Overall - 90%
The Awakened Fate Ultimatum takes the best elements from rogue-likes and visual novel-style games, combining them into something that is absolutely heavenly...or devilish, depending on who you are. Those looking for something fresh and new need not look any further -- this is the game for you.
Difficult games tread a fine line between frustrating and fun, but titles that pull off this balance are often true classics. Nippon Ichi Software has a new challenge in store for gamers with The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, a rogue-like RPG that is harder than most. Should you rise up to this role-playing gauntlet?
The Awakened Fate Ultimatum Review
One may think that being god is all sunshine and lollipops, but not so for the hero of The Awakened Fate Ultimatum. After biting the dust in his ordinary life, our hero Shin Kamikaze is implanted with the Fate Awakening Crystal and turned into a god. Being a god comes with lots of responsibility though, as he must fight his way through a war between angels and demons and make particularly difficult decisions. What follows is a tale that touches on genocide, child soldiers, sacrifice, and death. It’s all heavy stuff, but it works well within the script and gives choices much more weight.
Despite these somber themes, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum has its fair share of lighthearted moments. The protagonist Shin Kamizaze might be an emo prettyboy trying to find his way through life, but he acts as a great foil to the world around him. The catty relationship between the angel Jupiel and the devil Ariael oftentimes alleviates most situations without being too reliant on cliches, while Netherworld denizens Phyllis and Hien are just punchable enough to keep you fighting. It’s quality stuff, on par with the best anime series out there.
But how does The Awakened Fate Ultimatum play? Rogue-like neophytes might be a little confused at first with its quirky style of gameplay, but happenings become second nature in due time. Every move Shin Kamikaze makes causes the world around him to make one in turn, creating a chess-like state of play. Everything counts, with each character, item, and trap signifying a piece. The ultimate goal? Get to the top floor.
Some may find this type of gameplay off-putting, but it allows for a deeper element of strategy. Every single move is important, and dungeons require careful calculations of HP (health), SP (magic), and AC (overall energy) to survive. The same goes for your angel and devil abilities, which serve as a way to imbue Shin Kamikaze with “deitized” abilities. Studying enemy patterns is crucial as well, as failure can come swiftly in its unforgiving world. With the penalty for failure being the loss of your inventory, this punishment is just frustrating enough to keep you playing. It’s tough, but fair.
The Awakened Fate Ultimatum takes the best elements from rogue-likes and visual novel-style games, combining them into something that is absolutely heavenly…or devilish, depending on who you are. Those looking for something fresh and new need not look any further — this is the game for you.