Grand Knights History

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Grand Knights History
Grand Knights History Cover.png
Japanese box art
Developer(s) Vanillaware
Publisher(s)
Director(s) Tomohiko Deguchi
Producer(s) Yoshifumi Hashimoto
Composer(s) Mitsuhiro Kaneda
Yoshimi Kudo
Noriyuki Kamikura
Masaharu Iwata
Platform(s) PlayStation Portable
Release date(s)
  • JP September 1, 2011[1]
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution UMD

Grand Knights History (グランナイツヒストリー Guran Naitsu Hisutorī?) is a role-playing video game developed by Vanillaware and published by Marvelous Entertainment for the PlayStation Portable handheld system. A North American localization was announced in September 2011 by XSEED Games, but later cancelled in May 2012 due to lack of resources. Since the North American localization was to be used for the European version as well, publisher Rising Star Games officially cancelled the European release on May 9, 2012.

Gameplay[edit]

A battle scene from Grand Knights History

Grand Knights History is a traditional role-playing video game set in a fantasy world where players must take control of a group of up to four characters from three separate classes—knight, archer, or wizard—who must travel through various landscapes battling enemies and take part in the story.[2] While knights specializes in close combat and melee weapons, archers are adept at ranged attacks with bows or guns while wizards can cast magic spells to attack enemies or aid allies.[2] Each character can be customized in a number of ways, including appearance, voice, weapon specialty (four types for knights, three types for archers, and two types for magic users) and magical spells from four schools (Air, Fire, Earth and Water), and may be organized in one of 20 separate fighting formations which affect their battle performance.[3]

Depending on a player's choices, characters may learn specific skills and techniques which may further aid them in combat, which is carried out in a turn-based fashion where the character or enemy with the highest speed will attack first.[3] Battle sequences take place on convex fighting area known as the "Battle Sphere Reel", which the game's camera pans across when party members or enemies take action.[4] By outfitting characters in new weapons, armor, and ornaments, a player may increase a characters statistics which allow them to become stronger, as well as further affect their appearance.[5] The story is advanced by taking part in quests which require the player to travel across the game world on a map with interconnected areas and towns.[6] As players complete more quests, paths to new areas become available to explore.[6]

Making use of the PlayStation Portable's PlayStation Network online function, players may battle each other in groups representing one of the game's three kingdoms.[3] As each group wins battles against opposing factions, they expand their territory within the online environment, granting them access to rewards and a standing on community-based leaderboards.[3] Winning groups may vote on which territory to attack next, and individual players may opt to have their characters controlled by artificial intelligence rather than themselves manually.[3]

Plot[edit]

Grand Knights History is a set in the fantasy world of Rystia, which is divided into three warring kingdoms: Logres, the Ancient Kingdom, ruled by King Fausel (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita); Union, the Kingdom of Knights, ruled by King Leon (voiced by Daisuke Kishio); and Avalon, the Kingdom of Magic, ruled by Queen Muse (voiced by Kikuko Inoue).[7] Players must align themselves to one of the three nations and advance the story by taking part in missions on behalf of their chosen country.

Development[edit]

Grand Knights History was first announced in a March 2011 issue of Famitsu magazine and was originally planned for release by Marvelous Entertainment the following summer.[8] In June 2011, the company released the first video preview as well as a new release date set for September.[9] The game is the first title from Vanillaware since Muramasa: The Demon Blade for the Nintendo Wii in 2009, and is the first traditional, turn-based role-playing game from the company, as well as the first developed for the PlayStation Portable.[10]

Project director Tomohiko Deguchi explained that the game contains an art style similar to their previous projects, elaborating that "The 2D characters will be animated just like in our action games, and we're also challenging ourselves to build a new type of gameplay by fusing online and offline."[10] The online mode was seen as a main component of the game, which Deguchi elaborated "Most RPGs up to now involve one person or a group of friends playing together, but we're trying to set up this new kind of game, a full-on war that all the users are connected together in. It's a war RPG where not just one player, not just a few people, but all of the players are drawn together as they fight."[8] This decision prompted the game's publisher to set up an online infrastructure capable of allowing players on separate continents to play with each other.[3]

