Review by John Hellier
Ever wondered what would happen if Japan designed historical figures and myths? Well too bad if you haven’t, because this is what we have right here. Fate/EXTELIA LINK is the 4th game in the Fate/EXTRA seriesLINK games from xseed, which itself is based on the manga fate/stay night. I’m starting to think I picked the wrong place to jump in…
Actually, it’s not as bad as all that. Sure the setting takes a little getting used to (virtual reality recreation of the earth after a war [I think] where historical figures are brought to life from data stored about them as NPCs in order to protect the new digital world for the digitized humans who inhabit it) Anyone still following? Like I said, this is my first encounter with this series, so didn’t fully grasp everything straight away. Helpfully, the story Fate/EXTELIA LINK is fully self-contained, so no prior knowledge is necessary. Luckily the game explains itself well enough to be accessible, without seeming to be too basic for established fans.
Plot is a relatively simple affair, a big bad is trying to brainwash (oraclize) the NPCs in order to bring unity to SE.RA.PH. (the computer), and you as the last remaining wizard (good hacker who can command NPC servants) have to stop it. The terminology gets easier with practice. This takes the form of a branching mission tree with each stage having its own explanation and story segment, nice and straightforward. Well this is embarrassing, I’ve yet to describe the game, got caught up in the terminology. Ok, so simply Fate/EXTELIA LINK is a sci-fi Dynasty Warriors. You choose which servant to use for the mission, then you hack and slash everything in your path, securing sectors and following in mission prompts. Combat is basic, I’m amazed I didn’t wear my square button out by mashing it so much, but enjoyable, nonetheless. There are flashy super moves you can do and such, but mainly it boils down to hit square until the enemy stops moving.
Now about these servants (the characters you use in missions, keep up). They range from the well-known like Archimedes and Lancelot, to more Eastern legends like Darius III and Lu By (yes, he from Dynasty Warriors, but to be fair he is badass). These all have a typical Japanese bent, I’m pretty sure Francis Drake wasn’t a tall pirate lady with an enormous rack, or that King Arthur was actually a woman called Artoria, but if you can forgive these aspects you should have a lot of fun with this game.
I’m fairly confident the character designer, once finished with the re-imagination of myths and legends, decided to take the rest of the development time as holiday, because enemies come in only like 5 different models. Now given that these are supposed to be generic attack programs made by a computer that’s OK but given how you routinely will take out 4000+ per mission, they do tend to get a tad repetitive.
Repetition is also the name of the game when it comes to level design. Sectors are separate islands you transition between like a low budget Superman, but the scenery is good enough to distract from the fact. The levels themselves also get reused a fair bit, between story missions and the unlockable bonus missions. There is a fair chunk of game here, but only if you don’t mind a lack of variety.
Overall, I’m not sure I’d say this game is “great” in the classical sense, combat is simplistic, and missions are pretty similar, but I can honestly say it’s fun, an aspect a lot of games are forgetting these days.
Overall score 7/10
Kind of disappointed they didn’t put Lu By in a dress though…