Grand Fantasia Review: Sprites Are Not Slaves!
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Grand Fantasia is a free to play semi (mid-ranged) cutesy MMORPGset in a magical fantasy world of utter proportions. The game may look old due to its "not so heavy" visual scheme but is actually an expansive new MMO game that grants players a lot of awesome features (Will be discussed further).
The story revolves around the mystic land of Saphael, a world preserved by magical sprites who have served its people as time passed. After gaining an insurmountable desire for power, the people of Saphael waged war upon each other, invoking the likes of demons that soon consumed the land in a fiery war for power (not exactly the type of story to compliment the cute characters). After the death of so many innocent people, the Sprites have once again retained balance and peace throughout the world (or so they thought). The present time is actually set long after the said war. Seriously, this tale is often found in serious-themed MMOs like Lineage but it was pretty catchy. Join us as we unravel the wonders of Grand Fantasia... OFF TO SAPHAEL!
Creating your character
If you're looking for a hefty customization feature, you definitely wont be disappointed with Grand Fantasia. The game has a good set of eyes, hair, and other facial features to keep your character from entering the land of clones.
The character designs are quite raw in my opinion, as some of the characters seem to lack depth when it comes to the shapes of their facial features (the jaw for example). The game is also gracious enough to allow players to see their characters in different sets of armor depending on the class chosen. At least that takes care of the compatibility problem.
Sprites: Tamagochi with rewards
One of the best features in the game is the ability to actually own a sprite. Sprites are created next to your character as you start your game. Much like your character, you can pretty much name your creature anything. Sprites actually make things easier for the player, gathering ores and creating materials/items depending on which particular skill you choose for them. Like your character, Sprites also level up whenever you train them to do what they were taught to do, either mining and so forth. Sprites are actually quite moody as they don't function that well when sad, so click the chat button to cheer them up when they're being EMO. Once your Sprite's exp bar is full, you can begin the evolution process by interacting with the corresponding NPC, giving them a whole new look along with various abilities to aid you in your journey.
Grand Fantasia has quests and a lot of it. You probably wont be able to do them all as you level your character. Although the battle between grinding and questing depends on the player's preferences, it's actually nice to see something that prevents this game from being "Grind Fantasia". Of course that option is really up to you though.
Graphics and Interface
The elements are quite simple and poorly rendered. I could actually say the game looks pretty similar to Flyff and Fiesta Online. One thing to be stated however is the game's usage of its graphic elements. The game actually looks good as its cell-shaded models to create a continuously changing environment, giving birth to diverse areas that will satisfy a player's craving for exploration. The armor sets look brilliant as well. A good example of the saying "It all depends on how well you use your tools". The details are not really that of a high end game's but if it looks good, it looks good. The spell or skill detail aren't that shabby for my taste, with lighting effects found in most cell shaded MMOs that are still being admired by MMO players worldwide.
To all PVP lovers out there, worry not for the game also has something for our warhungry fellows. If you really feel the need to prove yourself better than most of the players in your area, feel free to duel them to decide which one has the better toon. Still not satisfied? The game will also feature battlegrounds, catering a mouthwatering 15 vs 15 team deathmatch for players who are really hungry for some swashbuckling... or spell casting.
For PVE lovers, what good is a game without the comforts of having to slay bosses all around the world? Yes, the game has pitbosses scattered all over the world of Sapahel, each possessing their own set of awesome loot (from rare sprites to outstanding items). There are also instances that allows parties to prove themselves worthy as they venture across the dark depths of the dungeons in Saphael.
Become a hero of epic proportions: Hey dude! That statue looks like you O_O
Perhaps one of the most amazing features that caught my attention is the reward for beating heralds (bosses) in a specific zone. The game actually makes statues of your character to show the world what you've done for Saphael. Now, I don't know about you but I definitely want my statue there. Race ya!
It's a cute game with lots of awesome features, if I may say so myself. There's no doubt that Grand Fantasia is going to make its mark on the MMO industry, as it contains a good combination of features mostly missing in most games. It's actually off to a good start! The sprite feature is very unique and is equally fun as much as it is useful. Sprites made it easier for me to take on monsters, gathering loot and other materials from my downed opponents thus removing the generic downtime in killing monsters. Just make sure not to treat them like slaves, or you'll be looking at a sad and worn down creature.
There are instances, pattlegrounds, PVP, what more could you ask for? There's no doubt this game knew what features to employ, immersing players through a whole new experience as they venture across the fantasy world of Saphael. Young adventurer, your journey starts here.
- Eye candy
- Graphics still looks old
- Interface screws up sometimes (still buggy on certain occassions)
- Sprites become a chore at times (but its not too bad)