Grand Chase

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Overview

Grand Chase Overview

Grand Chase is one of the few free MMOs that emphasizes old school co-op gameplay. Rather than a single persistent game world, Grand Chase has a continental map that acts as a sort of lobby where players can either join or host rooms. Grand Chase lets players to freely switch between characters that they have unlocked, each earns its own experience and equipment as they’re played. Most characters have a total of four job advancements though they are not yet released in the North American version of the game. Currently, 19 characters are available in the North American release:

Base Characters: Elesis, Lire, Arme, Rin, Edel, Veigas

Unlockable Characters: Lass, Ryan, Ronan, Amy, Jin, Sieghart, Mari, Dio, Zero, Ley, Rufus, Asin, Lime

 

Grand Chase Screenshots

Grand Chase Feature Video

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Full Review

Grand Chase Review

By Erhan Altay

Grand Chase was developed by the Korean company ‘KOG Studios’ and originally released back in 2003. Only in the beginning of 2008 was the game localized and brought to the North American market by Ntreev, the publishers of another 2D MMORPG with cute graphics — Trickster Online. The graphics of Grand Chase were not very impressive even back in 2003 but fancy visuals were never the goal. Instead, Grand Chase is a casual friendly game with simple controls and a mainly cooperative gameplay style. Side scrollers are hard to come by these days so it’s always good to see imaginative games like this being brought over from overseas.

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Three For One

Grand Chase doesn’t have a character creation process, instead new players have access to three female characters: a melee fighter, archer, and mage. Each of these can be selected at any time before starting a game. Each levels up and has their own equipment and missions. There are an additional five characters that can be unlocked, 4 of which are male but the fact that none of the starting characters are male can be frustrating. For a detailed explanation of what each character does and their job progression, take a look at the overview tab. Overall, I feel Grand Chase has a good concept going here. Why bother forcing players to make multiple characters or accounts? Since each character must be leveled up independently, this feature also adds a lot to the game’s play time. Unlocking and leveling up all 8 characters is not something most players will commit to, but there are always completionists out there.

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Left to Right

Unlike traditional MMORPGs, Grand Chase has no persistent world and works more in a lobby fashion where players host rooms and others join. There are currently two servers which never get more than mildly populated, so finding a full group of adventurers is not always easy. A short, optional tutorial is available to teach the game’s controls but it’s really not very helpful otherwise. The tutorial pits you against a motionless foe that acts as a training dummy for you to try out all of the game’s attacks. Gameplay is handled exclusively with the keyboard while interface navigation is done through the mouse. Since Grand Chase is a 2D side scrolling game, players can only move left or right, the up arrow causes you to jump and the down arrow descends players to the previous level. ‘Z’ performs your basic attack while holding Z activates special skills. Which skill your character performs is based on how long you hold the ‘z’ key before releasing. The longer you hold, the more powerful the spell. Players can also dash by double tapping either left or right and perform aerial attacks by hitting ‘z’ while jumping. By spamming the attack key, your character pulls off some impressive combos. This, along with occasionally moving away and waiting for the AI controlled monsters to do their predictable attacks, is usually enough to get past most stages.

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Into the Forest

There are currently three continents in the Grand Chase world but players start with access to only the first. Each continent has roughly a dozen stages but it won’t take long to get sick of them. Players will find themselves playing through each stage many, many times since various quest requirements cannot be met with a single run-through. To make matters worse, each stage has three difficult settings and certain quests are tied to specific difficulty settings. If you’re looking to work up more than one character at a time, expect to run through some of the stages dozens of times. The fact that you have to repeat stages so often may be frustrating but don’t let that bother you too much, the gameplay in Grand Chase is fast paced and the early stages can be cleared within minutes with a group of four players. Each level has a boss at the end which makes for an exciting finish. Items collected throughout the stage are randomly distributed at the end and the game encourages cooperation by rewarding bonus experience based on the size of the party. This makes grinding through easy stages alone unproductive, but finding other players to group with is not always easy.

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Side Scrolling Battles

Players looking for an alternative way to earn experience and prefer a more competitive playstyle can turn to the PvP mode. Players can actually earn more experience from PvPing than they can from playing story stages. The experience earned is proportional to how well you perform, so players can’t take advantage of this experience method until later levels when they stand a chance in PvP. A tab at the top of the screen puts players in a simple lobby where they can see matches hosted by other players. There is both a team and free for all game mode with up to 6 players per round participating. Other options include ‘Tag Match’ where each player can use two characters and swap between them during the battle. A special item mode can be selected which makes power ups appear around the map. These range from temporary invisibility, invulnerability, damage increases and more. It’s usually much easier to find a PvP game than it is to find a decent group for the PvE missions, but the level ranges are usually staggering.

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Accessorize!

Players earn GP by completing missions, quests, and by performing well in PvP. With this GP, they can head to the in-game store and buy new equipment. There are many pages of clothes, weapons, and accessories available for purchase with either GP or real money. The sheer number of items a player can have equipped at one time is hard to believe.  I’ve seen people with a slime pet following them, necklaces, helmets, glowing lights around them and even a gopher over their heads all at once. Most of these items serve a functional use by providing stat boosts but almost every item is temporary, meaning they will disappear after a set time. Even equipment received as quest rewards are timed which can leave you naked until you start playing again and earn new gear. I’ve heard people complain that too many items require real cash to purchase but from my experience, the store had plenty options for free players. Currently, the max level is 60 but the early levels go by very fast which lets you experiment with all three of the starting characters and decide which play style you prefer. Overall, the story missions are relatively easy provided you have a somewhat competent team – the PvP, on the other hand, is much more complex. Since combat is done in real time, getting a feel for how attacks work and timing your dashes, dodges, and jumps is very important. With that said, Grand Chase has a little for everyone who can get past the simplistic graphics.

Final Verdict: Good

Grand Chase is beginning to show its age and while not the most complicated game, it has simple yet satisfying gameplay to keep players entertained. With a unique style, three continents to explore, eight characters to develop and a skill based PvP mode, Grand Chase has plenty of content to keep fans interested.

Screenshots

Grand Chase Screenshots

Videos

Grand Chase Videos

Grand Chase Trial Tower Video

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Grand Chase PvP Trailer

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Grand Chase Tutorial Video

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Grand Chase Cinematic Trailer

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Grand Chase Harpy Boss Battle

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System Requirements

Grand Chase System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP+
CPU: Pentium4 1.5GHz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 4GB
Graphics Card: Nvidia Geforce4 MX440 or better ( ATI Radeon9500 )

Recommended Specifications:
OS: Windows XP+
CPU: IPentium4 2.8 GHz
RAM: 1 GB
HDD: 10 GB or more free
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce6600 or better ( ATI Radeon9800 )

Grand Chase Articles

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