Grand Kingdom is an upcoming strategy RPG from NIS America, the developer behind other strategy RPGs such as Disgaea and Phantom Brave. One might assume based on the developer’s pedigree, they would already know whether or not Grand Kingdom is a game for them. However, in the short amount of time the Beta allowed players to explore the many facets present, I discovered that Grand Kingdom isn’t just your typical NIS America SRPG.
To begin, you start out Grand Kingdom being regaled by the staggeringly impressive score. The developers were clearly aware that the music featured in the game is fantastic, as they practically show it off in the early moments of loading up the game with flashy visuals being presented in time to the staccato intro piece. It’s a pretty grand sign of what’s to come. As an aside, the music only gets better from here on out. Audiophiles will definitely enjoy this when it comes out.
Getting into the game proper, you play as the commander of a mercenary group known as… Well, whatever you want to call them. You are invited to join The Guild, a literal guild of mercenary groups that work together in order to help preserve, and conquer, the known world. Unfortunately, the beta didn’t let me get much further than that in the story. However, it showed enough that I was at least intrigued to continue.
However, what the beta showed off plenty of was the gameplay. Players control a game piece as it is moved across the map. On the map, they can use skills that have various effects on the map itself, or even find secret passages. However, the battle system is where Grand Kingdom really shines. Rather than the typical SRPG style of an isometric map to order your troops on, you are instead given a side view map with three planes. You are able to control your party members directly in order to position them on any of the three planes to launch attacks, set traps, or cast spells. The battle system is actually quite impressive in action and very engaging. Some battles play out in a series of direct conflicts, resulting in the winner being whoever survived the onslaught, while others can turn into strategic fights where a well placed trap can save you from losing.
A lot of this strategy also comes from the classes, of which four were available in the beta. While going over each class might be a little redundant, I’ll save you the trouble and describe one: the warrior. The warrior is incredibly simple in that it only has two main abilities, attack or defend. However, in those two options are a world of possibilities. For one, warriors almost always go first in battle. When I first started playing, I found myself rushing up and wailing on the enemy to get a few good hits in. However, later on, I began finding value in defending on certain planes instead. This is in part due to an energy gauge that grants characters a limited number of actions before their turn is over. You can beat an enemy within an inch of their life, but it leaves you vulnerable because almost no energy is left to go into your guard ability, an auto-move that happens at the end of every combo the warrior uses. On the other hand, if you immediately guard, your warrior is an immovable wall until his or her next turn. All of the four classes I played with had interesting strategies to think of such as this one.
The real meat of the demo came in its multiplayer. Grand Kingdom has a robust online multiplayer where players sign up their mercenary band to lead the charge in wars between the four great nations of the world. Players can either dispatch troops in these wars, or participate directly in these wars after signing contracts with any of the four countries. Unfortunately, the Beta did not allow for more than three online battles a day, so it is difficult to get a gauge on how well it performs as of yet. However, I can at least give you a rundown of how online battles work. Forts are found around the map that players move their pieces to. At each fort, a fight will commence against an enemy party. The winner gets to keep the fort. In addition, you can see online players moving around the map, and any contact will result in a fight against a computer AI controlled version of their party.
Ultimately, Grand Kingdom looks to be a very promising SRPG that I greatly look forward to really diving into when it officially releases on June 21st. Even though the beta is over, I highly encourage interested players to check out videos online of beta players who recorded their playthroughs as the game is worth seeing in action.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Get the latest game reviews, news, features, and more straight to your inbox
Thank you for subscribing to Brash Games.
Something went wrong.