XSEED Games announced in a September 2011 press release that they would be bringing Grand Knights History to North America the following winter.[11] The same month, Rising Star Games announced that they would also release an English version in Europe some time in the first quarter of 2012.[12] However, in a February 2012 forum post, XSEED Games translator Tom Lipschultz wrote that the game's English release was pushed back to an unspecified date due to the company, which has no in-house programmers,[13] having to send the translation to Vanillaware to code directly, who backlogged the translation due to their heavy involvement in Dragon's Crown. In May 2012, XSEED officially announced that any plans for an English localization have been dropped, due to lack of development resources.[14]

Audio[edit]

Grand Knights History features music from four members of the video game music production company Basiscape: Mitsuhiro Kaneda, Yoshimi Kudo, Noriyuki Kamikura, and Masaharu Iwata.[7] Company founder Hitoshi Sakimoto, whose previously provided background themes for other Vanillaware titles such as Odin Sphere, GrimGrimoire, and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, served as music producer.[15] An official soundtrack was released in October 2011 by Basiscape Records featuring 45 tracks across two discs.[15] Customers who pre-ordered the title in Japan could also received the Grand Knights History Special Mini Soundtrack featuring six select songs.[16] The game's official television commercial theme song is "Navigation", performed by J-pop artist fumika.[17]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 36 / 40[18]

Grand Knights History received a 36 out of 40 possible score from Japanese Famitsu Weekly magazine based on individual reviews of 10, 9, 9, and 8, earning it the publication's Platinum Award.[18] The magazine praised the title's "traditionally-Vanillaware graphics" and character animations as well as its online mode, stating that "The easy entry into online play is just as great, and raising characters to send to the battlefield is both innovative and very smooth in action. This game gets top marks in fun."[18] It also garnered an 82.5 out of 100 average from Dengeki PlayStation magazine based on four reviews of 90, 80, 80, and 80.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hindman, Heath. "First Video, New Screens, Release Date for Grand Knights History". PlayStationLifeStyle. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  2. ^ a b "システム:グランナイツヒストリー" (in Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Leo, Johnathon (2011-06-20). "Grand Knights History Impressions Preview". GameSpot. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  4. ^ "バトル:グランナイツヒストリー" (in Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  5. ^ "システム:グランナイツヒストリー" (in Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  6. ^ a b "システム:グランナイツヒストリー" (in Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  7. ^ a b Gantayat, Anoop, (2011-03-30). "A Few Grand Knights History Details". Andriasang. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  8. ^ a b Dutton, Freed (2011-03-30). "Vanillaware reveals Grand Knights History". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  9. ^ Miller, Matt (2011-06-04). "Watch Grand Knights History Come To Life". Game Informer. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  10. ^ a b Gifford, Kevin (2011-03-30). "Vanillaware Returns With Grand Knight History". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  11. ^ "GRAND KNIGHTS HISTORY Announced for PSP®". XSEED Games. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  12. ^ "Rising Star Games to Publish Grand Knights History in the PAL Market". Gamasutra. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  13. ^ Lipschultz, Tom (2012-02-08). "Release date rumor, March?". XSEED Games. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  14. ^ Spencer (2012-05-01). "Grand Knights History Canceled For North America". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  15. ^ a b "BSPE-1037 / Grand Knights History Original Soundtrack". VGMdb. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  16. ^ "Grand Knights History Special Mini Soundtrack". VGMdb. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  17. ^ "CM SONG:グランナイツヒストリー". Marvelous Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  18. ^ a b c Gifford, Kevin (2011-08-24). "Japan Review Check: Grand Knights History". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  19. ^ Valay (2011-08-23). "Dengeki PlayStation review scores". Gaming Everything. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 

External links[edit]