Fate/Extella by Sam
It’s Sam! And today I’m reviewing the newest Fate/Game, Fate/Extella!
Fate/Extella is the continuation of the Fate/Extra franchise that began with a PSP game that was released in America in November of 2011. The game itself is a sequel to Fate/Extra, though it is the third installment of the game series. Fate/Extra CCC was the real successor, but was never translated for Western audiences. Luckily enough, Fate/Extella mostly forgets about CCC, which explains why the game was localized.
If you are familiar with the Fate/Franchise, made popular by the Japanese company Type Moon, then you’re more than familiar with some of the characters that appear within the game’s narrative. If you played Fate/Extra, then you will be comfortable jumping into this game. However, since Fate/Extra came out so long ago, it’s definitely a good idea to refresh yourself on what happened in that game.
Regardless this review is mostly spoiler free; I won’t spoil the plot, but I do talk about secret characters, so read at your own discretion! However, if you are already a fan of Fate, then these are really not spoilers.
The story of Fate/Extella is a direct sequel to the events of Fate/Extra. Going into Extella not knowing the events of the game will definitely confuse you. I would go far enough to say that it is required playing for this game. The story branches off into three paths based on three characters: Saber, who is a genderbent version of the Roman emperor Nero Claudius, Caster, who is the fabled Fox demon courtesan Tamamo-no-Mae, and Altera, a character only unknown to those that have not played the Type Moon mobile game Fate/Grand Order.
There is also a slew of side characters that range from Sir Gawain, Knight of the Round Table, Medusa the Gorgon from Greek Mythology, and Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia. All but one original playable character are franchise veterans, so odds are that one of your Fate/Waifus are in this game.
Regardless of the path you chose, the events of the game have the main character (who is customizable in regards to gender and name) following the character of your choice after their victory in the Moon Cell Holy Grail War. The story is absolutely engaging. It’s a fun twist on the outcome of Fate/Extra, and depending on the path you choose, the ending is different. However, there is a final story that melds a bit of all the stories into one, and it would be considered the true end of the game. It a really satisfying ending, as the main villain in this game is certainly one you want to punch in the face.
The downside is that the story is really only satisfying if you love Nero, Tamamo and Altera. If you’re there for Gilgamesh, Arturia or Jeanne D’arc, prepare to face some disappointment. However, the die-hard fans of the series will love the game enough to where the rest of it doesn’t really matter. The fact that I can play as all these amazing people from mythology, history and literature is enough to really satiate my appetite for gorgeous anime characters.
I give the Story/Characters 8/10 as I am a long time fan of the series.
The gameplay of Fate/Extella is styled after Musou games. In the West, they are called Warriors games, as the style was made popular by the Dynasty Warriors games. You play as one character while flinging around hordes of minions, capturing territories, fighting bosses and completing side missions you get you more upgrades for the characters. The plot of the game plays out like a visual novel, where you read and watch the characters as they interact with each other.
After completing the game, you’re able to replay parts of the story, do new missions for the game and play short side stories for the rest of the characters that got snubbed in the main stories. You are free to play as all of the characters that you unlocked throughout the story, though there is one secret character (that’s really not so secret? I mean it’s Saber from Fate/Stay Night…).
However, I wouldn’t say Fate/Extella is a “Musou Game with Visual Novel Elements” but a “Visual Novel with Musou Game Elements”. You will spend way more time reading the story than you will fighting and running around. This might be a turnoff to some players who would rather just fight then see the story. But, again, if you’re really into the Fate/Universe, then you won’t really mind one bit.
To add to the visual novel elements, there is an affection meter with all the characters that can help you gain skills for them. Nero, Tamamo and Altera’s affection meters are the only ones that matter in regards to the story, as they can be raised with dialogue choices instead of just side missions in the game. There are plenty of fanservice-y scenes for Nero and Tamamo, though Altera’s are not as good as she is technically a new character.
There’s a lot of nice combos in the game that pay homage to the characters, as well as a mode called “Extella Maneuvers” that are like special attacks that can help you board wipe faster. Each character also has an “Awakening” kind of mode where they are powered up and don’t flinch as easily. Though only Nero and Tamamo get special outfits for it. Each character also has one ultimate move, known as a Noble Phantasm, and they are incredibly familiar if you are a Fate/Fan. Cu Chulainn uses Gae Bolg, Nameless uses Unlimited Blade Works, and so on.
I give the gameplay a 6/10.
The game, obviously, is an Anime game, so the majority of the art is similar to Fate/Zero and Fate/Unlimited Blade Works. There is a very well made opening for the game that was made by Studio Shaft that is also in an Anime style. So yeah, you like anime? Then you’re good, haha.
In regards to the graphics, it really depends on the system that you’re using the game for. Fate/Extella is available for PS4 and PS Vita, so the graphics on the Vita are much more pleasing than the graphics on the PS4. Because the game was going to be made for the PS Vita, the developers obviously couldn’t push the limits of the PS4, so they game’s art style is more cartoon than realistic.
That doesn’t mean this game isn’t visually pleasing, though. The flashy attacks, Noble Phantasms and the different area’s of the game are beautiful as they capture the atmosphere of the scene very well. Tamamo’s world is very traditionally Japanese, but is pink and covered in hearts. Nero’s looks much like a castle, but is covered in reds and golds. These areas play to the characters so well it looks like they designed it themselves, which is kinda what they did in the narrative.
I give the Graphics/Visuals a 6/10
The DLC as of now is kind of weak for the game. It’s mostly just costumes for the characters. Bathing suits and other random outfits that you can put on and play. Maybe they might release some DLC in the form of new short chapter stories, but I honestly don’t see that happening. The focus of the game was on Nero, Tamamo and Altera. And I don’t think DLC is really needed to further their stories.
I give the Online/DLC 1/10.
All in all, this game is a really great experience if you are a fan of Type Moon, particularly the Fate/Series. If you’re just getting into Fate and want to start with this game, I advise against it. I’d start with the original visual novels, or with the Fate/Zero anime. And THEN play Fate/Extra before you play Fate/Extella. Fate/Extella itself is not friendly to newcomers. If you’re not into Fate and are just in it for the Warriors style gameplay, then this game is not for you. You will be incredibly lost and due to to the bias towards the story and less towards the actual gameplay, you won’t have fun.
Final Score: 7/10