Grand Fantasia is an MMORPG that takes place in the World of Saphael. Your character, one of the last Sprite Messengers, must return the chaotic world to balance. When you begin your odyssey in the World Saphael, you only have a sword and a mysterious and ultimately indispensable companion, the Sprite. The game boasts very reasonable system requirements, a great community, and other aspects that I will cover.
The dangerous Ranger classs in action
Grand Fantasia plays very similarly to standard, point-and-click 3-D MMOs of its time like World of Warcraft or Dream of Mirror Online. The combat is also similar to standard fantasy MMOs: Click a monster and attack it until it dies. Grand Fantasia is very quest based, so there is very little or no grinding, although most of the quests are "Get me this item from this monster" type quests.
Grand Fantasia boasts a different way of creating weapons and armor, through what they call as the "Sprite system." This works by making your sprite gather materials necessary for one item and the sprite creates the item. This leads me to a "flaw" in the sprite system: Failure rates. Failure rates are common parts to MMOs we all know and love, but the Sprite system literally mocks you with its ludicrous fail rates in the later levels. To acquire good equipment, the game uses the idea of "Make sword A, use that to make sword B, and combine sword B with a rare item to make sword C." This sounds easy, but the later levels will make you want to scream at your computer in blind rage. (In retrospect, it took me upwards of seven tries to make a powerful weapon) Furthermore, creating weapons and armor via sprite also eat up money and time to get materials, so in the later levels, it might be more logical to purchase a weapon for a high price instead of spending hours ľand even more money- by trying to make an item on your own.
The Paladin class - standard defensive players
The character classes we all come to associate with MMOs are featured in this game, but it some unique abilities: From the speedy, relentless Assassin to the shape-shifting powers of the Sage, the game uses very familiar classes, which impedes on its originality (Personally, I enjoy games that toy with different classes and deviate from the normally accepted, traditional classes).
The PvP is separated into two sections: Duels, which feature one-on-one battles against another player, or the manically fun 15 vs. 15 PvP. I fell in love with the chaos in 15 vs. 15 PvP, but it basically boils down to who can kill who first. The imbalance of skills hurts the PvP area, but is still fun nonetheless.
The community is very friendly, of which consist of very nice people if you act cordially to them first. Grand Fantasia, however, suffers slightly from ad spammers who post relentless, malicious advertisements in crowded areas. This, however, is not too much of a problem, but it may annoy some.
The soundtrack and graphics of Grand Fantasia are way too overused. The same, small number soundtracks play again and again and the monsters are more than often palette swaps of another, which greatly hurts the originality of the game by making it rely upon the same models and scores of music again and again.
All in all, the Grand Fantasia is not truly "grand," for nothing really sets it apart from other games if its genre. It tries to have difference by implementing a different system for items, but it has too many flaws. It reuses monsters and soundtracks excessively, sometimes making it sound like a broken record player. If you're looking for an MMO that completely redefines the meaning of "MMO," then this is not the game you are looking for.