Grand Kingdom Preview

A Grand Enjoyment.

NIS America may have the answer to any of you Sony enthusiasts looking to add more than remastered game bundles to your library. Grand Kingdom is a tactical turn-based RPG with a ton of charm and an abundance traditional RPG elements. The single-player campaign takes you through a world fully realized in mesmerizing 2D artwork, well-executed voice acting, and a story set to unravel the mysteries of a broken empire.

As part of a guild you will form your own mercenary group to take into battle. The world of Grand Kingdom is comprised of several different areas that require different approaches when exploring them with your mercenary squad.

Each map you have to fight your way through has a set number of moves allotted to the player, and the primary goals are not to get defeated by the enemies you encounter of course and make it to your objective within the number of moves provided to you. Visible enemy troops will move along the map with you, forcing you to plan each move carefully in order not to be intercepted. It’s up to you to go after them head on or use your allotted movement speed to maneuver around them. There are also special troop skills that allow you to reveal hidden enemies or teleport past enemies if they are guarding a specific treasure.

The tactical combat in Grand Kingdom is by far its best feature, as it should be. Normally when you go from one tactical game to the next there’s always the chance that certain aspects may feel redundant, but there’s much more going on in this game than selecting a function and watching it play out on screen. When you shoot an arrow at an enemy, cast a spell, or swing a melee weapon at your foe, you have the ability to hit them continuously during the course of the attack. The ranged attacks require a little more precision with you having to time your strikes as a targeting indicator moves back and forth below your enemy, while melee attacks rely on mashing for multiple strikes.

Each combat encounter has four lanes set up for each of your characters, but anytime you can move your characters forward, backward, into other lanes, and even turn them around entirely if you need to attack an enemy who has broken through your frontlines. The amount of moves each character gets is determined by their action point meter, but if you are unhappy with your chosen movement, you can reset yourself to your original position as long as you haven’t initiated an attack. There is also a friendly-fire factor which cannot be turned off. If you cast an area-of-effect attack without moving a member of your team away from the target, they will end up in the line of fire and take damage so you have to plan accordingly.

Enemies can also block support buffs like healing spells if you are not careful. If you position your healer to aid a teammate with an enemy in between, you’ll end up healing the enemy instead of your squadmate. I learned that the hard way, twice. But I found that it basically forced me to think more strategically than normal when playing a tactical game. I appreciated the added difficulty of friendly fire because it makes sense that in the heat of battle, things are not always going to go as planned. I also found that sometimes it was necessary for me to cast a spell or area of effect attack that would damage a team member in order to win a battle.

In Grand Kingdom you are given the opportunity to recruit and customize your troops to a great degree. You can choose from a diverse set of outfits, hair styles, skin tones, and up to 24 different types of voices. Along with the long list of cosmetic changes, you can also rename them. Once you have a strong squad together you’ll be able to showcase your skills online with the PvP feature of Grand Kingdom. In the online mode players can align themselves with one of the four kingdoms and participate in battles to lead their team to victory. The online wars will also support cross-play, allowing PlayStation Vita players to battle against PS4 players.

With a beautiful 2D artstyle, a well-conceptualized single-player campaign, and online PvP features, Grand Kingdom has all the potential to be an instant classic for gamers looking for a challenging tactical-RPG that they can also play online or on the go. There are of course Special Editions available including the Limited Edition for $79.99 which comes with a poster, 128-page art book, transparent decals, and a Premium Otter Box. There will also be a Grand Edition for $99.99 that comes with the game on your preferred platform, hardcover Compendium of Resonail, soundtrack, 3 posters, 6 mini-art prints, decal sticker sheets, and of course a collector’s box.

Grand Kingdom will be available on June 21, 2016 for $39.99 on Vita and $59.99 on PS4.