Title: Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PS Vita
Release Date: January 20th 2017
Game modes: Campaign/Side Missions
Activities/Collectibles: Character bonds/Character unlocks
By Glen Ferguson – Well well well what do we have here a game of a huge franchise I somehow have never played or seen anything about…. yup that’s right I clearly have just walked passed all the previous titles of the Fate series for the past 13 years…. go team me. How I have done this is beyond me so first of this whole review is from the eyes of someone who knows nothing about the series and came into this fresh as a daisy with eyes wide open ready to see what it has to offer.
Coming into this game with zero ideas of characters story or even what it was outside of a few trailers, this game was something I wanted to take head on and give some proper time into. I’m rather glad that I did, it’s a fun well-paced beat em up of faceless minions game where you smash the living hell out of monsters with ridiculous combos and ultimate moves. Now, this doesn’t mean it comes without fault and is a perfect game. By no means but there are good parts and bad so let’s start with the overall aspect of the game.
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star follows on from the previous title Fate/Extra where you are thrown in with a short catch up of dialogue about what is known as the holy war. which apparently we won so go us for winning that one. I knew I could win it if I tried all my hard work and dedication… well we are now met with making our character basically choosing if we are a boy or a girl and thus the master is born again. Oh, by the way, we have no memories so introductions to characters will be happening again. Thank god as I had no idea what was going on in this holy grail…
Time to go read up on the ol’ interweb about the series, where I was met with 13 years of previous Fate work. NOPE! Back to the game. So the master had won the holy war with his trusty busty servant Nero the blonde haired fire saber murderer. Cute deadly and in love with you. Heck yeah this games hitting all the right buttons! You are in control of what is known as the moon cell automaton computer, which grants you a wish. Fantastic, can I use this wish to make Nero super powerful? No no, I cannot. How dare you game, how dare.
The levels you play throughout the game are based within one of five areas all of which have their own defining features to make them stand out amongst the faceless slaughter. The goal of each arena is to gain 15 regime keys to complete the regime matrix. Which you gain by capturing sectors over the map. Each of which has their own value ranging from 1 to 4 etc. These sectors can go back and forth if you and your AI buddies are not careful the computer will continue to attack your sectors to fill their regime matrix. Get it, grab 15 points before the computer does, then the boss creature shows up. Now time for a mega battle.
That being said the first couple of times this is done it’s super fun, but guess what it’s the same thing time after time so the repetitive factor (for me at least) did start to come crashing in after a while. You have to select a few combinations of your light and heavy attacks to use through the rampage of 4 digit combos. When I found my favourite two I didn’t really bother with any other attacks as it seemed to kill things quicker than using some of my over the top ultimate attacks. By the way, they should be used whenever you feel a little down just for the fact they all explode and fly in the air like helpless little mugs, burn you stupid monsters burn!
As you play through the main story you gain access to side stories of servants you come across, completing these unlocks playable characters and scenes of dialogue and conversations. They are well worth doing just to break up your gameplay a little bit. The servants and master have a relationship factor as you play through the game which you can build upon known as “bonds” and by doing this unlocks your skill tree section for them allowing you to equip more powerful items and build upon an already mega death machine.
Each of the main stories follows a different servant as you go on. Now, this does not open up much more gameplay styles which for me is where the game is lacking. A lot of the customisation of the characters skills and gears didn’t make much of a difference to my play style after I found one weapon that had a heal button and an attack up skill, I just stuck to combos and battering everything in sight. I would really have liked a few things to break up the gameplay but that’s what we get in these style games, not saying it is a bad thing as it will have a place on my hard drive on my ps4 for me to go back to as and when I have an itch for a combo filled evening.
Graphically the game has a nice charm which after looking into the anime and previous games I can see why people would like this and feel a lot of connection to the overall style. It’s let down a little by the fact they also made a PS Vita version of the game in this day in age, I always feel if it’s on the handheld as well they were always going to leave little bits out of the finished product. But hey some of the areas are pretty damn cool looking and the ultimate attacks flashy explosions always made me smile a bit.
Finally, this game has made me do some homework and look into the franchise more, so well done to that, I will always be on the lookout for more Fate games. Now would I say to my friends to go out and get this on release price? Probably not, but hey if you see this in any sale at your local shop pick it up and give it a whirl, it’s worth a run through just for the little-hidden gems of the characters conversations. If you’re a fan of the Fate series you’ll probably find parts of this game where I guess there are a few hidden nods to previous titles which I did not get. Looking forward to more of the games to come.
I’m gonna go back to Nero, she doesn’t judge me, like I judged this game.
Worth a few play throughs of each campaign
•Super anime bash bash kill kill •Colourful, crazy beat em up fun!