Monday 13 April 2015

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum

The Playstation 3 has been both a hotbed and haven for RPGs. Whereas the Xbox has largely overlooked the genre (apart from superb additions such as The Last Remnant and Lost Odyssey), Sony have always done their best to cater to fans of the genre.  The same goes for the Playstation Vita and the Playstation 4, but after over a decade since its release the Playstation 3 has a massive back catalogue of titles, with a large chunk of them being RPGs. With the RPG market still in high gear it’s no surprise that Sony are continuing the tradition of keeping the genre thriving on the 11 year old machine. Anyone who has read some of my other reviews knows I’m a huge RPG fan, so when this title popped up for review I had to jump into it. However, with the Playstation 3’s life cycle starting to wind down in the shadow of the Playstation 4, does this new game have what it takes to make its mark?

Developed by Nippon Ichi Software and out now exclusively for the Playstation 3 comes The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, a game that, despite being pretty fun, will become a mostly forgotten relic of the Playstation 3 era. The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is a direct sequel to The Guided Fate Paradox, the 2013 title that placed you in the shoes of a random teenager that is given the powers of a god. But don’t worry, you won’t need to have played the first game, as though I only played half of it back when it was released, I wasn’t left puzzled by the plot in this sequel. The game puts you in the role of a guy named Shin who, on a particularly bizarre and unlucky day, is surrounded by demons, stabbed in the heart and killed. Monday’s suck, right? Anyway, Shin is resurrected by two girls; the demon Ariael, and an angel called Jupiel. They’re your typical garden variety anime girls- pointy hair, partially exposed breasts, large eyes, etc. They clue Shin in on what’s going on in their world, which is essentially a raging war between angels and demons. Much like the main character in the first game, Shin is given the power of a god, and over the course of the game The Awakened Fate Ultimatum slowly moves towards the player ultimately making the choice to fight for good (Jupiel) or evil (Ariael).

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is a dungeon crawler RPG. If you’re expecting to explore various towns and friendly locations like Final Fantasy here you’ll be sorely disappointed. Instead, the game pretty much focuses on either 2D character interactions and conversations, or 3D based dungeon crawling. That’s it really. Dungeon gameplay is shown from a kind of top-down perspective, with Shin and his enemies being represented even more cartoony than they are during the games 2D anime segments. Centering around Roguelike gameplay, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum’s battle system is incredible linear on paper, but it’s one of those games that one wrong move or misstep will literally lead to death. If death occurs the game will bring you all the way back to the main screen, and upon loading your game will have you not only restart your current dungeon, but you’ll also have lost all items you had before you died. It’s harsh, sure, but it does add a great level on danger to the game.

The idea of choice and duality runs strong throughout the game, and this also extends into the combat system too. One special ability Shin has in The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is called Deitize. This power essentially lets you briefly take on the form and abilities of either an angel or demon. Shin will visually transform, but this ability isn’t just there for aesthetics, as enemies also take the shape of both angels and demons, and you can use Deitize to use it against them. Using an enemies opposing form will give Shin the upper hand, so using this ability sparingly is often the key to survival. It adds an extra layer of variety to the game, which without it is challenging yet a little mundane.

Overall The Awakened Fate Ultimatum isn’t a terrible game but, for me at least, is one that I found pretty forgettable. The cast of characters are pretty generic and we’ve seen it all before- the devils dress kind of sexy while the angels are super wholesome looking and nice. We get it. The battle system is punishing but not exactly addictive or hard to master either, so unless you trying to speed run your way through the game you should be grand. It offers nothing new to the genre of the RPG or sub-genre of Roguelike, but I still had fun during my time with it, if only between bouts of occasional boredom.

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is ultimately an OK game and gets a 3/5.


Denis Murphy

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