The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross First Impressions – A Fantastic Anime RPG

Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross First Impressions

Video game adaptations of anime shows are usually bland affairs, rushed to market without much imagination or effort. You either get derivative fighting games – with the odd exception – or sleep-inducing hero collector games based on a dreaded gacha system. Mobile devices are where most of these flops happen to be released.

But suddenly, something extraordinary happens – a good anime RPG appears from out of nowhere. Such is the case with Netmarble’s The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross (Nanatsu no Taizai: Hikari a Yami no Grand Cross), inspired by the eponymous manga and anime television show. I must admit that I don’t know the anime, but it seems like it’s a lot of fun – at least, the game is terribly fun, and the main characters are extremely diverse and engaging. The main hero is a badass of short stature, there’s a talking pig, a giant girl and a female protagonist that provides the always necessary eye-candy.

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But where Grand Cross excels is in its ambition of being a full-fledged RPG. Sure, it’s not quite the same thing as the MMOs that you play on PC, but it gives you a similar feel that will make you look with disdain to the tons of wannabe, micro-transaction ridden multiplayer mobile games. There is no open world to explore, but you have a rich world map where your team travels, moving from region to region where you can set your base and freely roam around, completing quests and battling enemies. This setup works perfectly on mobile and doesn’t feel tacked on, it’s a polished game world for you to explore.

I must mention the graphics as well, since this is one of the best translations of an anime to a video game that you’re bound to see. While the visuals on mobile usually aren’t up to the standards of PC or console games, these are as close as they can get, with a remarkable anime style and amazingly fluid animations. It’s a playable anime, alright, with some impressive combat animations and a nonstop number of cutscenes that can be both funny to watch and easy on the eyes. Fans of the anime will surely be pleased with the work done in this department. It’s a pity that Grand Cross can only be played in Portrait mode, since having a larger field view would surely highlight the striking graphics even further – however, here is a tip: you can play The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross in Landscape mode on certain emulators that feature such an option, or download an app that helps with that – results not guaranteed, though.

The Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross First Impressions Anime RPG Tavern

The gameplay in The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross will make RPG fans happy, with a deep storyline – although in Japanese only for now –, along with sidequests and several activities to distract you from the main campaign, such as running your tavern, cooking and even controlling your pig, Hawk, in a side-scrolling minigame. But there is a heavy card-based component to the game, one that isn’t without the pitfalls of the gacha system, but more on that later.

The card game mechanics are extremely sound and unlike other games where you feel hard pressed to use the auto-combat option, these battles are actually fun to play. The 3v3 turn-based battles use character cards as abilities, with the player choosing one card skill per character. However, there is a twist in that similar cards can be matched to raise their power, but for that they need to be side by side – you can achieve that either by removing the cards in-between or by moving the desired card next to the other one, but this will consume one of your moves. As it is often the case, your heroes level up according to their performance in battle and you can select a guest hero from other players, usually a much powerful one.

This is where gacha comes in. While you get some important characters during your adventure, others can only be recruited through gacha rolls, something that depends on the number of gems that you have at your disposal. While initially you get a reasonable amount, soon these will be harder to come by. However, you should have a decent grasp of your team in the first few days, so rerolls are something that need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. I was happy with the team that I had, but I know that some additional SSR heroes would come in handy for the upcoming hardships.

The Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross First Impressions Anime RPG Town Free Roam

The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross also comes with an energy system, but that will only be an issue if you don’t take some reasonable breaks. For now, at least, energy replenishes so fast that I wasn’t hindered in any way by it.

The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross is undeniably one of the best mobile RPGs that you can play right now. It shines in almost every department and while the gacha system is important, you can largely have fun without feeling that this is a dominant part of the game. I can’t say much about the story, but it’s clearly filled with funny moments and it makes me wish for a global release. Netmarble is known for regularly releasing its games on a global scale, so let’s hope that The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross isn’t an exception – I’m pretty sure that many western anime fans would love to go on this adventure with a talking pig and a giant teenage girl.

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