When it comes to cozy or fantasy games XSeed Games has you covered. Over the last year, we have been enjoying a ton of the games Xseed has published; honestly, if you have checked any of them out, you probably are too. Throughout this past year, we have reviewed Xseed’s Trinity Trigger, Loop 8: Summer of Gods, Akiba’s Trip Undead & Undressed Director’s Cut, and Rune Factory 3 Special. Because of enjoying the games that they publish, we try to check out their games at whatever trade shows that we attend. At PAX West 2023, we had the opportunity to check out Granblue Fantasy: Relink & Silent Hope. Keep an eye out for our Silent Hope review when the game comes out on October 3, 2023.
First, we checked out Marvelous Inc’s Silent Hope. Before we dive into our thoughts on the game, we will share with you the Steam developer’s description.
One day, a terrible calamity struck a peaceful kingdom. In the chaos that followed, the people began to deceive and backstab each other. Their King used his powerful magic to steal away people’s ability to speak and hurled himself into the Abyss. His daughter, the Princess, cried an endless flood of tears until they encased her in a giant crystal teardrop.
Many years after these events faded to memory, seven rainbow-colored lights flew from the Abyss. These rays of hope appeared before the Princess manifesting themselves as seven heroes, ready to answer the Princess’ call for help. Why did the King abandon his daughter and his people? And why did he steal their ability to speak?
Seven Heroes, Seven Unique Fighting Styles- Choose from a motley crew of characters like the well-rounded Wanderer, long-range specialist Archer, or heavy-hitting Warrior to find whose skills suit your playstyle, and embrace new roles and abilities as you gain more experience. Use crystals found throughout the Abyss to switch characters or return to Base Camp.
A Home at the Edge of the World – Find new recipes and materials and return to your Base Camp at the edge of The Abyss, where each character has a unique job. From alchemist to blacksmith to cook, each hero brings something different.
Engaging Exploration and Dungeon-Crawling -Experience a new layout each time you enter the enigmatic Abyss, keeping you on your toes every moment you explore, and look out for Memory Rifts, where greater rewards — and challenges — await.
A Vibrant Storybook Aesthetic -The Princess narrates each step of your journey, giving the feeling of a fairy tale come to life — right down to the dark mysteries waiting to be uncovered in the visually stunning underworld.
When first jumping into the Silent Hope demo, the idea of a single-player dungeon crawler seemed like it could be a fun game to play on the go but compared to Trinity Trigger, it is missing the multiplayer element. With the game’s story revolving around seven heroes, it would be fairly easy to incorporate a multiplayer aspect. However, after playing the demo, we were told that the game was being localized for Western audiences. The art direction is cute with interesting level design and cute chibi characters. Based on the demo alone, I can’t say that I was particularly sold on the game, but it could appeal to certain demographics.
Silent Hope is set to release on October 3, 2023.
Granblue Fantasy: Relink
Just like Silent Hope, we are going to share with you the Granblue Fantasy: Relink steam description before we share our thoughts.
Granblue Fantasy takes place in the Sky Realm, a world where myriad islands float in a great blue expanse. Take your role as captain of a skyfaring crew, joined by a scrappy little dragon named Vyrn and a young girl with mysterious powers named Lyria. Together you sail with a colorful cast of crewmates, including kings and misfits alike, for Estalucia, a fabled island beyond the end of the skies.
In the Zegagrande Skydom, islands are guarded by powerful creatures known as primal beasts and winds carry tales of a secretive organization known as the Church of Avia. Unveil a web of intrigue reaching far beyond the borders of Zegagrande and engage in a battle for the fate of the Sky Realm itself.
Engage in real-time combat with a party of four in this character action RPG—choose from a diverse roster of skyfarers, each with their own unique weapons, skills, and combat styles. Teamwork makes the dream work with party-based mechanics such as Link Attacks and Chain Bursts to help you crush foes in spectacular fashion. Tackle quests solo or with the help of others for up to 4-player co-op and take down treacherous foes to score rare loot to further enhance your gear. Every enemy and party formation has its own strengths and weaknesses—the key to victory lies in working out how these pieces fit together.
Fast-paced combat not your thing? Assist modes can provide accessibility for gamers of all skill levels. Toggle on Full Assist to have all actions performed automatically during battle!
The Sky Realm is rich in lore and history. Browse Lyria’s journal at any point during the game to access a trove of writings on the world’s peoples, places, and more. In addition to the wealth of side quests available, Fate Episodes allow you to delve into the backstories of each member of your crew!
For a game that started development in 2016, it didn’t really feel like an older game. Instead, the graphics in the Granblue Fantasy: Relink demo were crisp and highly detailed. The only aspect of the game that feels slightly dated is the hack-and-slash combat style, but even that can still be fun. For the demo, we were set on a raid where we needed to eliminate monsters. Each monster is even stronger than the previous where you must work as a team to take down the foe.
Before going out on the raid, you can pick between multiple characters of varying difficulties; once you have selected your character, you can choose between Assist Mode or Full Assist mode. Assist Mode will help the player out while Full assist mode will let you just push buttons and it will do everything else for you. The base controls took a bit to get used to, but once combat started, the hack-and-slash glory started.
If an ally uses a Skybound art, you can chain it to deal extra damage. If all four characters unleash their Skybound Art, it activates the Full Burst attack. Once the Full Burst attack goes off, the enemy is knocked down and Break is activated. While an enemy is broken, the player is able to do extra damage to the enemy.
Honestly, the eight-minute demo flew by and I was sad when I ran out of time before killing the next boss. For a demo, the Granblue Fantasy: Relink demo gave a good impression of what the combat should be but I would have liked to have learned a little bit more about the characters. Out of the two demos, I found the Granblue one to be more fun. Granblue Fantasy: Relink is slated to be released on Jan 31, 2024; hopefully, there will be no more delays pushing it back further.