Sunday, 7 October 2012


Gamespot Score:6.0 (Fair)

My Score:7.3

(+)Pros: - Excellent narrative writing and dialogue, - Interesting story, -Branching story paths, - All 3 servants are interesting and play differently from each other, - A good variety of available customization through adding stats, - Late game battles have great strategic emphasis rather than just relying on luck, - Great boss fights, - Gathering info on enemy servants is fun and sometimes more exciting than the rest of the game.

(-)Cons: - Lack of any dungeon variety, - Highly repetitive, - Luck based battles may not appeal to everyone.

Gameplay time: 30-40 hours

I am a sucker for JRPGs , and that mindset basically just drew me into playing all the oddball games, and such is how I got into "Fate/Extra". I do like the "Fate" series, but I don't consider myself a huge fan. However, I will not deny that I enjoyed "Fate/Extra" more than most modern day RPGs. Yes, it is a game with a good deal of flaws that pull it down, but without a doubt, I enjoyed myself when playing "Fate/Extra". It's unique battle system, excellent writing, interesting plot and much more make it a journey worth taking for "Fate" fans. Yes, I do think this is a game for the fans, those who know little to nothing about the "Fate" universe might want to avoid this for a little while. However, if you know something about "Fate", feel free to jump in.

"Fate/Extra" 's plot is something else on its own, and bears no relation to the original "Fate" anime storyline. It stars you, a nameless youth of a school, whom one day goes through an unusual day of school. Before you know it, you are drawn into a different world by an artificial intelligence computer known as the Moon Cell, and in this world, 127 other students are selected to take part in an all out battle royale known as the Holy Grail War. Each student is referred to as a Master, and they have a Servant. In the upcoming 7 weeks, students are to face off against other Masters, battling against one each week, and only the winner may move on to the next week. Losers will vanish into the data stream, in other words, they experience death. That is the cruel world of "Fate/Extra".

Battle certainly IS flashy.

Other than its interesting story, "Fate/Extra' possesses some excellent narrative writing and dialogue, making reading through conversations and thoughts of your main character a delight. The world is ever changing, and characters tend to change as the game goes on. With dialogue choices come branching story paths, and while they all lead to the same ending with minor changes, the opponents you face are different. From the start of the game you are given a choice to choose from 3 different servants, Saber, Archer and Caster. Fortunately, all 3 servants play very differently from each other and all have different story backgrounds. Throughout the story you will discover the identity of your servant, combine this with the fact that there are 3 different servants and that there exists branching story paths, you have a game with good re-playability.

In "Fate/Extra", battle comes often and you have to prepare for it, and the battle mechanics are similar to that of a glorified rock-paper-scissors game. You and your enemy duke it out in 6 moves during a single turn, and you and the enemy have 3 options. Attack, Guard and Break. Attack beats out Break, Guard beats out Attack, and Break beats out Guard. Of course later on you have access to skills, which usually beats out all of these 3 options. Most of the time its just like a rock-paper-scissors game, but isn't that too luck based? In battle, you have predictions over some enemy moves, so out of the 6 moves you have to perform, you get to see some of the enemy moves, so you can counter appropriately. Defeating that same monster over and over will have your Servant analyze it, and you will have more predictions on its moves.

Spend time with your Servant to maintain a good relationship with them.
Of course this just means you are going to get beat up badly, and to improve your experience you can add stats to your Servant at the Chapel. There are tons of different stats to add, and that just means further customization of your servant. As I mentioned earlier, you get skills later in the game, and adding stats will unlock these skills naturally. With skills, battles have a bigger strategic emphasis on them rather than just them being rock-paper-scissors games, since enemies can use them too, you have to think of ways to counteract and deal with them, this is because skills can beat out all of the 3 commands your Servant can dish out. That being said, boss fights in this game are a ton of fun and are INCREDIBLY intense.

Before I go into the bosses, I have to tell the non "Fate" fans that there are total of 7 archetypes when it comes to Servants. Other than the 3 you have access to, Rider, Berserker, Lancer, Assassin are the other types, and needless to say, it is exciting to see who your next opponent is, and then fighting them is always an entirely different story. Your foes are strong, and to beat them in order to have predictions over their moves, you have to study them. During the course of one week, you have 7 days to study the enemy servant, and this include snooping around them, listening to them converse with their Masters, finding special items, or reading up on them. This will help you a great deal when the time to fight them finally comes.

Fool around in school when you're not duking it out in dungeons.

Now onto the flaws. The first pressing and most obvious flaw, is the lack of any dungeon variety. This itself is already ridiculous, because you will be seeing the same floors and walls for the entire 7 weeks in the game. Sure you have background changes like under the ocean or in a forest, but still, the walls and floors are still there. It is ANNOYING, and HIGHLY REPETITIVE, just like the game process itself. You will be doing mostly the same thing for the next 7 weeks, aside from a few notable events to change up the pace a little bit. Finally we have the battle system. It is luck based, and because of this, it may not appeal to anyone, although I myself do not really have gripes with it.

"Fate/Extra" isn't a game for everyone. I immensely enjoyed it, but that doesn't mean everyone will. Its a game for the fans, and fans of the "Fate" series might stick to it to the very end for the story and excellent writing. Boss fights and investigations on enemy servants are great pluses for the game, but other than that, there's much more that could have been done to improve the gameplay. If you're a fan of the "Fate" series, this is a game worth your time, if you're not, you have the right to stay away.

Happy gaming!