Overall - 80%
Fate/Samurai Remnant is a great palate cleanser after all the massive games of 2023. Fans of either the Fate series or Musou games shouldn't hesitate to check this one out.
Revealed a year and a half ago, Omega Force and Koei Tecmo’s Fate/Samurai Remnant launches during an overwhelming 2023. Is the game worth checking out, or should you stick to any of the ten other games you have right now?
Fate/Samurai Remnant Review
In Fate/Samurai Remnant, you play as Edo samurai Miyamoto Iori. Skilled with a sword, you sometimes do work cleaning up thugs and Ronin in town. After finishing your work for the day, mysterious assassins attack you while you sleep. While beating them down, an elite warrior shows up and easily handles you. Before you are finished off, another warrior appears to help you.
This warrior is called Saber, and you are their master. After the battle is over, Saber explains what is going on. People are being chosen to partake in this Waxing Moon Ritual, and Iori is one of the participants. In total, there will be seven masters that fight to the death. The one who wins will have their wish granted, both master and servant. With that goal in mind, you set out to become stronger and to stop the other masters in Edo.
The streets of Edo are not always peaceful. You start off facing thugs and Ronin, but it quickly escalates to monsters and even enemy servants. With Saber backing you up, you can power up quickly and hold your own in fights. You learn magic, get new fighting stances, and unlock a huge skill tree. On top of that, each area has bounties for taking out enemies and monsters, so you gain even more experience and cash.
The combat is simple and involves a lot of hitting square and following up with a triangle attack. Every fight has a boss mob to defeat and many weaker enemies as fodder. You smack them around to build up your special attack and then use that for significant damage. It’s basically a Musou game on a much smaller scale. And while you play Iori most of the time, you can play Saber as a special move. Once the special bar depletes, you switch back, but it is still fun to play as your servants.
While you fight a lot, there is plenty to see in Edo itself. Rogue servants hand out in different areas, fighting with you or even giving you some quests. Dogs and cats are all over the place, and you are rewarded for finding them all. There are food stalls and general stores to heal you and restore your special meters. And there are plenty of shining items to pick up off the floor. The game gave me slight Yakuza vibes; low-budget Yakuza, but still Yakuza nonetheless.
The rogue servants are how you get most of your side missions. If you help them, they eventually help you. Nearly all of them end in a fight with some sort of boss, but sometimes, it’s a simple story request. Playing as the rogue servants is a fun break from Saber and Iori, especially when they have their special attack ready. And since Iori only uses swords, trying other servants is the only way to use a spear and other weapons. It’s also good fan service if you like the series.
When you aren’t roaming the streets of Edo, you will be back at your home base. Here, you can spend your resources and cash to buy new upgrades like better stats, lower shop prices, or the ability to change a rogue servant anywhere. It’s a smart system to add because you are typically drowning in money with nothing to purchase in these games. You can also upgrade your gear here, make Buddha statues, and perform maintenance on your sword. It’s all simple mini-games, but the benefits make it worth doing.
Since you are part of the ritual, you gain access to the Leylines of the area. Basically, in order to get into another area of town, you need to use the Leylines as a connection point. It’s not as easy as just walking, though. There is a whole tactical mini-game involved, and it was one of my favorite parts of the game. During the Leyline game, you take areas of the map to claim the enemy base. On the way there, you have to fight enemies and clear the path. If you claim the whole board, you get a better reward and access to a new area.
The biggest disappointment is that you don’t play the Leyline game very often. There are only so many areas to unlock; beyond that, you only get a few side quests to enter the Leyline. I guess because you get permanent stat boosts, they didn’t want you becoming overpowered—still, a few more matches there would have been nice. The other thing you’ll have to deal with is how repetitive the combat gets. Some bosses are HP sponges and have multiple shields, which is annoying. My strategy lately has been to spam food to get special attacks and then spam the attacks. I wouldn’t call it fun, but it is effective.
As for tech problems, I didn’t have any crashes or bugs. I did have the odd frame drop here and there, but nothing serious.
Fate/Samurai Remnant is a great palate cleanser after all the massive games of 2023. Fans of either the Fate series or Musou games shouldn’t hesitate to check this one out.
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