There’s nothing better in fighting games than completely getting one over on a fellow player, especially if they have no idea how to counter whatever attack or strategy you throw their way. Granblue Fantasy Versus, which launched earlier this week, lends itself to these kinds of situations simply because of how new it is, and one competitor at a recent tournament took advantage of every opportunity he had to rub his opponent’s lack of knowledge in their face.
102 players gathered at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in Tokyo yesterday for a tournament to celebrate the release of Granblue Fantasy Versus, the latest fighter from Guilty Gear and BlazBlue developer Arc System Works, featuring characters from the popular Granblue Fantasy mobile roleplaying game. Of all the players at the event, it was Kaoru “Kaimart” Kajimoto who seemed the most prepared. Kaimart made one thing enormously clear after just a few matches: Lowain’s super is going to be a problem.
Although many of his attacks focus on chilling with his bros and joking around, the dagger-wielding Lowain gets serious when his health drops below 20% and his super metre fills to max. Meeting these requirements gives Granblue Fantasy Versus characters access to a powerful attack known as a “Super Skybound Art,” which in Lowain’s case calls forth the goddess Yggdrasil to take his place in battle.
Yggdrasil’s moves may be limited when compared to Lowain’s, but they all have special properties. “Neither Veil,” for instance, covers the ground in unblockable magma, while “Luminox Genesi” pulls the opponent and deals massive chip damage.
Since Lowain’s super is such a powerful tool, Kaimart made sure to activate it whenever possible at yesterday’s tournament, especially during a top-8 match against another finalist named Bobby-kun. It got to the point that Kaimart was almost guaranteed a win whenever he used Lowain’s super, and he eventually began to stand up and shout whenever Yggdrasil was on screen, seemingly challenging his opponent to come up with a solution. Unfortunately for Bobby-kun, the answer never came, and Kaimart ended up defeating him handily before going on to win the entire tournament. Of course, it was all in good fun, and archives show everyone at the venue cracking up at Kaimart’s antics, even Bobby-kun.
But just because something is good in Granblue Fantasy Versus today doesn’t mean it will be good months from now, and cracks are already starting to show in Yggdrasil’s armour. First off, she has a health bar, which means she can be dissipated with smart offence. The biggest issue, however, is avoiding her attacks. It can seem overwhelming at first, watching a careful Lowain player fill the screen with projectiles and turning the floor into lava, but another finalist at last night’s event, Fukuda “Teresa” Norihiro, proved that many of these attacks can be avoided by simply using a mechanic known as Evading that makes characters invulnerable. He may not have been able to survive the entirety of Kaimart’s onslaught with Yggdrasil, but the strategy shows promise.
Granblue Fantasy Versus is in its infancy, so it’s hard to say anything is truly overpowered. At the moment, Lowain’s super appears to be a boon for players that use him, but it’s entirely possible that Yggdrasil will be uprooted by smart players who manage to figure out a way around the gimmick. Still, the advantage the goddess gives Lowain players when they’re near death has been a boon in these early days, and I’m curious to see if Kaimart’s tactics develop alongside a community that is almost certainly trying to bring Yggdrasil to heel.