Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising Open Beta #2 Impressions – Addressing Concerns and Unveiling Exciting Developments

    The skies are clearing and the skyfarers are soaring!

    Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising launches soon, and there has been much preparation for it. An online beta test for it happened in July, which many players got to experience. While there were positive things to say about it, there were also some concerns. As a result, Cygames announced another beta that would make improvements. Being a GBVS player myself, I gave it a try to see what changed. I played it heavily over the weekend and have much to say. With that said, here are my impressions of the GBVS Rising beta!

    GBVS Rising Beta – The Open Lobby

    The first thing you see when appearing in an open lobby in the GBVS Rising beta

    The open lobby Cygames created for GBVS Rising is just fascinating. I cannot believe they went above and beyond to create a quality social experience for this game. Compared to the original GBVS, this lobby is exceptionally massive! It has a couple of islands at your disposal and many content within them.

    In the center of the island, you have a lot of game stations to play in. There are also a lot of other floating islands around the area where many stations reside. You can use a glider to fly around the islands and find different ones to play at! There’s even an arcade area you can play in which has a jukebox!

    The jukebox area in the open lobby of the GBVS Rising beta

    One of my favorite things about the GBVS Rising beta is the soccer field! You and many friends can kick the soccer ball around and compete. I appreciate that they offered other things for you to do in the open lobby. It allows you to relax from fighting and find the joy of the game in other areas. Indeed, this is a vast improvement from Guilty Gear Strive‘s less varied and non-3D online lobby.

    Different GBVS avatars playing soccer in the field in the GBVS Rising beta

    This open-lobby system is just fantastic. I hope fighting games in the future adopt this kind of mentality when creating a lobby like this one.

    Gorgeous Character Select Screen

    The character select screen in the GBVS Rising beta

    I can’t stop watching this character-select screen and listening to its heroic music. Hideo Minaba’s elegant character art, the vertical character boxes, and the distant background sky all capture Granblue Fantasy‘s essence. It is a game about adventure, great character designs, and pursuing one’s destiny across a vast and magical world.

    I’ve always advocated for character select screens and how they should hook the player. For example, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike plays an awesome rap song in the background to excite players before battle. Released in 1999, 3rd Strike had significantly impacted players during a time when rap music was trendy.

    Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising tries to evoke that same excitement out of players but with a different tone.

    The Grab and Rising Strike Changes

    Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising Major Gameplay Adjustments

    Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: gameplay adjustments. Like I said, there were some concerns from players in the previous beta. One of the biggest complaints I and others had was about grabs.

    Gran grabbing Djeeta in the GBVS Rising beta

    Players could quickly react to grabs, which made throwing the opponent nearly impossible. This is an issue because strike/throw is an essential part of fighting games. Players can strategically expose their opponents by making them guess between throws or attacks. The following complaint people had was the Rising Strike mechanic.

    Gran rising striking Djeeta in the GBVS Rising beta

    GBVSR introduces a new guard break mechanic that had some concerns in the previous beta. Long story short, you could not react to this, and some players took an issue with it. A Rising Strike hitting you can potentially cause a significant loss of health. Some players suggested slowing it down for better reaction time and dodging. 

    With that said, when series director Tetsuya Fukuhara announced significant adjustments for the next GBVS Rising beta, players felt excited. I noticed they addressed many of our concerns when I played the beta over the weekend. We can’t react to grabs anymore, and they made Rising Strikes slower! This will allow for a more layered defense that players can enjoy.

    Training Mode is Solid

    The system terminology and glossary menu in the GBVS Rising beta

    The training mode in GBVS has always been solid, but GBVS Rising adds more to it. One of the things I like is that they added a system terminology and glossary feature. This mode of training allows you to go through the list of terms and familiarize yourself. This is an excellent way for casual fighting game fans to get to know some of the more confusing terms. The situational training feature is another one I like.

    The situational training menu in the GBVS Rising beta

    This new aspect of the training mode provides players with mini-game exercises to work on all the fundamentals. This is great as many players come into fighting games needing help figuring out what to work on. There is a lot to explore regarding the combat in this game. However, what if I told you there’s much more to enjoy with GBVS Rising than just the fighting? 

    GBVS Rising’s Grand Bruise Mode Is Insanely Fun

    I will be honest: this is the most fantastic addition to GBVSR! Like Fall Guys, this mode has players enjoying various party mini-games with many people online! In the GBVS Rising beta, unfortunately, we only had a few mini-games, but it was still so much fun! You join a group of players to race, collaborate, and survive against deadly threats! The GBVSR website says additional mini-games are coming, so look forward to them!

    This is the greatest addition to GBVSR because it introduces another way to enjoy the game. It also brings in a lot of players who might not like fighting games but love playing party games! More fighting games should do this to get more players to play your game. Those players will also eventually develop an interest in engaging with the fighting game side!

    GBVS Rising Beta – The Good News

    I’ve played this beta all weekend, and I can’t stop. It is so much fun and has brought me back to my love of GBVS. I hope many of you can find something you love about this game. Versus Rising doesn’t release until mid-December, so you have a lot of time to form your thoughts. 

    Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising launches on December 13 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam.

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