Review: Fate/Extra

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Developer: Type-Moon, Image Epoch
Publisher: Marvelous Entertainment
Localization: Aksys Entertainment
Platform: Playstation Portable (PSP)
Release Date: November 21, 2011(English) / July 22, 2010 (Japan)

This game is an entry on the popular Fate/ franchise, a series of popular Visual Novels, Anime, Manga, and Video Games. This particular game is a spin-off of the main series, set in an alternative timeline from the events of the main series. Nonetheless, it gives the players insight of the universe the series is set within, and even additional background information about characters in the main series. It can be played even without prior knowledge of the main series.

The game has a sequel/remake called Fate/Extra CCC, which is unlocalized.

Story

The theme of this game, much like the main series, are the events taking place during a batte-royale called The Holy Grail War. The Holy Grail, within the game, is an omnipotent wish-granting device. The grail, however, can only be obtained by becoming the last-man-standing in a tournament in which mages fight to the death for the ultimate prize. The mages themselves do not do any of the fighting, but rather take control of spirits of distinguished warriors from history and lore called Servants.

Gameplay

Fate/Extra plays as a dungeon crawler. The tournament has an eliminination style format, in which after a preparation period of one week all the participants fight. The winners continue onto the next round, while the losers die. Each week period consists of training for 6 days in the arena, and fighting your opponent on the 7th day. Throughout the week you must gather information about your opponents, which will make the battle on the last day easier. Your opponents will also attempt to sabotage you during the week. The combat system is a simple rock-paper-scissors format, in which you select 6 moves between Attack, Block, and Counter. Your controlled Heroic Spirits will then execute those 6 commands in order. You may also use a skill instead of a move, but those can also be countered, and also consume precious mana.

Fate Extra 01

Sound

The game’s sound track is absolutely amazing. The Fate/ franchise is highly regarded for its excelent soundtrack, and Fate/Extra does not lag behind other entires in the series.

The game does not have voice acting outside a few main scenes. Aksys’s translation of the game’s content is top-notch. The voice acting segments are dubbed in Japanese.

Graphics

The game textures are just what you’d expect from a 3D PSP game. The models are jagged here and there, but it overall looks very nice. Battle animations are consistently good, and additional animations from activating a character’s ultimate skill are look great.

Fate Extra 02

Downsides

The greatest downside in Fate/Extra is the rock-paper-scissor battle format. Some players may view it as unimaginative or boring, though personally I liked it. It’s simple enough that will allow players to grasp the system right away, while still be difficult to actually execute. The more you fight a monster in the Arena, more moves you’ll be able to predict per turn.

The difficulty in the game is unforgiving. Sometimes you’ll face enemies in the arena which will KO you, making you lose all the progress in that Arena run. Playing with Caster, the weakest of the 3 Servants, make the game particularly hard and rewarding.

The New Game+ system carries over combat data, items, and money, making replays much too easy. Of course, you could choose not to make a NG+.

Overall

Fate/Extra is a solid dungeon crawler, with an interesting battle system, amazing story, and a memorable soundtrack. The battle system is a hit-or-miss thing. You might love it, or you might hate it. One of the main mechanics of the game is getting to know the story of your Heroic Spirit better, which will make you attached to the Servant you’ve selected as your partner.

Pros:
– Music
– Interesting characters

Cons:
– Hit-or-miss battle system
– Not fully voiced

The Reviewer has given this game a Final Grade of 8/10 !!