Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star Review
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star makes its way to the Switch after its launch on the PlayStation 4 earlier this year. Does the game fare well enough to warrant this port, or should you keep you Switch in its dock? Check out our Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star review and see what we thought.
Fate/Extella The Umbral Star Review
At the start of the game, you wake up in an unknown place as an unknown person. You’ve lost your memory, and all you can remember is your name. After a brief encounter with a large unknown enemy, you awaken on a throne in a different place. In front of you is your loyal servant Nero, who attempts to figure out what is going on with you. You are in a place call SE.RA.PH, and together with Nero, you won The Holy Grail War. Even though you and Nero were the victors, others are trying to claim SE.RA.PH as their own. You will have to face them with Nero and other Servants and claim what is rightfully yours. There are three primary campaigns that follow the three different servants. As you beat one campaign, another is unlocked, and you can play as another main character. There is also a fourth campaign that is available after you beat the other three. In all, the game will run you anywhere from 20-30 hours, depending on how much side content you do. I will admit that you might be a bit lost if you don’t follow the FATE series.
The bulk of the game has you going from chapter to chapter, taking over different territories and smashing your enemies. It is very similar to a Dynasty Warriors of Hyrule Warriors game in that regard. Gameplay consists of mashing attacks together with basic and heavy inputs until you get a special move, and then using that. As you kill the drones, the bosses ones come out, and you have to defeat it to take over a sector. The big issue is that most of the units look the same. The boss units start off as larger common enemies, but then change into different robots. After you take enough sectors, the real boss comes out, which is usually one of the other servants from the series. Occasionally there are also random enemy servants on the map that you have to deal with as they take over your territory.
The main story has you mostly playing as the same character. You can switch to another character on your team with the right gear, but you cannot select a new character during the story. However, there are side stories for the games other servants if you want to try them out. These are very similar to the main story, but you are following and playing as a different servant. There is also a Free Battle mode, where you can pick any of the servants you have unlocked and level them up. Free Battle is also a good way to farm extra materials and cash for crafting.
While you are in between missions, you will be able to chat with your servant and raise your bond with her. The higher your bond with a servant, the quicker they level and the more install skills they can equip. Install skills are buffs that you can put on your characters. These include basic attack buffs, defense buffs, HP buffs or even elemental attacks. You can increase your bond with other characters by doing their side stories. You can also buff yourself by crafting new armor to suit your playstyle. The armor will give you new moves that you can use to assist in combat. The abilities come in all sorts of different forms, but finding one that suits you doesn’t take long. Oh, you can also change your servant’s clothes here based on a few different outfits they have.
Admittedly the game does look pretty dated. It is an older game, but even then it looks last gen. I did run into some issues when I was facing a lot of enemies at once. The game got a bit slow and choppy, but it never crashed on me. Oddly enough, these issues weren’t as prevalent, or I didn’t notice them as much, while I was in the handheld mode. For anyone who cares, the game is in Japanese with English subtitles.
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is a decent hack-and-slash with a solid character upgrade system. If you are a fan of the FATE series, then you will most likely enjoy this game. If you don’t know anything about it, however, then you might want to check a couple videos out before purchasing the game.