Grand Chase Heroes: The 2D PvP Champion
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Intro by Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
Hey this is DizzyPW joining in with Proxzor to give an updated look at a long-standing favorite among the 2D side-scrolling MMO crowd known as Grand Chase. The game has gone through some serious upgrades and introduced a bunch of new characters over the last year so SG Interactive convinced me to take a tour of their office in SoCal to give the game another look.
Now my sidescrolling experience is almost entirely limited to Maplestory with a splash of Elsword now and then so I was expecting to go into this title as a complete novice in comparison to my experience at more classic styled MMORPGs. They sat me down and put me on one of the newer characters Rin, a phoenix themed character designed with the help of the Grand Chase community (apparently the first of its kind and quite popular as a result!). They put me inside a player house as one of the members of the team explained the housing system. Despite her best efforts she couldn’t climb a series of clouds on the outside of the house to get onto the roof so she gave up and let me get my hands on the controls. Boy was I in for a surprise.
The control scheme in this title was a total nod towards the original Smash Brothers title that I sunk over 140 hours into! From the platforming to the double jumping to the character animations I felt like I was in some kind of anime arcade styled version of one of my favorite N64 titles of all time. I immediately hopped onto the roof on my first try and was ready to hop into the game.
Long story short they threw me on a GM level version of Rin to impress some of the newer players with my awesome gear. I was far overpowered for the starting zone so I decided to make a note to have one of my writers give the game a fuller inspection later (see Remko below!) and moved on to the next obvious phase of the game, taking on one of their most experienced GMs in 1 on 1 PvP combat of course.
I was caught with my pants down and blown away in the first round as the GM cut inside my defenses with Ronan, a magical empowered swordsman that Rin had no counter to once he got in range. However the map we were on had plenty of floating platforms to maneuver around so I learned quickly by the second match.
Utilizing rapid mid-range combos and blow backs I managed to unlock Rin’s true potential and keep the GM at bay throughout the second and third round to win 2 out of 3 in an intense match-up. If you’re skilled at twitch based PvP titles and love 2D fighting games along the lines of Smash Brothers than Grand Chase Heroes is definitely a title you can take to quickly and overcome your opponents with practice. In the end it all comes down to knowing yourself and knowing your opponent, and learning to unleash hyper combo finishes like the pros do at Grand Chase's officially sponsored tournament events. At that I leave the article to Proxzor to look deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of this title.
Grand Chase Full Review
Thanks Dizzy! When I first looked at an overview of this title my first thought was there aren’t many free-to-play side scrolling MMORPGs and especially not with well-designed Player versus Player content implemented. Grand Chase Heroes is the game that fills that niche perfectly and balances its gameplay and promotional efforts around it to try to get this group of players really addicted. I was intrigued to see Grand Chase’s level of customization on a 2D title and wanted to see if there was more to this game than just a pretty cover. I’ll admit I’m guilty of being one of those players that never cash shops unless it alters my character’s looks, because who doesn’t want to look cute, tough, and handsome all at the same time? The addiction soon followed.
Grand Chase Heroes is definitely on par with many other titles in its ever increasingly competitive 2D brawler genre. However it differentiates itself with a huge cast of characters and focus on PvP! Now what might the catch be to this perfect sounding game? Well the game lacks a huge playerbase during the early levels. I don’t really understand why there aren’t that many people playing this game at all, by the looks of it this sounds like the perfect PvP-centric title for a fan like me.
Unlike many other games it doesn’t really matter what character you play in Grand Chase Heroes. You can always switch to another class you like and aren’t bound to one at a time. You can even unlock and purchase more classes to play with so by design the game encourages variety. I decided to play with Elesis because who doesn’t like cool looking swords in a bad ass outfit, right?
After you are done sorting out the controls in the practice area it is time to pick up your first mission and head over to the trial areas to test out your skills. Now don’t forget to check the equipment screen because you will find a lot of equipment and items during your missions that impact gameplay in a big way. You will start with an equipment set for each class you currently own so you already feel like a hero. The goal in Grand Chase Heroes is to do missions either on your own or together with other people to progress through the story and unlock more characters/equipment/random housing furniture. You can create rooms for the specific missions and wait for players or you can team up with people that are already waiting. Unfortunately you might have to solo a bit at the start or invite some friends to try the game out with you as it was slim pickings at the hours I played.
Like Dizzy said, the game controls are a tad bit outside the MMO norm and took a bit of getting used to for me. The pacing felt rather slow at first until I discover that just like in Smash Brothers, dashing is your way to go. Yes prepare yourself to bash those arrow keys to each side because dashing is the way you walk in this game. If you just move your character without dashing it is going to take you a loooooooooong time before you finish and empty the room. The various monsters that you will encounter will drop coins and boxes. These boxes have a wide variety of random goodies to give out based on luck of the draw. And as usual based on my average luck I got nothing worth a dime.
After you are done slaughtering the various stages of monsters it is time to head up into the last stage and cuddle the boss. In every mission/area there will be an end boss that you will have to defend. As a melee class prepare to cuddle this boss from start to finish and don’t freak out if he shoves you to every corner of the room. Luckily you can take a hit and at least the early bosses tend not to be able to outlast you so long as you don’t panic…
Did I say already that Grand Chase Heroes has top notch graphics? The game is really cute looking and has aged well over the years to still be a beacon of the power of 2D titles. All the areas feel rather unique and all the variety of mobs is not only great, but many don’t just feel like rehashes of standard monsters you’ve faced in past MMOs. The game also has a lot of cosmetic items if you’re like me and need that extra bit of style, though the basic gear is well designed and never made me cringe wearing it. To play Grand Chase Heroes you will need the following computer specifications:
Windows © System XP
Pentium IV 1.5GHz
512MB or more
2.5GB HDD capacity
DirectX 9.0c Runtime
GeForce 6000 series or better
Windows © System XP
Pentium IV 2.8GHz1024MB or more
3.5GB HDD space free
DirectX 9.0c Runtime
GeForce 7000 series or better
The Interface is really slick looking and doesn’t take away that much of your screen. In the upper left corner you will find your character along with your health and mana bar. This mana bar is actually some sort of special action bar to explain it at its best. If you fight monsters you will gain mana which you then can use to do special attacks with. In the bottom of your window you will find the experience bar and on the right side of the screen you can find skills and items.
Player Versus Player
As a Beginner there isn’t a huge selection of equal powered players looking for a fight. In fact there is no one at all so you are bound to go to the free channel. And as you guessed this means you can fight people that are all a different level which means it takes some time to find a worthy opponent. Most people are all high leveled so it will require you to level up some time before you are even close to taking down people. There are two modes that you can play, the first one is the usual fighting mode where you can fight together against each other to be the last cute character standing.. The other one is Siege of Heroes; to sum this up in a sentence I’d call it the Grand Chase version of DoTA.
Grand Chase Heroes is a good looking, well developed title that remains a contender for king of the 2D realm even after all this time. Unfortunately the game isn’t really that popular and I feel it’s partially due to the cash shop creating a bit of division between the haves and have-nots. Despite this set back I still had plenty of fun just messing around with the core game mechanics on the start missions and PvP modes. If you’re willing to dedicate some time (or better yet bring a friend), you can grind through the lonely early levels rather quickly and find people to party with in no time.
Again it’s hard to emphasis enough how much more enjoyable this title is with friends so I’d say ask around to find some people that want to try out a solid 2D PvP focused title before jumping in. This game even has a small eSports scene going on so maybe your group can train to someday top the world charts!
Graphics - 4
Controls - 4
Features - 3
Customization - 5
Community - 2