Saturday, December 10, 2011

Don't Be Fooled; It's Not The Anime

Gameplay - 8/10
Storyline -9/10
Graphics - 6/10
Game Score : 23/30

Well here we are gathered again for another video game review; the surge of video game releases is slowing down so that means more time for games. Sadly however I now work full time at my parents shop so I have been keeping some very odd hours. So my humblest apologies for the lack of up-to-date internet/gaming news you all maybe have become accustomed to. Let me go on record saying that I am currently running on about 4 hours of sleep as of typing this up so please any incoherent rambling that may ensue. So today we will be talking about my latest time wasting infatuation Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra is a Japanese dungeon role-playing game for the PlayStation Portable, created by Type-Moon and Image Epoch and published by Marvelous Entertainment. The game takes place in a parallel universe to the visual novel Fate/stay night which I initially thought this game would be more closely related to. However it certainly did not disappoint as I currently have about 70+ hours invested in my character trying to grind experience to level her up and make her overpowered so she kills enemies quickly.

Fate/Extra is a RPG (Roleplaying Game) that starts with the player Waking up in a strange virtual world with no recollection of the past, the main character finds themselves forced to fight for survival in a war they do not understand for a prize beyond value; the opportunity to have one’s wish granted. With only an enigmatic “Servant” by their side, the protagonist will have to face both friends and foes in battles to the death in order to not only gain possession of a mysterious object known as the “Holy Grail,” but also to find the answer to the most important question of all: “Who am I? However in reality the game includes a prologue of sorts that helps the player to get accustomed to the characters in the school and the surroundings. After a week has passed playing in the shoes of an indeterminate character certain events take place that effectively start the true story behind the game.

At the start of the game, the player may choose to play as either a male or female character, as well as selecting one of three Servants — Saber, Archer, or Caster, each with different strengths and weaknesses. The way I see it they also represent the difficulty level you will experience from boss battles and such. Saber being the easiest and most straight forward character to play compared to Caster who is more technical to play. Players spend one in-game "week" interacting with other characters, viewing scenes that advance the game's story, while completing side quests and clearing dungeons to level up and obtain what are referred to as Cipher keys for entrance into the final battle at the end of each week.  To end each day, you enter the Arena and choose a dungeon to enter, a dungeon in which you can battle monsters to gain experience points and strengthen your Servant.  Servants' stats are raised manually using skill points gained upon leveling up.  It is highly recommended that you talk to your Servant in their room, and use the clues you have discovered to discern the identity of the enemy Servant before going off to fight them. At the end of each week is a decisive battle against the enemy Servant and Master, after which the player progresses to the next round of the tournament-style war.

The game's turn-based battle system is comparable to janken (rock-paper-scissors) -- "Attack" overpowers "Break", Break overpowers "Guard", and Guard overpowers Attack. During battle, both the player and the opponent line up six such moves at the beginning of each turn. Landing three successful hits allows use of an "extra attack" that cannot be countered. Most types of enemies have their own distinctive attack patterns, which enables you to make educated guesses at times. As you progress and fight the same monster multiple times you will unlock additional information on the enemy. This information uncovers more and more moves of the enemy until you can see them all to make appropriate counter picks. This will allow the player Servant to deal high amounts of damage while receiving minimal damage in return. Coupled with this are three other noteworthy aspects of the combat system; Equipment, Skills and Codecasts that help to bring a further dynamic to the game. The final bonus I would like to touch on is the replay factor of this game and the fact that it literally has game over screens that reset your progress to your most recent save state. This forces the player to not only have multiple save states but also to but a lot of thought into the choices he/she may make throughout the course of the game and how it will affect their play-through. If you are a fan of the anime series or RPG's you will want to check this game out; it has a solid story line, high replay-ability and a simple yet potentially combat system to enjoy.

Thanks For Stopping By