One of my favorite companies when it comes to J-RPG’s is without a doubt NIS America with great sagas such as Disgaea and Hyperdimension Neptunia among others. Recently they released a new game, The Fated Guide Paradox which brings much Déjà vu and that unique style from NIS America d00d!
Our story begins in Japan, young boy named Renya is shopping and sulking for how unlucky his life is, he is holding a lottery ticket he got for free with his purchases. When he meets an enthusiastic girl shouting, encouraging him to use his ticket and try the (insert machine name). Incredulous and pessimistic, decides to turn the handle and try his luck and the golden ball drops.
Finally for the first time in his life he won a prize, destiny is something whimsical and the prize is to become god! Hundreds tried and did not succeed, but he won. The girl’s name is Liliel and reveals she is an angel , a great destiny awaits in Celestia, where your new job awaits.
By using the Fate Revolution Circuit in which a copy of the world resides, God can guide and change the fate of the real world and make miracles happen.
The Guided Fate Paradox plays and feels very similar to Disgaea, to the point we can affirm this is the celestial counterpart of the saga. While Disgaea is all about the underworld, the overlord and his battles with demons, this game does the same with angels and other beings that will serve under god.
Note the name Celestia, which for us the fans is a very well known name, pretty much the same place Flonne comes from. Won’t be surprised (please make it happen!) to see some crossover with the characters of both games in the future.
Not everything is peaceful and glorious in Celestia as dark secrets awaits, there are mysterious forces plotting against you.
The mechanics are a mix of two known games from the company, one being the previously mentioned Disgaea and the PSP only title ZHP: Zettai Hero Project – Unloosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman.
The way battlefields work is by entering the Fate Revolution circuit, this will create a virtual battlefield for you to fight, if you are able to succeed, a believer’s wish will be granted, but if you fail, your essence will be consumed and a new god will be selected.
The basic controls and actions from Disgaea, and how enemies move at the same time you do until you are inside their vision field like in ZHP. I think combining mechanics from these two games works like a charm. Like a match made in heav… Celestia!
As expected in a game like this we have a lot of gears and weapons to pick from. When a weapon reaches 100% releases a powerful Divine Burst, to increase the percentage we have to execute Divine Skills. We can use these bursts to enhance our stats. Just like in ZHP, gears will be displayed on your character, so it’s not just stats but also decorative. Gears and weapons are not exclusive to you, your companion can equip them as well.
Body modifications can be done by placing holy chips in a board, very similar to the system used in ZHP. The Overworld works in similar ways to Disgaea series, in there we can find the usual set of NPC’s, including item shop, Music unlocks, blacksmith to improve and unlock new items and more. Get ready to grind because not even god gets all this for free!
The soundtrack is of very good quality, voice acting can be switched to English or Japanese, something we are used to see from NIS America. Audio is a hit or miss i am afraid, while the soundtrack and voice acting are top notch quality, simple monster sounds and effects in the game are very familiar, some appears to be rehashed assets from previous games.
Special attack animations are superb and high quality, can’t get enough of them. Charming and colorful scenarios and characters you will get to love are present, nice cut-scenes narrating the believer’s wish and more. Again this is something to be expect from every NIS America title, this kind of graphics may not appeal to gamers looking for a more hardcore experience, but for anime fans these graphics and characters are extremely appealing and will enjoy the look of the game greatly.
Certainly the game lacks innovation and returns to the classic system we have seen in other titles from the company, can’t say it is disappointing as the game is fun to play, but expected something different and more evolved, considering Disgaea has evolved with time, expected something similar with this game and not the classic formula.
If you are not fond of this kind of game and somewhat enjoy tedious endless grinding, this game is not for you.
Controls can be annoying sometimes, if you notice the layout of the game, you can easily get confused and walk in the wrong direction. This because you are forced to use the D-Pad and not the analog which is used for attacks.
The Guided Fate Paradox is without hesitation a great game, charming graphics, cool character and that comedy we are accustomed to see from NIS America. For lovers of the genre and most specially hardcore fans of Disgaea this is a great title you must own. The game has room for improvement and growth, can’t wait to see if these characters will interact with Disgaea in the future, i am sure this will please the fans and we’d love Nippon Ichi Software even more if that happens!
Giving the game 8 riceballs out of 10!