Originally Published on the Official Blast Away the Game Review Facebook Page
Review by Dustin Murphy
+Moral choices that actually weave a story of their own
+Deaths punish a player by removing items providing a challenge
+Emphasizes the use of anime character designs and vibrant visuals
+Traditional rogue-like dungeon crawling mechanics
+Angel and Demon forms offer an edge in combat
–Time taken between graphic novel and combat can bore some players
–English dubbing leaves room for improvement
–Character choices, at times, can leave players dumbfounded by what they are picking
What would you do when your decisions choose your fate as God? That is something that Shin Kamikaze has learned to take on earlier than before. As a follow up to the 2013 title Guided Fate Paradox, the developer (Nippon Ichi Software). In this sequel, however, it is time to take on the original build and emphasis on that in order to to help the series evolve into a bit more of a strategy like title. So what does this mean? A much more enjoyable title than before.
As stated, your story takes on the role as God from the get go. Shin Kamikaze is the perfect host to become such a figure. With a bright attitude, a rather pessimistic attitude, and a huge issue for trust, our hero finds himself rather quickly killed only to be revived so that he can become our stereotyped JRPG lead character. The question that will come to mind is easy to answer; yes he fits the role perfectly and will definitely entertain fans and newcomers for hours. Some of this is due to the fact the game emphasizes itself around the well used anime-like visuals that include character designs, terrains, and even settings. Following the tradition that worked in the past title, Guided Fate Paradox, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum feeds itself in a graphic novel type style, which should find itself as a draw for those who find huge interest in Manga’s.
When playing The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, it’s hard not to see that the game feeds off the successfulness of many games out there that come from Japan, and in this game it actually works quite well thanks to how the story unfolds. But where do you look to a game that is driven by a powerful narrative with tropes based upon the anime genre as a whole? To a dungeon crawling experience where players will take on enemies across a grid-like map. The combat is very straight-forward for players wishing to engage enemies. Players can navigate each of the maps that they are trying to go through by using the controller’s’ D-Pad, analog stick, L2 (Angel Form), (L1 + Right Stick to Select an ability), R3 (release ultimate power), R2 (Demon Form), triangle (character menu), and ‘X’ to attack. Outside of this, navigating dungeons are easy to do and so the game is rather easily explained for those wanting to explore through the dungeons.
But what else goes into this games combat system? As before, it was mentioned that L2 and R2 changed players between Angel and Devil form, which causes a new form to take shape and abilities to be used. Doing this players will alternate between using SP and just energy. When using SP, players will note that every attack, step, and even ability uses up SP, which can leave the player running around in their ‘human’ form. When out of SP, players will also be able to note that it regenerates while using up their stamina by moving around the map. In order to regenerate SP or their stamina, players will need to use their food, use their medicines, and even use those items against their enemies for the opposite effect of what would happen to them. This tactic is something that players will become familiar with in their 10-20 hour adventure through this title. Do note though; you run out of stamina? You will start losing health, once out of both? Shin dies, your dungeon ends, and you must restart where you left off.
With that mentioned, maps are explored in a birds-eye-view. Players will get to see a rather nicely detailed character models that show off with each character movement. As the game progresses so does the change in elements as players gain new weapons, trip and evade new traps, but also find themselves being randomly activated in order to halt the players progress. Outside of these combat scenarios, the game is one that is very straightforward and will attempt to keep players interested as they level up both their angel and demon (devil) forms in order to progress through the games campaign. Even with these bare essentials as part of the mechanics, the game boasts something else even more detailed that players may not realize. Outside of these well planned out dungeons with rather well placed enemies, the game boasts a system where players choices actually matter, and these choices will influence a grid like system that will determine what stats they have between both forms. So why does this matter more than the games rather straight forward combat system and dungeon exploration tactics, the game boasts something unique.
When playing through The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, players will be able to take on the tasks, as mentioned before, of taking time to make decisions that will alternate between both Angel and Devil. These decisions will give players points to spend in each of the trees in order to make that form (when used) more powerful in combat when sneaking through dungeons. Overall – what does this leave for a game of this caliber?
The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is a charming game that will leave players with quite a bit of duration that will offer fun gameplay mechanics, an entertaining story, and even decisions that seem to actually matter through the duration of the game.
/-/ Closing Thoughts /-/
Normally I’m not one to do closing thoughts when it comes to games that are rather simple when it comes to controls and story. This is one of the few games I can honestly state that actually let me go through around ten hours of enjoyment before finding myself departing from a rather amusing campaign. With that being said, the game is entertaining, which leads me to say – this game is unique, fun, and equally challenging, which got me coming back for more and enjoying what I was playing.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
Editor’s Note: This version of the game is based upon a pre-release retail version of the game. Our copy was provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, MMO’s, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable and can’t be softened by even the biggest names in the gaming industry. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. To follow Dustin, hit him up on Twitter over at @GamingAnomaly, find him on his Google+. Wanna game with him? You can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.