Review: The Awakened Fate Ultimatum (PlayStation 3)

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation 3 1,613 view 2 likes 4 comments
Reviewed by Dominik Dudek, posted Mar 12, 2015
Mar 12, 2015
  • Release Date (NA): March 17, 2015
  • Release Date (EU): March 20, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): September 25, 2014
  • Publisher: NIS America
  • Developer: Nippon Ichi software
  • Genres: Rouglike RPG
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Have you ever wanted to become a god, fighting in a war between Angels and Devils and alter fate?
Dominik Dudek
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Introduction

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is a sequel to a game called The Guided Fate Paradox.
I haven't played the predecessor so I didn't know what to expect from the game. The angelic aesthetic gave me mixed feelings since I usually tend to like sci-fi or medieval fantasy more.
Also I didn't like that a Mystery dungeon-esque game was on a console and not handheld. So the tides were pretty much against me with this game. However I was pleasantly surprised on some occasions.

Gameplay

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum is your typical Mystery Dungeon game. You go through randomly generated dungeons, collect items and equipment and kill lots of angelic & demonic type enemies in the process.
The spin on that genre is the Deitize system. You can switch between an angel and devil form to deal more/less damage to the angelic/demonic enemy types. Each form has different abilities and growth curve.
The growth System of the game is a Final Fantasy X like sphere grid system although it's nowhere near as big and complex as FFX's sphere grid. Each level up allows you to spend a point on the sphere grid, increasing the power of either the angel or devil form of your character.
You can also spend extra points via the fate choices. During conversation you eventually get to choose either a good fate or a bad fate. Which gives you a corresponding point that you can spend on a skill of the corresponding form only.
This does give the game some replay value and the way the narrative alters on your decisions is pretty nice. However the end results of these conversations are pretty much the same as the character development of your main character would stop making sense if it had too much diversity.

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Presentation

The game's presentation is really lacking. You can literally tell that this game's budged wasn't the biggest.
Dialogue consists of completely static imagery of the characters who participate in the conversation. Even Hyperdimension Neptunia had more "action packed" conversations than this.
The opening movie also consists of static images that just slide around the screen with some fancy video effects. There are no anime or CGI cutscenes which is unfortunate because there are many points in the game where showing a animated cutscene would have a bigger impact on the player.
Graphics in the dungeon aren't impressive. There is no hub world either so micromanaging between dungeons is done entirely in menus.
The soundtrack has it's fair share of angelic themed tracks which fits the game's atmosphere but isn't something I personally like listening to. Fortunately there are enough anime-styled tracks to make a nice balance.
The English voice actors did a good job on portraying their characters. I usually immediately switch to Japanese voices but outside of a few instances the English voice acting was good enough for me to play the game with English voices.
However you can't thank NISA enough for doing dual audio in almost every game they publish. Such a nice option to have.
Personally though I feel the game would have been suited to the 3DS or PSVita.

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Story

The story however does redeem most of the game's quirks.
Your character, Shin Kamikaze, is a normal boy (with a surprisingly strange name) who is killed on the way home back from school by a bunch of devils. Fortunately he wakes up in Celestia where the angel, Jupiel, and the devil, Ariael, have revived him. They tell him that they inserted the Fate Awakening crystal into him and that he is now a God who can decide Fate. You know, the usual stuff. They explain that the angels desperately need help in the war against the devils, since they are at a huge disadvantage.
After all the devils already have their own God, a Vile God.
The Story isn't something that was never told before however it touches on many serious topics like war, child soldiers, sacrificing the weak so that the strong have better chances of winning, racism (Yes angel/devil racism is a thing in that game), the list goes on and on. Also the game just loves to rub the consequences of your fate decisions into your face. This game could have been easily renamed into "Consequences in the face rubbing Simulator".
Other than that there is a fair share on Japanese jokes to keep the mood up. Jupiel and Ariael are constantly fighting over who Shin should spend more time with like in a cute love triangle. There is also a surprise lacking of perverted jokes, which I wouldn't expect from angels but even Ariael, as a devil, is disappointing on that front. I guess that girl is just too busy eating her instant noodles. Can't blame her.
Apparently the story was a strong point of the predecessors too so if you liked the previous game you will probably like this one too.

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Lasting Replay

This game doesn't have huge replay value. You can replay the game to see the different outcomes of the fate choices but other than that there isn't much replay value.
Having only 2 elements, light and dark, is not enough to bring huge gameplay variety. Also it takes the game pretty long to introduce new enemy types.
For comparison; even Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, a game designed for a much younger audience, doesn't suffer from such things.
Verdict
Pros
+ relatively good narrative
+ the fate system is pretty good
+ Araiel is totally into instant noodles
Cons
- lack in gameplay variety
- low presentation
6 Presentation
6 Gameplay
6 Lasting Appeal
6.9
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
The game while having a good narrative suffers from many issues like presentation and gameplay variety. It's not a bad game by any means. It's a very niche game that might have been much better if it got a higher budget. If you are a fan of the previous installment or you don't care about the lackluster presentation that much then I would definitely recommend it to you. However if you can't look past all the issues then you might want to wait till the game is on sale.
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