Grand Kingdom (PS4, Vita)

GRAND_BOXFour opposing countries have turned their island continent into a war-torn battlefield, and hired mercenaries protect the land rather than chivalrous knights.  You lead a squad of these mercenaries as you take quests from a guild on this continent.  Grand Kingdom is a game that mixes strategy, RPG, and action, and it’s available for the PS4 and Vita (reviewed on Vita here).

Right off the bat, one thing I really liked about this game is the beginning tutorial is interactive and relates to the story.  So you learn things easily by doing them and don’t have to wade through a bunch of exposition text.  After the tutorial you are accepted into a guild and can do a few things at base before setting out on your next quest.  Most importantly, you can hire out classes of warriors to be on your team.  These include sword fighters, hammer-wielding blacksmiths, long-range hunters, spell-casting witches, healing medics, and many more.  You can customize many aspects of your team, too, like the color of their outfits and even the tone of their voice!  You can also buy items at base, visit each country and talk to people in the plaza and buy items from them as well as visit a blacksmith to improve your weapons and armor. 

Once your squad is ready, you can take on quests.  Main quests progress the story, but there are also side quests to take on as well.  In quests, you view the action like a board game, and move your piece onto squares.  Certain squares may have treasure chests, traps, enemies, and more.  As you move, you’ll use move points but be careful as there is a limited amount of these points and if you run out, you’ll fail the quest (you’ll also fail if you are defeated in battle).  Avoiding traps and battling enemies also uses up move points, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.

Once you run into an enemy, a battle will ensue and the screen will change to a 2-D side scrolling perspective.  When it’s your characters’ turn, you will move them around and attack enemies in real time.  Just keep an eye on your action gauge and make sure you’re in a good position to defend when your turn is done.  While there is a bit of strategy in moving your players on the field, there is also quite a bit of action as melee fighters have combo attacks. Magic users and long range bowmen must press buttons at the right time so their spells and arrows hit the right mark.  And healers can throw potions that attack or heal, and you must be careful that they don’t hit your if they are acid potions or hit the enemy if they are healing potions.  This mix of action with the strategy make battles a lot of fun.  After winning you’ll earn experience points and maybe even pick up helpful items.

After completing a quest, it’s back to base where you start the process over again.  There is a bit of online functionality as you can go to war and battle other players, too.  The problems with this game are pretty minor, but I’ll go over them anyway.  While the tutorial is great for getting you started, they don’t do quite a good job about explaining other things after that, like the online features and such.  Plus, I felt some of the text was too small on the Vita, and the game has the potential to get too complicated for its own good.  But other than that, this was a pretty decent game.  Normally I don’t like strategy in my RPGs, but the mix of action in the battles was really fun, and I thought the graphics and character designs were neat.


Kid Factor:

Grand Kingdom is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, and Use of Alcohol.  While you do hit monsters and other soldiers with swords, hammers, and magic spells, they just get knocked back and disappear when defeated.  I didn’t really notice any blood.  One of your team members likes to talk about going to the tavern and getting drunk, and does curse a small bit.  And some of the female outfits are a bit skimpy. But it’s all presented in a fairly campy anime style.  Really the best reason why this game is better for older players is the high level of reading involved in the complexity of the gameplay, but I’d be OK with mature preteens playing this as well.

One Response to “Grand Kingdom (PS4, Vita)”

  1. I am totally buying this. It looks lovely.

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