Awakened Fate Ultimatum is the sequel to Guided Fate Paradox and NISA has decided to release another roguelike after the mild success of Legasista so many moons ago. The genre is gaining a third wind in the gaming market right now and this installment is a significant improvement over the previous title. However, it does suffer from some of the similar problem GFP had and that is somewhat disappointing, even off putting. Good news is that you can play this game, and not feel totally left in the dark in regards to the story.
Several years after the Guided Fate Paradox, Heaven and Hell are at war again. However, that was just a battle, and the war is still raging on. A young boy won the lottery and became God, how did his actions change the relationship between good and evil? Well apparently not very much because the war is worse off and both the devils and angels exhibit cruel forms of punishment for one another.
A new person has been chosen to become God after being murdered by a small faction of devils. He was saved by the angel Jupiel and brought to Celestia to undergo training and lead an army to evil’s doorstep and stop the fighting once and for all. Being God has the perks you would expect, but enacting judgments is the hardest of these responsibilities, and the new God must choose to sacrifice the lives of a few, or save the lives of many.
I find this game’s story a bit better than the previous one. The ability to make choices to alter the story and how characters perceive you is a nice addition. Both sides seem to have drastic consequences and not very many positive ones. Which is actually amazing. With that being said, the story is still incredibly slow and takes a very long time to get to the point. This would be remedied by taking out the filler cutscenes and interactions before a major event in the story. I understand a game needs to have some modicum of filler to make the game last longer, but there is too much in this game. Thankfully this game is almost void of excessive fan service which makes the game much more approachable for players like myself who find Japanese games to be a bit “immature”.
Gameplay wise, the combat has been streamlined for the better. There aren’t ridiculous equipment mechanics that clutter your mind. You have a main hand, off hand, and accessory slot. Where things get a bit confusing are the weapon enhancements and I never really figured it out. Early on this kind of thing is useless. Basically you will combine multiple weapons to give them extra slots to combine an enhancement item into. However, you do not get said enhancements until much later in the game, so I don’t necessarily understand why it was introduced so early.
When fighting you have two forms, angel and devil. The enemies you encounter have an affinity for either form so you can do more or less damage to them. Using these forms costs a resource that slowly gains over time, think of it like mana in a traditional RPG. You progress through dungeons using stamina, if you run low you either use an item to restore lost points, or use an item to exit the dungeon and start over. Early on you never really run low, but as the dungeons get bigger you start to forgo the exploration aspect.
Visually, the cutscenes are nice and the gameplay visuals are clean, and the music is nice. The length is not too bad as well if you can tolerate extra pointless scenes. The overall gameplay is much easier to get into and more fun with the simpler approach. If you like roguelikes and Japanese RPGs, get this game. It is well worth your time. Available now on the PS3.