Enter into the much beloved world from the immensely popular Fate series of anime titles. The latest entry into this popular franchise is the game Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star. A game developed by the phenomenal team over at Marvelous! This title explores a fanciful world in where the player is taking on the role of a female or male ‘Master’ after the victory in the Holy Grail War for the Moon Cell (Events of the last game in the series). The player (master) and Nero (Aka Saber) must fight to keep the Moon Cell in their control as events in game take drastic turns and a war between the holders of the Regalia for control over the moon that they had fought so desperately to get to before hand. It is up to the player to carve a path to victory through the use of his servants.
The game follows the main duo of master and servant (Player character and Nero), however the game does open up side story lines for other characters that happen to pop in during the games run. Now I will be forward in saying that I have not progressed through all of the story. This will not influence our review as we have always tended to shy away from story. Rather we focus on what you players are going to be looking at intensely. Not the fan service, but the controls, action and replay factors! The game does have a very well done story and I have to give props to the amazing and terrific voice work by the entire Japanese cast. I have to say that the quality of voice work here is far and above that of many triple A title games of late. While the focus of the bigger titles is the name recognition of the actors, these smaller titles can focus on all of that while still holding the quality together and more.
Gameplay that is sure to dazzle: When it comes to controls, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is no slouch. The flow, the refined combo mechanics and the satisfying crowd fights make for a fun button mashing time. Reminding me of series like Dynasty Warriors or Ninety Nine Nights, the game’s combat is fun and manages to hold solid after several hours of gameplay grinding. The combo system, while robust, does allow for even the average gamer to feel empowered and comfortable with the mechanics as they unleash their arsenal of moves against the minions and various enemies of the land. Nothing says a good time like stomping through droves of drones all in the name of raising that combo tracker!
What also shines in this game is just the overall pacing. With over 10+ hours logged into the game and with every nook and cranny searched, we can say that this game has content; especially if you want to trophy hunt for that platinum. I love a game that can toss me a tedious and grindy experience and yet turn it into something that is enjoyable and fun! This is something that the marvelous team at Marvelous understand through and through. It leaves a satisfying experience and one that i find myself craving after a day of work.
What the game does slow up on is the repetitive nature that sadly comes out as a result of a button masher. You learn the combo’s, you learn the routine. The morning ritual has become too familiar and you feel utterly bored and spent on it. While a very valid complaint, it is one that develops from all games with this sort of playstyle; it’s just unavoidable. Wow just one complaint; man they make a mad game! Even if it does run up as repetitive you do get the luxury later into the game to switch between three different heroine perspectives on the games unfolding story and you can even earn yourself some affinity with the ladies of your choice! I really do love the character development through the gaining of affinity and watching their stalwart defenses come crumbling down as they open up to you, the player. While it may seem normal in saying, not too many games are capable of doing this in such a meaningful (sometimes comical) way! It just feels extremely natural and enjoyable
A game that has a nice entry level: The biggest highlight that I can grab away from this game is just how simple it is to pick up and play. Especially in regards to filling everyone in one the whole dynamic of the Fates series. The game has plenty of helpful glossaries to inform and immerse the players in the world that is the Moon Cell and the overall, general mythos behind the Fates series of anime. Being able to see Saber’s character in action and personality wise is amazing and frankly only has me more pumped to watch the series in full! The controls are also very user friendly and have a very easy to follow tutorial line to go through in order to achieve max efficiency. This familiarity is make or break for many titles in the category of, “How much will I Enjoy this?”
Frankly everything about this game screams, sometimes screeches, quality. I find it hard to not exclaim my love and enjoyment of this game and how hard it is not to want to follow this article up with a live stream of it! Maybe we should do that at some point! The moral of this review is that this is a game worth your money, worth your time and definitely worth your effort. The mechanics are as solid as they can be and the gameplay, while slightly repetitive, is worth the patience you have when it comes to button mashers. Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is available for purchase in North America and will soon be available for purchase in Europe on the 20th of January! The game comes in two editions, the moon crux edition (Or Noble Phantasma Edition with smaller box packaging for the North American release! As of this writing only the Noble Phantasma Edition is available state side!) with premium box and cloth poster (PS4/Vita) and the standard edition! priced at 69.99USd (PS4) or 59.99USD (vita)! The game is still available for Pre-Order on the official Marvelous website for Europe!
OGZ Scores Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star…. 9/10!
+Lovable Characters -Repetitive gameplay
+Great voice acting
Review Copy was generously provided by the Developer!
Official Website: http://marvelousgames.com/