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small image Extra, Extra, Read all about it

November 17, 2011 8:04 am by small image

Hey guys, Leap250 here, rising from the burnt ashes of registration forms, readings, and other paper based requirements. Metaphorically of course (I’d be screwed if I was serious), but you get the point. That aside, well, it’s good to be back ^^

This will be my first video game related post, and it is for the recently released Fate/Extra.

Now before I actually do get serious, take the time to gaze upon the majesty that is Red Saber


 “Anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses”

*I don’t have the right setup to take PSP screenshots right now, so the screenshot pics below are only from the Internet.

Fate/Extra is a PlayStation Portable game created by  Image Epoch and of course, Type-Moon, the franchise responsible for the game’s cousin universe Fate/Stay Night, so to speak, and published by Marvelous Entertainment. It was released last year in Japan on July 22, 2010. Later in the same month, Aksys Games, the company that localized games such as Guilty Gear XX Accent Core and BlazBlue, announced that they were going to publish Fate/Extra in North America. Naturally, I brimmed with joy. One year and four months later (yeah, the wait was very long) well, here we are, with the game selling relatively well and being enjoyed by Nasu-fans around the world who can’t read moonrunes, like me.

Which is really a driving force for this game. The story was written by the man himself, Kinoku Nasu, and the over all style of his work in Fate/Extra is a nice nod to his visual novels. We also see some Fate and Tsukihime characters along the way, like Rin Tohsaka, Matou Sakura, and Aozaki Aoko. It actually feels as if you’re reading a VN sometimes, which was what they were aiming for – a re-imaging of the visual novel series. The dialogue is well-written, pretty much what you’d expect from Kinoku Nasu, with some minor translation errors on Aksys’s part. The errors aren’t a big deal really, and it doesn’t take much from the gaming experience, so yeah, for the most part, the story is pretty solid.

A very short summary of the story would be (to avoid possible spoilers) an alternate, futuristic re-telling of the Holy Grail War, wherein you, the main character, can either be male or female, accompanied by your Servant, which could either be Saber, Archer, or Caster, must fight, along with hundreds of “hackers” participating in an organized battle royale to covet the Grail, or so it would seem.

Moving on to the gameplay element, Fate/Extra (for me) showed a lot of similarity to the gameplay in Persona 3. Basically, you can move your character around the campus to talk to people, buy items etc., like how you do in P3. The game then turns into a dungeon-crawler once you enter the ‘Arena”, which is similar to the mechanics of Tartarus in P3. The game then strays from being similar to P3 in terms of battle. Instead of your usual JRPG turn-based system, we have a Rock-Paper-Scissors type of command system. Your Servant has a choice of three actions – Attack, Guard, and Break – to be inputted into a grid with six slots, which would consist of one round. The enemy has the same actions and grid, though, you only see a portion of their actions, that get revealed further if you keep beating the same type of enemy. The outcome of the battle depends on the corresponding commands between you and the enemy, and damage is dealt to whomever loses to the action of the other, since Attack beats Break, Break beats Guard, and Guard beats Attack. Your Servant also has access to skills later on which trump all three actions altogether.

As for the aesthetics, I love the character designs, especially Red Saber’s. Almost everything is designed in a very futuristic fashion, save for the campus. In terms of graphic quality, I think it’s okay enough. Polished PSP graphics is better left to Square Enix anyways. I do however, have a small problem with the design, or lack thereof, of the Arena. Even if the surroundings appear different, it still feels like you’re walking through the same glass walls all the time. The soundtrack of this game is cool too. A nice mix of mellow and awesome.

The game also teases you with its replayability factor. A second playthrough gives you the chance to square off against the one and only, Shiki Ryougi from Kara no Kyoukai. Also, the dialogue and some story events and enemies, differ depending on the gender of your main character and the Servant you choose, which, if you really dig the story, would mean six playthroughs altogether. Keep in mind that the New Game+ only carries over enemy data (their actions during battles) money, and items. Not Servant levels. So yeah. That’s a lot of hours.

Saying this much would make you think I’ve done all that. In truth I’m only just finishing my first playthrough. Can’t wait to fight Shiki though :3

So yeah, Fate/Extra, awesome game. If you’re a Type-Moon fan, awesome-r. If not, well, it’s still a pretty good game in my opinion, especially for the PSP nowadays.