FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
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Wed, 6th Jul 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Grand Kingdom is a new tactical RPG that you can now play on the PS4. With that being said, is this game accessible to everyone? Grand Kingdom is best described to be an old-school style of RPG. It is unlike more modern video games that offer action style of gameplay like the recent Final Fantasy video games. This game's combat style goes back to the classic turn-based system that older fans might enjoy.  Before I talk about the gameplay, the premise of this game is pretty simple. You control a group of mercenaries at the beginning of the game and all they really do is fight to earn money. The group then gets persuaded to earn more money by helping out a Kingdom. From there, it's a battle for them to gain new territory and evade invasions from the enemy.  Since this is a tactical RPG, this is unlike a Final Fantasy game where you can explore on foot and visit towns and exotic locations. The bulk of this game is looking on a battlefield where you move around like a chess piece. The battlefield is unique because you only have a finite number of turns. If you use up all of your turns, it's game over.  It's kind of like playing a board game without the dice. The battlefield is not only littered with enemies, but there are chests to open and traps to avoid. If you get caught in a trap, your whole party could lose health. You can also try and avoid facing up against enemies, although sometimes you're forced to face them as they are blocking your way.  When you engage an enemy on the battlefield screen, it turns into the turn-based combat system. You have up to four different party members that you can customise. The enemy forces however can have more than four members and can also call for reinforcements.  The combat system is pretty unique because I have never really encountered it before. Each team is on opposite sides and they stand on three lines. You can only attack an enemy if they are on the same line as you. You have to move around your teammates often in order to get to the enemy. This is easier said than done because Grand Kingdom is the first RPG I have ever played that includes friendly fire. There were often times I would strike using my big axe and accidentally hit all of my teammates.  Not to mention the enemy sometimes hides behind things like barrels and boxes making it harder for you to attack them.  Grand Kingdom also forces you to have a balanced team or else you are going to have a hard time completing fights. I remember I had a support person, magic user and two melee attackers. The fact that I had two melee attackers made it harder for me to kill off enemies from afar. I forgot to choose someone with a bow and arrow and battles were much harder because of this.  Outside of the gameplay, the overall presentation in this game is commendable. The voice acting is tremendous as it's full of energy and the actors bring life to the characters. I also admired that you were able to customise the appearance for your characters too. The anime style graphics look great as it feels like you are watching a cartoon.  In terms of flaws, this game may not be suitable for everyone. The turn-based style combat system is hard to get used to and you will get hammered if you are unprepared. Not to mention the game can get repetitive after a while since you have to battle enemies on the battlefield lots and lots of times.  As a whole, Grand Kingdom is a fun RPG for fans of the genre. However, the game might be too difficult for some people and the lack of variety in the gameplay will bore others. It's still worth playing if you are into older style RPGs.  Verdict: 7.0/10