Fate/Extra Limited Edition - PlayStation Portable
- Platform: Sony PSP
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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Waking up in a strange virtual world with no recollection of the past, the main character finds themselves forced to fight for survival in a war they do not understand for a prize beyond value; the opportunity to have one's wish granted. With only an enigmatic "Servant" by their side, the protagonist will have to face both friends and foes in battles to the death in order to not only gain possession of a mysterious object known as the "Holy Grail," but also to find the answer to the most important question of all: "Who am I?"
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a great game for hardcore fans of the Fate series, or really anything by Type-Moon. But if you're not a fan of the series, or the characters, then it'll be a hit or miss with this game, depending on how much you like J-RPGs. The CD is a nice bonus, but I think I would have preferred a nicer, more extensive art book instead. The "artbook" they include in this is just a few pages...it should be called an "art booklet" instead.
I'm glad they localized this, but still disappointed as ever that they didn't include the Limited Edition figure that Japan got. I wouldn't have minded paying the /Extra money for it either.
Now I'm hoping they localize the CCC sequel to this game...of course, with the figure too, as unlikely as that may be. I'd even be happy if they released it as a digital download for the PSN Store like they did for Fate/Unlimited Codes (although I would have still liked a physical copy too).
Un cadeau à faire à tout fans de jeux vidéo.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The one thing which differentiates Fate/Extra from Persona (yes, they are very similar, and I would rank P3P as a top 5 game on PSP) is that because of the somewhat screwed up battle system, you must research your opponents beforehand. There are 3 secrets about your opponent you must discover durng the week, some given to you, many hidden behind tasks, and then you must guess their identity based on the info. The more you know, the more of the enemies actions you will know in advance, which is key to winning. The game requires you to choose 6 actions at once (attack, defend, break, codecast/item, or skill), and knowing that 2 or 3 of those will succeed can be key. Just leveling up your character doesn't mean much if the opponed has 17000 more hp than you do and does 5 times the damage. Because of the risk inherint in the system, planning when to heal or use skills becomes key, and highly strategic in a need to maximize what you do. especially when playing the Caster class
If you like Type/Moon products, you will also love Fate/Extra. The writing is very good and written by the same man who wrote the original Fate/Stay Night, and the characters are just what you'd expect from Type/Moon. The servants are not the same as the ones from the series, though some characters (Rin, Lancer, Tiger, Sakura, Kotomine) do appear. I recommend this game for anime fans, Type/Moon fans, and Persona fans.
Fate/Extra is a JRPG that some seem to liken to Persona 3 but I think this relation is somewhat wrongly interpreted. The two only relate to one another in a handful of ways I will point out (based on my experience thus far):
- Both involve high school age characters and settings
- Said characters are host to powers or links to outside mythical or historical figures (personae/servants)
- Both are JRPGs and anime-esque in style
- Some emphasis on socializing is important in-game (these are what some call "visual novel" elements)
While these similarities may sound strong enough to Persona 3/4 players (I reviewed P3P here previously as well), these games are RADICALLY different in execution, especially in their core gameplay.
Story & interaction:
F/E is a text-heavy game. The plot of F/E revolves around a deadly competition that only gifted people can enter. The prize of this tournament supposedly grants the wish of the last person left alive and obtaining that prize is the only way to live through this competition. All of the losers are marked for death. If that isn't motivation enough to win I don't know what would be. Each participant in the event has a servant they are paired with and the player gets to pick one of three following the opening act. You'll have Saber (a melee gal, considered the easiest to start with), Archer (a sort of melee/technical fellow, so-so in difficulty) and Caster (obviously the magic gal and and the one to require the most strategy for survival). Each servant plays to different strengths throughout the story and does influence all of the dialogue in relation to the master-servant dynamic so the choice is important. The fact that you have the choice between three means there is enough replay potential story/dialogue-wise as every servant has a differnt personality.
Servants make up one part of the social gamete in F/E but the other portion comes in a "case solving" sort of fashion. Every week in game you will need to face an opposing master and servant in an elimination round. These are essentially F/E's boss battles. For every opponent you face at the end of a week, you will go through a sort of mystery solving aspect where you try to gather up as much info on the opponent's servant as possible. This will take place in the form of information sleuthing around campus, having short bouts against them as the story plays out, and various other small means. This is important not only as a plot device but as a gameplay element because the more you seemingly know about the opponent, the more prepared you will be in predicting their onslaught of attack patterns when it comes to your showdown with them at the end of each week. If you can achieve a case solved status (which is called "Matrix Level E" in the game) you will find out the servant's hidden identity and make your battle potentially much easier.
One last note in regards to story and dialogue here, while the translation is generally pretty good, there are some instances of typos or odd phasings. You'll come by them every so often and wonder if the wording is correct or not. Maybe this is just me though. Despite this though, the dialogue is generally very well written and thoughtful. The amnesiac protagonist you play as in particular has a lot of character and exhibits realistic thoughts and reactions that characterize a person that seemingly appears uninspired within the game physically.
Whereas Persona and other JRPGs have you with a group of the characters bashing baddies F/E is all about you and your chosen servant. This means all combat is one on one with the master (your person) providing support to the servant in battle (which you also control of course). Battles take place in an interestingly different manner. While still turn based like a JRPG, a turn takes place in six phases where the goal is ALWAYS to override your opponent's actions. This is done in a rock-paper-scissors fashion (which even the game will call it) where you have guard (which counters attacks), attack (which bypasses a guard breaking hit), and break (which shatters the effects of guarding). Aside from these three constant choices you will also have items, code casts (spells for masters) and skills (for servants).
