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Developer: Marvelous Inc.
Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA, Inc., Marvelous
Release Date: Mar 19, 2019
Edited by Thorstag
The world created by the Fate series in an interesting one, of heroes, legends and demigods being brought into the virtual world different than their real-life selves and working as a team under one being, the master. Fate/EXTELLA LINK is a Dynasty Warriors style action game developed by Marvelous!, later published by Marvelous! And Xseed Games. This game brings quick and responsive controls, fast gameplay, and a new story to the Fate universe while adding on a few hiccups along the way.
The story to be revealed in Fate/EXTELLA LINK is one of unique telling, as a new battles wage on in the grid of SE.RA.PH. As the player, we take the role of the master, a being who exists on the moon after the events of Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star as a new threat appears to be trying to take control of SE.RA.PH, the program behind the moon through a new form of mind control known as oracalization. Now it is up to the master to discover who is behind this new evil, save other servants from becoming oracalized and fight for the moon once more. This game has three core endings, with the last one being the most important, as it unlocks very hard mode and other various functions in the game.
From a story perspective, Fate/EXTELLA LINK is solid, with good writing to back it up and goes as far as to explain many things left in the dark, but it is not perfect. The main problem I had with the story was the timeline jumps between endings, making it so certain servants become inaccessible for long periods for play in the game. The servants are all unique, and this locked away a few of the really fun ones for me personally during my playthrough.
Charging into battle with a servant by your side, the gameplay of Fate/EXTELLA LINK splits itself between two areas, the battlefield and your base of command. Let us start with the base of command, which has three main functions. Starting with my room, you can change the servant you want to bring into battle with you, craft and equip mythic codes, a form of skill piece with various skills to help your servant in battle, and converse with the servant for pieces to add to the datalog. The other major point of interest in the base of command is the strategy room, a place where you can select servants to be support for your servant in combat, accept side missions from other servant’s that once completed in battle, give them a bond level and choose the mission difficulty.
Your servant is highly customizable, with access to seven active skills that can be used in combat as they level up, costume changes which can be earned in-game or bought from the PlayStation Network, and the use of skill chips. Skill chips are earned from certain levels in the bond system, as well as dropped and useable after you complete a mission. These skills range from many things, such as increasing your attack power, defense, range of attack, to name a few. You can also power level a new servant or lower-level servant at the cost of QP, the games financial currency through a system known as Money is power.
Jumping on the battlefield, you now control the selected servant and are tasked to take over all of the enemies territories, while completing the various task that pops up during the mission. The Dynasty Warriors style formula is kept pretty intact, using certain buttons to attack, chain combos together, use active skills, and gain enough power to use your moon drive or noble phantasm. The most significant unique factor to this game’s combat is the noble phantasm, or essentially a screen-wide nuke that takes a fair amount of time to charge up but can instantly kill most small enemies, heavily damaging enemy servants in the process.
There is are two more modes the game offers the player, extra battle and multiplayer. The extra battle is more of the core gameplay, but with certain restrictions and elements added to it for a challenge, this mode can also unlock mystic modes for you to craft and costumes for characters exclusive to these missions. Multiplayer is unique though in how it is played, as it pits you and three other masters against a team of four enemy masters in four versus four face off to see who is the stronger master.
With the focus on presentation, Fate/EXTELLA LINK goes between what I would consider a 3d claymation aspect and a more traditional 2d aspect. Visually, you have to look at Fate/EXTELLA LINK from two ways. First, the 2d elements come in when you speak to various servants in the base, as well as cutscenes throughout the game. These 2d images are pretty responsive to the event going on, helping the player stay attuned to what is going on. Then there are the 3d models, which are used in the base as you walk around, the missions themselves and the backgrounds in each mission or the base. The 3d work stands out nicely, with clean motions when you attack, use an ability, or move around from sector to sector. The backgrounds are another layer to the 3d elements that stands out, as they are vast, interesting, and when something has movement, moves nicely.
With a soundtrack that cast a wide net in styles, Fate/EXTELLA LINK offers something for everyone to enjoy. Musically, Fate/EXTELLA LINK covers its basis and more, with songs that range from poppy and happy, to dark but serious, with a wide range of instruments to play their part, be it the clash of a symbol or riff from a guitar. Sound effects come into play heavily, and while not perfect, they do get excellently used, like the clashing of swords as a base example.
As the dust clears the battlefield, I found Fate/EXTELLA LINK to be a positive experience, with many things such as the overall combat system, minus its flaws, to be a great representation of the game’s value. The solid but well-written story, overall excellent combat system, heavily customizable servants, split animated art style, and a soundtrack that covers grounds sets you up for an adventure you want to go on.
- A solid, well-written and presented story
- The overall combat system feels rewarding
- Use of both 2d and 3d visual styles that do not get overtaken
- A soundtrack that has something for everyone
- Locking of certain servants behind the story wall
- Combat can get stale if playing one character only challenges
DarkLunarDude gives Fate/EXTELLA LINK a Drastik Measure of 9.0 out of 10.0 (90)
For the price of $49.99 on the PlayStation Network, I can highly recommend Fate/EXTELLA LINK to those seeking a throwback to older dynasty warriors games or anime themes hack and slashers, as this game while can become stale combat-wise, offers multiple options for play styles, even at the class level.