Every time a PlayStation Vita review is sent my way, I am caught hoping that it will breathe new life into the handheld. This time, that game is Grand Kingdom from the folks at Monochrome Corporation. Does Grand Kingdom give us a reason to return to the Vita?
Grand Kingdom puts you in control of a band of mercenaries that are thrust into a conflict that can change the world. In this world, war is a constant, and you choose how events occur by contracting your services to four separate countries. As far as the story goes, there is a whole lot to read, but it just doesn’t go anywhere. Resonail, the continent that Grand Kingdom takes place on, never feels fully fleshed out at all. There are few to no characters to care about. The story was definitely a huge miss for me.
Fortunately, I really liked the gameplay. Most of the game will have you planning your next move from your base. From here you can accept quests, hire new recruits, shop for equipment, and much more. You will have numerous different types of quests to choose from. These quests include collecting, defending, attacking, and more. Once you accept a quest, the battlefield will be presented like a board game. You’ll have a certain amount of turns to complete your objective and will move along designated paths. Each move costs one turn and each battle costs numerous turns. Once battle commences, your four chosen units will be placed on three lanes with your enemies placed on the same three lanes across from your units. Combat reminded me of a mixture of the Tales games Final Fantasy Tactics. Each unit has a certain amount of distance they can move each turn and have skills based on their class. Classes include rogue, shaman, hunter, dark knight, and many more. Most, if not all of these classes do pretty much the same thing as in any other fantasy game. Overall, combat is my favorite part of the game. It rarely felt repetitive and is a total blast.
My second favorite part of the game is definitely unit customization. When you recruit a unit from base, you chose from the games numerous different classes. From here, you can choose their name and stats. After this, you can equip their gear and skills. The customization of these units really makes them feel more personal, which is always a great thing.
The last thing I want to talk about is how pretty the game is. Each character and environment is drawn beautifully. The animations are also done quite well. Spells look great, enemies look good, and everything just looks really good. It’s all complimented by a pretty solid soundtrack as well.
Overall, Grand Kingdom is a good game. While the story, characters, and world are very weak, combat, presentation and unit customization are very good. Grand Kingdom is not quite a Vita savior, but far from a bad title.
Final Score: 4/5