Each of the 6 phases in a turn play out in a string with all of your choices being chosen BEFORE the start of the phases. This creates a problem as many will note that these battles can play out in a very luck based fashion. Only some of your opponent's actions will be known to you so you can only truly plan for those known actions when setting up your moves for a turn. When it comes down to difficult enemies (or servant bosses) this can be killer. If you end up surviving several encounters with a specific enemy type more of their actions will be revealed to you on a basis but this still relies on you surviving multiple encounters against said enemy. Enemies utilize a fixed set of patterns so if you have good enough memory, you can eventually overcome them by identifying key traits of the patterns their using.
Further complicating matters is the fact that you cannot save whenever you are in areas with enemies (the arenas) so if you go into these dungeon crawling areas, you have to win every battle you go into and come out alive in order to save and make sure that time wasn't all wasted. If you dare play as Caster and have one foul turn, you may find a good 30-60 minutes of grinding wasted so you'll want to play battles with fair caution to your health. The last problem with battles is the fact that you'll probably wish you generated experience a bit faster than you do. Sometimes it feels like the typical JRPG grind and to me that's always been a turn off and probably part of the reason I left the JRPG field after a while. Thankfully the game identifies a recommended level to be when it comes time to face each end-week opponent so you'll have an idea of how to pace yourself.
Presentation (graphics, sound, etc.):
In terms of production values F/E's graphics are pretty decent and generally make use of vibrant colors. Character models look and animate well enough and stand to prove the PSP's graphical capabilities as a mini PS2. The game also feels proper in the sound department for the most part. There are voice samples interspersed during key conversations and story bits which purists may be happy to know are done with the original Japanese voiceovers. The one thing that does strike me in terms of presentation is the game's soundtrack, which seems to almost always convey relaxing tunes in some sort of jazzy nature. Like I mentioned, when I first heard a tune from the game it got me oddly interested in it for some reason (then again I do have a fondness for some game compositions).
While on topic about the game's music, with the Limited Edition you get a ten track music disc and a mini artbook of sorts. The soundtrack omits a lot of tracks (several of which are pretty enjoyable I thought) but the ten on there are pretty enjoyable and it includes the themes of the main three servants. The artbook casing the CD is held in is hardcover with the mini artbook attached inside on the left, featuring a small selection of pieces by one of the artists who worked on the game (Arco Wada according to the book). While one would hope for a more expanded soundtrack or artbook the extra $9 I paid was worth it for me just based on the catchy tunes which I seemingly fell sucker for.
Overall Fate/Extra is a strange beast as a game. Some consider it similar to Persona which in some regards just clearly doesn't feel accurate enough to me. Maybe it's a title inspired by Persona's existence. Whereas Persona was a JRPG that dabbled in what seemed to be visual novel elements, Fate/Extra works in reverse. It was born of visual novel works and chose to cross over into RPG gaming grounds. Perhaps the creators saw Persona's success in genre mixing as an inspiration to try crossing the genres from the other side. Even though the game has some seemingly glaring annoyances, if you can play through them you will (hopefully) find one interestly different RPG. These days I feel like I could hardly stomach some JRPGs because of the time sink they represent (usually thanks to hefty grinding or slow plots) but I feel like this is one I will be finishing because of how different it feels and how interesting the story seems compared to some of the other choices available on the PSP and elsewhere.
- The plot is very interesting
- Fair amount of replayability between gender, servant, and key story choices
- No need for franchise familiarity, it's interesting as-is
- Depending on your taste in tunes the game has a good soundtrack
- Luck based battle system that can be very punishing
- Battle grinding can be monotonous occasionally
- Generally repetitive in terms of the dungeon crawling play (seems expected though)
- Shares the same small world scope that Persona has as an RPG so not much to see exactly
The gameplay is pretty basic. Its basically rock, paper, scissors with a bit of dynamite thrown in and is probably the weakest part of the game. If you can tolerate that you will find the game very enjoyable.
The story is pretty good, and if you are a fan of any fate or even type-moon games you should not pass this up.
This game is full of dead-end choices in the visual novel portions of the game, it actually has a splash screen when you start the game warning you to save often.
I am aware of how lame this review is, everyone else can help you with more descriptive words, I just must say, as a TYPE-MOON fanatic (or as I like to say, "TYPE-MANIAC"), I bought 5 copies of the limited edition. If I had more money, I'd buy more copies. There is a sequel that will be released in Japan next year, and I really want it to be localized. I love Fate, and that is why I love this game.
If you do not love the Fate franchise, you may find an interesting game, but you will never get as much out of it as someone who has read Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero, and Fate/Hollow Ataraxia.
The short version:
This game is worth your money either way, if you are a JRPG fan. This game is worth more than it costs to TYPE-MOON fans. It is not worth your money if you do not like reading, and it is not worth your money if you cannot handle the grind.
You should always play this game with your PSP plugged in, you cannot save while you are earning experience in the arena. You should always over-level, because it's possible for even random enemies to completely destroy you if you are not careful, and you WILL lose your progress. Even on easy or normal.