Liz Maas
How Grand Knights History's Online Play Works
It took Vanillaware long enough to tell us.
06.17.11 - 10:45 PM

Grand Knights History wasn't the Vanillaware game that we saw at E3 - rather, that was Dragon's Crown and its well-endowed witches. The former, a PSP title, is said to have lots of online play, but neither Vanillaware nor Marvelous Entertainment have really talked about it - until this week's Famitsu.

All players will have three kingdoms between to fight for: Avalon, Union and Logress. There are two ways to play Grand Knights History online: direct control, and auto-control. Each battle lets you bring in four characters, and by assuming direct control, you'll have control over all four of your characters. Fighting against other players, each battle will actually take a few days. Just like many multiplayer games, player votes collectively determine where the next battle takes place.

Auto-control, of course, leaves things up to AI. You can customize how each character fights however; for example, they can use special skills if you'd prefer, or make attacking or healing their priority. Before sending your knights off to battle, you can test them out with your custom settings to see if they execute to your liking. You don't need to be online while they're out fighting on their own, and when you retrieve your band of knights, they'll have gained EXP and so forth.

You can also choose to do both types at the same time. The maximum number of battalions you can send out is three, but you can only directly control one of them. By going to the battle frontlines (marked by BATTLE on the map), you will fight and those frontlines will shift depending on how your battle plays out.

Like many other online games, you can view player rankings, profiles and people's battle history. Your kingdom's king (or queen) will give your battalion a flag which you can add to your own profile. (You can even 'follow' other players if you like.) The multiplayer portion isn't actually played entirely online - you only need to connect to sync your battle records and send off your battalions to fight.

If you're still allergic to multiplayer in your RPGs however, worry not - there's still a single-player story mode in the game to experience. Grand Knights History for the PSP hits stores Japan in September. Interestingly enough, Marvelous touts the online feature as a way of being able to play with others 'around the world.' Is this a hint of a possible outside-of-Japan release?