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[Beyond PlayStation] Grand Guilds Review

[Beyond PlayStation] Grand Guilds Review
  • On April 10, 2020

Grand Guilds from Keybol Games and Drix Studios is a tactical RPG with card combat gameplay mechanics. Learn more in our Grand Guilds review!


Grand Guilds from Keybol Games and Drix Studios is a story-driven tactical RPG with deck building and card combat gameplay mechanics. You’ll take on the story of Eliza and her crew as they travel through the continent of Irin… a continent that is on the brink of war. Irin has already survived one great war, in which the King Gian Triton called upon the aid of the Guilds to defeat the Kingdom of Dunbar. As thanks for their support, King Triton granted each of the Guilds their own lands, in a golden era of peace. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…

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Grand Guilds is a strategy role-playing game (RPG) of a turn-based nature. Because of this, for each of your party members, you’ll be selecting a tile to which you can move to. Movement is limited to once per turn and will have a cost of one action point (AP). Once you’re ready, you can use one of the cards in your deck to perform an ability. Abilities include your attacks, offensive and defensive skills, defense, and more! By looking at the corner of a card, you will see how many action points it costs to activate. You can use multiple cards in each turn, as long as you have enough action points to activate them.

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Each character will draw a card at the start of the party’s turn, and you can also redraw by pressing the – button. Once you’re done selecting and performing your actions, you will have to end your turn, and it will be your enemies’ turn to act. While this is happening, you can press the B button to fast-forward during its actions. If you want to get a better view of the battle area, you can pan the camera around with the left analog stick, rotating the camera as needed with the right one. There is also the option of zooming in and out on the action by pressing the ZL and ZR buttons.

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Each of your party members will have its own deck and abilities, so you’ll have to experiment for a bit to learn more about their strengths and potential weaknesses. Your party members will also have an ability that is always available for you to use. Said abilities’ cost will also be set at two action points, which will allow you to plan your strategy accordingly. Your heroes will also have passive skills that will grant bonuses and boosts that will aid you in making the most of their fighting style. Something you should always remember is that the bosses you will battle against will also have passive skills, so be sure to check what they are so that you can plan your actions!

These abilities are granted by Passive cards, which will need to be equipped to each hero. Each of the Passive cards you can equip will take one to four slots, depending on how powerful of a boost it provides. Your heroes will start with two slots, and an extra slot will be unlocked every five levels – more on levels in a bit. You will have many Passive cards to choose from for each of your party members, so be sure to mix and match as you go so that you can find the best combination to use at all times.

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Once the battle has been won, you will get some experience points for your party. Each party member will have its own experience tally, which you can check by looking at the yellow under their portrait. Even those who have, unfortunately, been defeated in battle, will also obtain experience points. When a party member has obtained enough experience points, it will level up, gaining a boost to its hit points and other stats, and its cards will also receive a boost. Eliza’s standard attack deals ten damage per hit? Once she levels up, the same attack will now deal 11 damage per hit! One extra point of damage might not seem like much, but combined with a boost like her Heaven’s Blade dealing an extra X damage to enemies who have the taunt debuff, that one extra point of damage could save her!

After you’re done with the introduction chapter, which shouldn’t take you that long to complete, you will get to explore the overworld map on board of your new airship. From the map, you’ll be able to take on Story Quests, Guild Quests, and Side Quests. Story Quests will be part of the game’s mandatory set of adventures, while Guild Quests will come and go as you progress through the story. Side Quests are extra quests that are good for grinding some extra experience points and Trils.

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You can customize the deck of each party member by assigning the cards it will take into battle. There are many cards to choose from, but a bunch of them will be locked at first. By spending your hard-earned Trils, the in-game currency for Grand Guilds, you’ll be able to remove the lock that is keeping that card from being an option, so that you can add some extra variety to your options. The more powerful a card, the more action points it will cost, so be sure to balance your deck so that you can also have some low cost – or no-cost – cards at your disposal.

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Grand Guilds is an entertaining tactical RPG with turn-based card combat that manages to do some things right while messing up others. I got a couple of bugs during a battle that forced me to restart since the controls were completely screwed up afterward, as well as a bug when I was unlocking cards with Trils that left the card unlock interface on the screen, without any way of removing it or selecting any quest, so I had to close the game. These only happened a few times, and I didn’t run into any issues afterward. Grand Guilds is out now on Nintendo Switch for $19.99.

This Grand Guilds review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Keybol Games.

Review Overview

Entertaining tactical RPG with turn-based card combat