- Release Date: 2008
- Publisher: Aeria Games
- Developer: X Legend
Grand Fantasia (精靈樂章) is a Free 3D MMORPG that is developed by a TaiWan-based X Legend, the same maker of Eden Eternal. The game was originally launched in Taiwan in November 19, 2008 and the open beta kicked off on December 4 in the same year, subsequently introduced in China, North America, Japan, South Korea and many other countries.
MMORPGs are in full blossom in the market. A countless number of games are popping out one after another, and clearly, Grand Fantasia is also trying to take its share. But how will this game differentiate itself from its competitors like Luvinia Online, Fiesta Online when most games are the same? Let’s see what this dauntless challenger has in store.
Grand Fantasia incorporates all typical features of free-to-play Asian MMORPGs, such as kawaii manga-style graphics, cute character design, and glistening armors. It is also common to see sexy girls dressed in see-through tissue battling giant monsters or titanic bestiaries. If you have already laid hands on some games of this style, you will feel right at home in Grand Fantasia.
You are brought to the millennium when legions of evil monsters come from nowhere to attack the fantasy world of Saphael. The chaotic era calls for gallant heroes who can save the Gentiles. Here is where you come into play. The good side of this storyline is that it offers a deep immersion in the early phase of the adventure. However, the problem is that you are not really the hero in question, but a messenger who must help another race called the “Sprites” to strengthen themselves so as to defeat the wicked intruders. Maybe you have been quite familiar with this race, but unlike a lot of games, Grand Fantasia attaches indispensable importance to its role. First of all, we should know that sprites can go hunting, collect minerals, and grow plants around the world without having to be accompanied by others. Thanks to the objects they collect, they are able to craft weapons and armors that are much more interesting than those you might find in the shops! So their importance is self-evident.
Of course, these skills must be learned independently by your sprite, which will take a certain amount of time. And the creation of objects may well result in a discouraging waterloo if you fail to accumulate all the necessary items. To make things worse, you have to pay attention to your sprite’s mood constantly. Certain events during their activities can make them happy or sad. If a sprite is grumpy, there is a good chance that it will screw up the beautiful sword you have just acquired. This innovative system may bring a lot of trouble to you, but you will soon learn how to entertain your sprite. In addition, these cuddly travel companions are so charismatic that you can spend hours in the game without feeling bored. Finally, it should also be noted that those sprites can assist you in battles, allowing you to earn a few extra bonuses.
When it comes to battles, you will find everything particularly familiar. Three quarters of combat time is wasted on clicking on the target enemy and wait for him to die. At the same time, you also need to use a variety of skills. The fighting tends to last for only a short time, especially during one-versus-one duel. The advantage of this fast-paced combat mode is that it saves you a lot of time, enabling you to focus on thrilling quests. Most missions take place in instanced dungeons where you may encounter a monster that is much more powerful than you. But it is not very frequent for you to bite the dust because you can always think out some measures to turn the table. This is also the case with boss battles. Once you are ready, everything becomes easy and familiar. Even though some hardcore gamers may be disappointed, most players will find this MMORPG easily accessible and utterly pleasant because the game manages to remain exciting for a long time. Unfortunately, while intending to entertain all player groups, the developer ignores the fact that we all like to leave some personal marks on the virtual world. As a result, you can not affect the stats or the skills by paying experience points. One paladin can only be differentiated from the other by his outfits.
Technically speaking, Grand Fantasia is quite a success. The graphics is nice but not extraordinary. Some settings are a bit sparse, and the monsters look the same to each other, but the overall design is recommendable. The real strength of the title lies in the soundtrack. The musical compositions are really catchy and fit particularly well for a game of this type. In the city of Ilya, you will be submerged in a haunting melody, while some places is accompanied with more rhythmic sound, especially in a combat zone. And the sound effects of sprites are equally successful. You will hear some jingling voice in the case of both success and failure, contributing to shape their kawaii images. In short, the general sound environment has been treated with care and attention by the developer, which is something quite rare in free-to-play MMOs. It is also easy to notice that it takes only a very short time to load the game and the fighting section goes quite fluidly.
In conclusion, Grand Fantasia is a real good game. Though it is free to play, it cherishes undeniable high quality which guarantees its appeal to the general public. However, it still has some annoying flaws. For example, when you talk to an NPC, you can not see the whole sentence because it is too long to fit in the window of your PC. Moreover, you may be greatly baffled during quests when the names of monsters and places written in the Book of Quests don’t match with reality due to some huge errors. For example, an NPC may ask you to kill dragons, but what he really means is perhaps to slay tyrannosaurs. One can certainly not say that those two monsters look the same. Hopefully, those blemishes can be corrected soon. But to be honest, those faults will not harm the game most of the time, so Grand Fantasia is still a good game for beginners This MMORPG brings nothing revolutionary to the genre, but it still holds the potential to attract a lot of people.
