Granblue Fantasy: Versus Beginner’s Guideon March 2, 2020 by Conor Evans
Granblue Fantasy: Versus will be released soon in the West, and as a good boy who definitely didn’t buy the Japanese version of the game… I thought I would fill you guys in on what to expect with the game’s mechanics and characters. So let’s get started with our Granblue Fantasy: Versus Beginner’s Guide!
How Does Granblue Fantasy: Versus Play?
The game features a good variety of mechanics and special moves that you may have seen in other games and some which are completely unique to GBVS. If you were under the impression that this game was going to be too simple or easy, you are setting yourself up for surprise. This game is extremely neutral-based and corner combo’s can become extremely complex with all sorts of safe-jump setups and 50/50’s. This game is wild.
Special Attack Cooldown
When we think of special attacks, attacks like Hadouken or Shoryuken come to mind. These attacks are simply part of the characters kit which can be powered-up by the use of super meter in order to use an EX version of the attack. In GBVS, all special attacks have a cooldown that can be seen just under the characters health bar. The cooldown of these attacks vary depending on certain factors which are as follows:
- Using the easy input version will have a longer cooldown
- Using the technical motion will have a shorter cooldown
- Using the EX version will have a MUCH LONGER cooldown
This system of using cooldown’s for special attacks and still having a super meter is a unique feature to GBVS and this makes for some insane character-specific combos.
Much like most modern fighting games, you in the opposite direction of the attacker in order to block. Then you block high or low depending on what your opponent does. GBVS also has this, but there is also the option of the block button. So, for players used to Mortal Kombat’s style of blocking, there is that option. It should be noted however, that at the moment, holding the block button will automatically block cross-ups, which I believe isn’t intended and may be removed in the March patch.
To go with this, there is Just Guard. This is a mechanic similar to Guilty Gear’s instant block mechanic. This is done by blocking just before the attack is about to land. Doing this grants you additional perks such as building extra super meter.
Dodge and Cross Over
Now this is a really interesting one. GBVS includes the option of performing a spot-dodge or forwards dodge similar to the mechanics from the Super Smash Bros’ series. Now, it should be noted that the forward dodge isn’t exactly the same as the forward roll in Smash, but you get my point.
This dodge mechanic is something that may seem a little daunting at first, but with time and experience learning each character’s gameplan and adapting to individual players styles, this mechanic will swing the momentum of a match. Both forms of the dodge are also projectile invincible, so when fighting characters that want to zone you out and bait your jump attempts, just remember this mechanic.
The game also includes some more commonly used mechanics, such as super-jumps and proximity normal’s, but these are fairly self explanatory in comparison to those listed above.
Which Granblue Fantasy: Versus Character Should I Play?
On Launch, there are 11 characters to choose from in GBVS. You may be thinking that’s not many characters and you would be right. However, the characters in the game are all very unique. Even characters who have similar special attacks play quite differently from one another.
Gran is our poster boy, the Ryu of the game. He is equipped with a fireball projectile attack, a Shoryuken rising sword attack and a forward moving BOOT similar to a hurricane kick. Gran is designed to be a more simple character. He is the first stop for most new players and has been designed in a way to help those people. This doesn’t mean that Gran lacks any and all depth.. Gran wields a much shorter sword than say, Katalina or Percival, so Gran players will have to understand the range of his attacks. Gran’s game plan is to get in and stay in.
Everyone’s favourite Hot Lady Knight. Katalina has similar skills to Gran. A fireball, Rising sword Shoryuken and a forward moving attack to help corner the opponent. HOWEVER! Katalina plays in a much different style to Gran. Katalina has incredible range on her buttons and can poke at the opponent from a safe distance and then confirm from these pokes into some serious damage.
Katalina wants to get the opponent to the corner and jail them there. If the opponent presses a button, Katalina can whiff punish from a safe distance and put the fear of god into them. To be honest, I would happily be put in jail by this beautiful lady. I would be honoured, even.
This little gorilla is a bit of a monster with some serious damage. Charlotta is the smallest character in the cast, and when I say small, I mean really small. Some character’s projectiles will go over her head when crouching, so zoning her out is a bit of an issue. She is a charge character, meaning that she needs to hold back or down in order to store her attacks and then push forward and a button to unleash her special attacks. But this doesn’t stop this character from feeling any less aggressive.
She is also equipped with a Shoryuken and a DEMON FLIP! For the Street Fighter players out there, imagine if Akuma could combo off of EX demon flip into 70% of your health. Charlotta can do that… She terrifies me.
Lancelot’s archetype is a staple of almost all fighting games. He is the rush-down, mix-up, teleporting, staggering monster of the game.
Lancelot wields two daggers, so his range isn’t very good, but if you think keeping this character out it going to be easy, you’ve got another thing coming. He is equipped with numerous command dashes thanks to his unique skill; a low sliding attack to go under most projectiles and a teleport to get in on you. He’s a beast. It’s exhausting just trying to keep an eye on where he is, let alone trying to land a hit on him. I’m expecting to see a few of this good-looking gentleman at EVO this year.
