Grand Kingdom is a new action RPG from NIS America and developer Spike Chunsoft that mixes a classic and bewitching art style with layered strategy combat mechanics.
The game takes place during a battle for control of the land of Resonail, tasking you and your talented squad of mercenaries with working for the four battling kingdoms. Each one will assign you various quests in line with their varying agendas, but the real star of the show is the combat.
The core of the system is turn based, but all the action takes place on a 2D sidescrolling-like grid. Each member of your squad can utilize their skills on one of 3 planes horizontally, using your move actions to float in between each to hit different enemies. Combat isn't just relegated to the ground, as your characters have access to numerous things in the environment that they can climb to give them an advantage on the battlefield. They can also utilize objects to either barricade themselves in or keep the enemy out, and some objects also offer buffs to the group.
The action part comes in the form of combos. Using your available action points (which can grow via leveling your character), you can utilize a series of maneuvers and abilities in real-time. For warriors and melee classes it's easy to see how that works, but things work a bit differently for ranged classes, such as archers and mages. For them, you combo by choosing where the spell or arrow hits via a cursor that moves across your specified lane. It's a really cool system and seems like the natural progression of something like Valkyrie Profile.
Make sure to watch the battle system trailer above to see the combat in action, and check out some screens of the game in the gallery. Grand Kingdom releases for PS4 and VITA on June 21st.
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