It is already known that Grand Fantasia boasts manga-style graphics, whether you like it or not. In this regard, Grand Fantasia is in line with all the titles of the genre. Of course, you’ll never marvel at the sceneries, but it is undoubtedly pleasing to the eye. And the game also has the advantage of running smoothly even on outdated computers. But the game would be more appealing if there were more originality and diversity in terms of the bestiaries’ appearance.
MMORPG junkies who are willing to pay a lot of cash will certainly gain a clear advantage. It is very easy to get started in the game. And the fighting is fast-paced, even against powerful bosses, so you can level up your character very quickly. Besides, Grand Fantasia is accessible to those who stay for less than three hours a day in front of their screens. And your sprites can be evolved in all aspects, so you have the chance of creating a unique avatar in the end.
You are highly advised to make some friends or join some groups; otherwise, you will be quickly bored by slaying monsters all by yourself. As a team, you will be offered some interesting events on a regular basis. In addition, the management of sprites is also a tremendous project that can keep you busy for a long time. Although the PVP content is probably less developed than that of other MMOs, we are rarely tired as long as we stay together with our teammates.
The background music is really a brilliant highlight of the game with a variety of themes as well as consistent high quality. The melodies are so catchy that you will be easily tempted to sing along. This is quite a surprising innovation in a genre that tends to force players to mute the sound. You should note that it happens from time to time that the music ceases, giving way gently to the sounds of the environment. This will probably last for several minutes. Those switches are intended to add a feeling of liveliness and diversity to the whole game.
We have always been wondering about how to create a universe in which players can get deeply immersed for hours. The key to this problem is perhaps the variety of game scenarios. A persistent, ever-changing, open world will certainly lure many players to delve deeper. And Grand Fantasia does a good job in this regard by offering a wide range of fascinating settings.
If you’re not a super fan of MMORPGs and don’t like to spend hours to enhance your skills, Grand Fantasia is the perfect choice for you. As aforementioned, it is easily accessible to all kinds of players. Pets are also a very important part of the whole game. The cartoony graphics, combined with a groovy soundtrack, presents an unforgettable gaming experience. Though there are some minor flaws, this game still deserves your attention.
Revolt against Nature is more often than not an ominous beginning of self-inflicted degradation and destruction of mankind themselves. It is true of the Saphael land depicted in the game of Grand Fantasia, in which habitants are trapped in their self-cast noose in that they stir up evil powers by severing the natural connection with sprites. The tilted balance is more threatening after the Saphael War. Fortunately, a small group of Sprite Messengers manage to survive and thrive in the southern Siwa Island. Now it is high time for them to save the whole continent.
Players in free mmorpg Grand Fantasia set about their journey right from the Island of Siwa as a novice sprite messenger after they create their characters in this game. Four character archetypes generally known as Fighter, Hunter, Acolyte and Spellcaster are what players can choose from at the starting phase and evolve into higher class branches in the following.
Once finishing the tutorial quests of novice training, players may advance their first class branch at level 5 with three more advancements available at levels of 15, 30 and 65 respectively. Take hunters for example. At each specific level mentioned above, a hunter can meet with the in-game class master and evolve into an Archer at level 15, a Ranger or an Assassin at 30 and finally a Sharpshooter or Darkstalker at 65. Each class has its own home city, with Koslow for fighters, Jale for hunters and Ilya for acolytes and spellcasters.
After the training in Siwa, players can travel around these three main cities on the map on mount. The basic mounts are Sunbird, Mecha Armor and Wolf which can be earned by completion of mount quests at level 20; while more additional such as Unicorn, Nightmare and Double-headed Lizard can be gained at level 40 or directly purchased in the Item Mall. Besides the assistant mounts, the sprite is another important companion of players. Players can gain their own sprites, training them with skills and growing them through various quests. Sprites also evolve from novice to higher levels, with talents increasing correspondingly from basic gathering and crafting to more advanced abilities.
With the help of their mounts and sprites, players can move around the whole map to horn their skills through combating with monster bosses in dungeons or against other players in PvP to gain experience and win reputation. In addition, other contents like the romance system allowing for martial relationship, auction houses facilitating items transaction and the intricate guild management will all the more contribute to the immersive and addictive gameplay.
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