions that I haven't quite figured out yet – which, as a result, would ultimately require me to either locate another means of downloading the game, or use another computer as an intermediary source for the installation files. This wasn't immediately apparent just from the download page however, as someone on the inside had somehow decided to drop the axe onto the download mirror links – and thus woulds end up forcing me to locate an alternate source of files in order to start downloading the game, which I didn't manage to locate until I got into the relevant discussion pages thereof. That's definitely not a good way to make a first impression of course, but once I got a functionally-usable set of installation files and had the game set up correctly it was all good to go.

Another tricky element of Grand Fantasia is in its centralized calling card, in this case being the sprite system. As it turns out, those little suckers are very easy to screw over the head. If left unattended for too long, your sprite will very likely be so pissed off that it will not respond to a summons call, and will even gripe and grumble about it. You'll definitely have to keep a close watch on how your sprite feels about you, or the little sucker will act as if it doesn't even give a rat's backside about you. I'm dead serious about this. Those little suckers will get so mad at you if left idle for too long that you're probably going to have to shop around for some good consumables that will help your sprite feel better about you before you can do much of anything with it should you even dare to allow the whole entirety of the situation to go that far. Consider this to be your first and only warning thereof.

Grand Fansia review

the Positives

That much being said, there are many positives to share in regard to gameplay in Grand Fantasia. Combat is as easy as “target your foe, right-click to commence battle.” Simplified enough to be understood immediately, and very easy to do right away. Traditional “left-clicking to move around” is also standard in Grand Fantasia, though you're also free to use the WASD approach whenever you don't need or want to pick a fight with anything (or anyone), or if you simply need to escape from the potentially-devastating consequences of an unintentional enemy aggro situation gone wrong, or one of the same that you simply can't handle on your own for whatever reason thereof. Triggering NPC conversations is also just as easy (and set to the same controls thereof), and the NPC dialog is very easy to understand and progress through (despite the fact that I would have preferred the labeling of the button provided for closing out of the dialog for a post-quest debriefing to have something more sensible than “cancel” as its label (something like “done” or “close” would make a whole load's worth of better sense thereof).

Grand Fansia review

Sense of humor

Grand Fantasia also manages to have an extreme sense of humor with a full dump-pile's worth of the entire game, even going so far as to include a few of the enemy types within the entirety of the head-rushing insanity overload. For example, so-called “smiling crabs” will have a happy-faced emoticon on their shells. Worm-like enemies may have ringed bull-nose faces on them, along with various names to match up to their looks (with “cowterpillar” being one of the biggest offenders in this category, not to mention one of the best such examples). Slime-like enemies aptly known as jelly rabbits have loose ears that are similar to their namesake, putting even their old-school, happy-faced console RPG equivalents to shame. Oh yeah, and that opening animation following your character creation is so bat-blank crazy that I could have split a hole in my jeans simply on account of the in-your-face insanity factor thereof. Not to mention that I'm not making any of this just come the hell up and out of my own friggin' head. This is so hilarious to the extreme that you just might end up doing a complete double-take (as in “did I just see what I think I did?”)

Grand Fansia review

Grand Fantasia review : The verdict

All things considered, Grand Fantasia has a lot of surprises, has the simplicity of practically any MMO out there, and despite some issues with getting things started (and with its “sprite messenger” element) has a few creative touches that you may not be expecting. Grand Fantasia is worth a definite recommendation (provided that you can put up with a extremely personality-sensitive companion) and offers a fair bit of in-your-face shenanigans that give the whole of the experience a surprisingly-charming personality that will probably evoke a smirk, smile or even a moment of pure hilarity that you otherwise wouldn't expect were this to be your average, dead serious MMO experience. This is truly one for the whole family (or even the “young at heart”) who are looking for something on the “road less traveled” in the MMO genre, and shines in nearly every single way despite any flaws thereof. Provided that you can put up with those slightly-annoying nuances, you'll find a lot to enjoy in Grand Fantasia. Case closed.

Jeffrey Davis
 © 2012

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