A fellow Dragon-Knight to Lancelot and a beast in his own right, Percival boasts a massive longsword with great range. Like Katalina, Percival can poke from safer ranges and then get in on you with his forwards moving special attack. Which can then be cancelled into different options hitting both low and high, so keep your eyes peeled when blocking against this beautiful boi.
He has the ability to install power-ups throughout the match which make his special attacks better. For example, his fireball will travel full screen and his forward moving special will do more damage and make him safer on block. Along with a normal throw, Percival has a command grab, which does no damage, but can be followed up with a combo. Together, all of these make this character terrifying in the corner.
Oh Ferry. Ferry, Ferry. Imagine this for a second, my friends. Dhalsim from Street Fighter with a Shoryuken. Can you see it? Does it scare you? That’s Ferry. She specialises in long-range normal’s thanks to her whip. Along with that, she has command of ghosts in the form of animals named, Geegee and Beppo.
Geegee acts almost like a delayed fireball that hits on the way down and after a set amount of time, will detonate. This ability can set Ferry up for some serious 50/50 situations and she can force you to block and then go for numerous options to open you up while you’re stuck in blockstun. Beppo is her uppercut. I don’t think I need to say more about Beppo other than I would like for him to stop hitting me.
Where do I even begin with this character. Lowain is certainly unique. He wields a dagger, so his range isn’t the best, but this character is loaded to the brim with gimmicks that are guaranteed to catch you off-guard. He can call in his two brothers who will almost act like two projectiles moving towards you. One of the brothers goes low, the other goes high and while they’re running at you, Lowain is able to try and open you up as you get ready to block low or high. He’s also equipped with a parry, so he does have a decent “get off of me” tool.
What is really all comes down to as Lowain though, is his Super Skybound Art, in which he summons the primal Yggdrasil to come and help him. When he does this special, for around 7 seconds the game becomes something akin to Castlevania, where this un-killable giant waifu blasts you with energy balls, lightning, rocks and lava. All of these moves are able to be jumped or spot-dodged, but damn is it stressful.
This lovely lady, much like Lancelot, fills in a specific archetype you can find in almost all fighting games. The grappler. Ladiva is a close range beast who can make blocking extremely uncomfortable. Much like Zangief from Street Fighter, Ladiva’s weapon is her command grabs of which she has plenty.
A forward moving grab, a typical Spinning Pile Driver, and anti-air grab and her Super attacks. Not to mention, she could just mix it up and hit you with a normal throw that is universal amongst the cast. If you enjoy getting the reads on your opponents, Ladiva will certainly be a fun character for you!
If you thought this game was at all lacking in the waifu department, you were wrong! If you can tell what kind of person someone is by the character they pick, Metera-players must be the easiest to understand. Metera overflows with that ‘Ara ara~’ energy that we thirsty weebs crave. This lady was made for degenerates… This is my main by the way…
Anyways, Metera is a long-range specialist making expert use of her bow. She is the zoning character of the game and honestly a breath of fresh air amongst some of the overwhelming rush down characters. Her game plan is to keep the enemy out as best as possible using all the different arrows she has. Her far heavy normal attack, her high arrow, low arrow, arrow rain and then if you can force them into a corner, you can pressure them with her butterfly trap, which will let off an attack when one of Metera’s arrows passes through it.
See, another waifu! Zeta is honestly quite a technical character. She wields a spear, but she doesn’t necessarily make full use of the weapons length. Zeta’s uniqueness stems from her special attacks. The first being a forward moving attack which Zeta can change the direction of after the first hit. The EX version can follow-up twice after the initial attack, meaning not only does this do more damage, but Zeta can push the opponent into the corner even faster. Being able to use this move in the air also means that Zeta can create some very complex corner-specific combos which can set her up for a nasty mix-up on wake-up.
She is also kitted with a counter attack which can block high, low and the EX will cover both options. Zeta can then choose how to follow up the counter, each leading to different combo routes. Some are more optimal for damage, others for corner carry. Zeta is definitely one of the most unique and complex characters in the game.
Last, but certainly not least, Vaseraga. This fellow is easily the largest character in the game, which traditionally in fighting games, isn’t a good thing. His size means that he is the biggest hurtbox, so it has to be mentioned that this man does have some pretty bad match-ups. Nothing as dramatic as a 9-1, but certainly some that don’t swing in his favour. Vaseraga boasts the largest health pool in the game alongside Ladiva, and the highest potential damage output.
His uniqueness stems from his Soul Forge ability, which grants him 2 hits of armour when performing some of his special attacks. This is absolutely key to his game plan, as players will need to make good use of this in order to get in on character like Metera, which will try their hardest to keep him away from them.
Considering his extremely edgy and evil exterior, Vaseraga is really just a calm guy who loves to protect the people around him that may not be able to protect themselves. He really is just a lovely guy.
The DLC characters Beelzebub and Narmaya will be released soon and these two look awesome! I hope this has been a helpful peak into what GranBlue Versus has to offer. It is a genuinely unique game, that is a great amount of fun to play. Thanks for reading!
Join the discussion on our Granblue Fantasy: Versus Beginner’s Guide!
Who are you going to try first?
You can get the game here!