Fate/EXTELLA LINK

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Title: Fate/EXTELLA LINK
Developer: Marvelous!
Publisher: Marvelous!
Website: http://fateextellalink.com/
Genre: Action, RPG
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: 12+
Release Date: 22/03/19
Price: £44.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

What the Developers say

Servants from across the Fate series have come together to battle a new sinister threat to SE.RA.PH. Fully-loaded with new elements, Fate/EXTELLA LINK includes never-before-seen Servants, fresh scenarios, polished graphics and refined gameplay.

With 10 Servants added to the original roster of 16, foes will quiver at the True Name of players’ Noble Phantasms as they assume the role of their favorite Servant.

Put your skills to the test and engage in massive 4-on-4 online battles with up to 7 other players.

New heroes. New stages. New rivals… Emerge again on the Lunar Battlefield!

Introduction

Fate/EXTELLA LINK combines Warriors-style gameplay with an epic storyline of JRPG proportions; with multiple characters to choose from and a branching story path, there’s a lot of gameplay time here if you want to invest. For those who, like me, are unfamiliar with the Fate/EXTELLA universe I’ll try and summarise as best I can. Technical terms aside it is quite text heavy, and it helps to have a glance at the in-game glossary the developers have kindly included.

Set as a direct sequel to the previous entry, Fate EXTELLA: The Umbral Star, you play in the virtual world of SE.RA.PH (an abbreviation for “Serial Phantasm”) which is being threatened by Rex Magnus Karl. He wants to Oraclize everyone in the SE.RA.PH system to obey his will and gain control; which involves re-writing their mental attributes. This is where your heroic bunch come in, and there are different Servants each under the power of one Master; You. They want to stop Magnus Karl from achieving his goal, and you get to play as a whole host of familiar and new faces from the Fate/EXTELLA universe.

Looks and Sounds

Graphically the game has a gorgeous art style; of course, it’ll come as no surprise that it’s very much an Anime inspired game. You’ve got crazy hairstyles, outrageous costumes and some even whackier conversations between the main characters. If you’re playing in handheld mode, I did find the graphical quality dropped, and the action slowed down, but only at times when a lot was happening on screen. I wouldn’t say it dampened my experience but playing on the tv was preferable. All of the characters have some fantastic Noble Phantasm abilities as well as a Moon Drive where you’re treated to some over the top animation sequences which will obliterate the enemy team. Most of the story is played out via text-based scenes, but there are a few times when cinematics are used.

Holy. That’s the best word I could use to describe the musical score of Fate/EXTELLA LINK. It works well, and I enjoyed playing handheld with my headphones plugged in, it’s very atmospheric with a lot of choral sounds and an orchestral feel.

Gameplay and Replayability

Hands up if you’re a fan of the Dynasty Warriors series? Dabbled with Hyrule Warriors or Fire Emblem Warriors? Well, the gameplay is pretty identical to all of these titles. You have the main hub which is a giant floating church in the sky; you can customise your team, level up your Servants and even have a chat with the locals. This is where you start before you begin the main story missions and it may look quite grand but don’t be overwhelmed as there’s a limited set of things you’ll be doing here.

When you start each mission, the idea is to take over and control as many base points as possible while also defeating the enemy teams boss. It’s never that straight forward though, with extra cannon fodder trying to stick their oar in along the way. There are four varying levels of difficulty and a vast array of characters to strengthen your bonds with, so the amount of replayability here is a big plus.

You have a light and a strong attack which can be combined for different combo abilities and the more enemies you defeat, the better your score will be at the end of the mission, amongst other factors that determine the overall outcome. You’ve also got your Moon Drive and Noble Phantasm abilities. These have immense attack power and will deal a lot of damage; it’s a clever system that works in parallel with one another. To build your Moon Drive, you need to gain enough mana from defeated enemies. Once you’ve initiated your enhanced attack power with the tap of the A button, all enemies defeated while in this state contribute to your Noble Phantasm bar, so you need to use both of these abilities to get the most from what each Servant has to offer.

The story is split across a number of days, and within each day there may be one, two, three or even four missions. You can progress by doing the bare minimum and completing a couple of missions at a time to move onto the next day, or you can choose to play out each story path simultaneously. It’s a great system which means you can decide how you want to enjoy the game. There are 16 returning Servants and 10 brand new ones, but they aren’t all available from the start; with a multitude of different classes and optional costumes thrown into the mix as well. You are spoilt for choice with varying styles of play when it comes to each Servant.

There are local and online multiplayer options, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try these modes out before this review. The local option is slightly misleading as you need to each have a copy of the game and two switch consoles to play together.

Conclusion

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Fate/EXTELLA LINK and discovering what the game has to offer, and while I could argue the gameplay can get a little repetitive, you’re constantly unlocking new characters and story branches which keep you diving back in for more. With the ability to customise different skill abilities to every character as well it keeps the battles fresh and exciting.

As a newcomer to the series I initially felt a little overwhelmed with a very brief introduction to the story, but if you stick with it after the first few missions, you’ll feel right at home. With additional missions as well as the main story, multiple difficulty levels, a strong cast of characters, unlockable outfits, an RPG style levelling up system and some epic Noble Phantasm’s you’re getting a lot of content that will take you on an incredible journey if you allow yourself to be taken in to the Fate/EXTELLA universe.

While this was my first in the series; I can guarantee it won’t be the last.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

You can purchase Fate/EXTELLA LINK on the Nintendo eShop at the following link,
https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Fate-EXTELLA-LINK–1523854.html

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