The Awakened Fate Ultimatum (PlayStation 3) Review

By Michael Whittaker 14.11.2015

Review for The Awakened Fate Ultimatum on PlayStation 3

Developed by Nippon Ichi, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum arrives with all of the visual swagger expected from the aforementioned developer. Two years after its predecessor, Guided Fate Paradox, Awakened unleashes a new rich, engrossing fantasy world, charged with all the eccentric anime style the world has come to expect from such titles. The strategy model is certainly more expansive this time round, and whilst the game bestows further abilities and features upon the player, like the saying goes: "With great power comes great responsibility." With the lives of so many at stake, the sentiment certainly rings true in The Awakened Fate Ultimatum.

Narratively speaking, the stakes are raised both early and abruptly from the get-go under the ascendance of the protagonist Shin. Under attack from suitably villainess devils and subsequently murdered at their hands, despite the failed attempts to protect him from a mysterious woman, Shin nevertheless is bought back to life by the angels of legend, descendants of a faraway world named Celestia. Despite Shin's confusion as to the reasoning behind his second coming, he then finds he has been implanted with a mysterious crystal, granting him a god-like status and ability in deciding the fates of others, which is just as well, as Shin soon finds himself in the midst of a war between the angels and devils.

Fortunately for Shin, the weight of the monumental tasks ahead of him are spread across his companions, in the form of gutsy warrior Jupiel, who constantly watches Shins back, which cannot be said for Ariael, who seems preoccupied with researching the Fate Awakening Crystal. As fans of the genre will expect, their relationship and that of others throughout the game evolves the further their journey continues, with a level of depth akin to relationships seen in prior games, and, more recently, in the Fire Emblem series. It's this aspect that truly turns coal to diamond.

Awakened really feels alive the more its characters and all their nuances are known. The bond created with these ever-growing characters is systematic in drawing an emotional reaction from the player when faced with the consequences of a conflicted war and forced to make increasingly cruel choices, all of which have severe consequences and are suitably responded to by the affected characters, adding layers to their always-developing personalities.

They way in which Shin and others interact is framed within static backgrounds and minimal animations. It's a simplistic (if unoriginal) approach, but still executed with an eye-catching anime style under a rich and vibrant palette.

Screenshot for The Awakened Fate Ultimatum on PlayStation 3

Much of The Awakened Fate Ultimatum unfolds in the dungeons Shin roams, although some seem to exist merely as a shallow form of exploration through various floors, with the only reward being items scattered around, arming Shin with gear needed to progress. Whilst not without its merits, such dungeons would have been better served, perhaps, with a bigger aim in mind, other than finding the exit at the end.

However, the developer injects some inspired ideas into Awakened; no mean feat, indeed. It's here that the powers of the Fate Awakening Crystal become apparent. With its power, Shin is able to transform - or Deitize - between angel or devil form. Doing this gives Shin the upper hand in battle, although special attention must be paid to the SP gauge, which runs down the longer it is used or the more moves are performed when in angel or devil form. It certainly adds a new level of stealth to what otherwise becomes a simple single button bashing exercise. Thankfully - and importantly - the battle system is also aided by a wealth of customisable weaponry, further widening options in battle.

The downside to having a protagonist with such an abundance of fire power, in some cases, lies in the balance of the difficulty, which inevitably shifts towards the more pedestrian side of the scale. In The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, this is not so much an issue, in part due to the infestation of some craftily designed enemies lurking within a few of the dungeons. One foe, in particular, takes great pleasure in sucking the items off of Shin. As satisfying as it is to build a battle-worthy inventory of goods, the player will have to be extremely careful when trespassing through the dungeons, as the penalty for succumbing to an enemy lies not only with death, but with the emptying of any such inventory. This may infuriate some gamers, although it certainly adds a level of tension, and, in any case, such misfortune can be alleviated with the use of revive gems, which keeps death at arm's length.

Paralleling the narrative and enriching the presentation further is a soundtrack capable of charging highly emotional scenes, as well as complimentary ambient sounds. Music is certainly an essential part of most games, but some would argue more so in an RPG, and especially in one with so many emotional tones to hit. The many scores in Awakened really do add to a world already full of life and does an excellent job of creating unease in tense filled sections.

Screenshot for The Awakened Fate Ultimatum on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum's biggest drawback will likely be singled out to be its difficulty, or lack thereof, for some. Whilst it does offer some challenge, further work in the department would have done wonders for an otherwise commendable and charming effort. Along with an engrossing story to tell, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum enlists the company of some truly likeable and greatly detailed characters, whom will stay with many gamers, long after they leave Celestia.

Developer

Nippon Ichi

Publisher

NIS America

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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