[PS3 Review] The Awakened Fate Ultimatum
NIS America just released their new rogue-like RPG The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, the follow-up to The Guided Fate Paradox which released last year. In this game, you are following Shin Kamikaze, a regular guy that gets killed in the first few moments of the game and is then revived as a God! How will he handle his new role? Read below to find out!
Several years after a certain revolution came to pass, and the powerful Satanael was defeated, the devils were still dominant in their constant war against the angels. Meanwhile, a certain Celestia was resorting to guerilla warfare to survive. The angels focused on researching a way to create a “God” to use as their ultimate weapon against the devils. After creating the “Fate Awakening Crystal,” which can turn a human into God, the angels awaited the day to find someone who would be compatible.
Walking home from school in the human world, a boy is attacked and stabbed through the heart by a group of devils. As he lay dying, his life is saved by a mysterious girl. He wakes up in an unfamiliar location—Celestia. As if guided by the Fate Awakening Crystal implanted in his chest, he finds himself thrust into the middle of the war between angels and devils. He must harness his newly awakened powers, choose how to use them, and ultimately decide which of the two new girls in his life he will do anything to save…
The Awakened Fate Ultimatum – Main Trailer
In its essence, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is a dungeon-crawler in which you’ll be following the main protagonist Shin in his quest to become a new god worthy of the name. The gameplay is mainly separated in two phases: either in the world of Celestia or in the dungeons.
In Celestia (outside of the dungeons)
The story elements are mainly contained outside of the dungeons, as you follow Shin and his personal angel (Jupiel) and devil (Ariael) duo giving him advice and insight on how things work in Celestia. As the main story progresses, you’ll be invited to take a lot of decisions that can either affect your “Angel” or “Devil” godly side. You can always select either answer, but some of them have deeper consequences that will make Shin wonder if he made the right decision. I liked how I had the pleasure to shape the main story to my taste with those answers! Depending on your answer, you’ll also earn Angel or Devil Crystal Points, that are used for the level-up system (more on that later). Finally, some story segments go into detail and even last for more than half an hour!
Once you get back from a dungeon, you can use all the Crystal Points (CP) you obtained as you leveled up, and the Angel/Devil Crystal Points you got by attending the main story to enhance Shin in the skill tree (pictured above). This grid is really easy to use: Angel CP is used to enhance his “Angel” side (the left wing), and Devil CP is used to enhance the “Devil” side, while Level CP can be used on either side. Essentially, you can build your character the way you want since this grid is non-linear (look at all the possible paths)!
In the dungeons
The dungeons are the main gameplay sequences of The Awakened Fate Ultimatum (this game is a dungeon crawler, after all!). Each dungeon spans an increasing number of floors as Shin progresses, and the art style of both the main character and the enemies changes to a cute chibi style! Each floor is tyle-based, riddled with traps, and each step you take moves all the enemies on the floor. As you get close to an enemy (direct line or diagonal), you can hit him with your equipped weapon or a skill unlocked by the Level-up grid. Each monster is either of Angel or Devil class, and you are strongly encouraged to change to your Deitized Angel or Devil form against each enemy, because being in the opposing form of the enemies makes Shin more resistant to their attacks, and his attacks are stronger. Being in Deitized form is very strong, but each step taken while transformed consumes SP at an alarming rate, so you won’t be able to stay transformed more than a few moments. Hopefully, SP and HP both replenishes quite fast as you walk on the dungeons, so you won’t necessary need to use expensive recovery items.
The difficulty curve was fair and relatively easy on the first dungeons of the game, but became harder as the story progresses, and it felt that by the third of the game, grinding back in earlier dungeons is expected to get the main character stronger. Dying in the dungeon is also bad, because Shin will be respawned in Celestia without any of the items he took in the dungeon, including weapons, armor and all of its items. And since all items are quite expensive, every time I died in a dungeon, I preferred to reload my earlier save game instead of continuing with a crippled inventory.
Apart from the difficulty spike (which I was honestly expecting), the only issue I had with the gameplay was the narrow field of view. As you can see in the picture above, you don’t see much around the main character, and this becomes an annoyance as you move on a floor because you don’t see the enemies far enough. I even got stuck by two enemies at once because I hadn’t seen one that was only a few squares in front of me while I was running off a second one that was chasing me. I would have liked an option that allowed to change the zoom level, that would have made level progression easier.
I liked playing through The Awakened Fate Ultimatum! The hand-drawn art style and the dungeon exploring mechanics in it are great. This game is also almost loading-free, and the level-up system uses a great non-linear grid that is fun and intuitive to use. There are also a lot of decisions to take in the main story that allows you to see the story unfold the way you want. There is a difficulty spike that happens relatively quickly in the game (and requires grinding to get past some dungeons in the game), but the main issue I had with the game was the narrow field of view that removes some of the freedom in the floor exploration.
pros=”Great dungeon crawler
Non-linear level-up grid
Almost no loading” cons=”Difficulty curve spikes quickly and grinding earlier levels seems mandatory
Narrow field of view in the floors exploration” score=85]
PSN Game size: 1.7GB