Review: Fate/Extella: Link
Fate, a word that has become a household name in the anime world. The franchise has many different stories, all with one essence: Winning the Holy Grail War! From the first part we now move on to the sequel, does the game improve compared to The Umbral Star ?
Fate/Extella: Link is not only a sequel, but also comes out for the Nintendo Switch! This is immediately the console of choice for me. Where the Umbral Star prequel left me with some questions, Link grabs me with both hands and this game takes me through a roller coaster full of ingenuity. This is how as a developer you listen to feedback and bring a full game! But before we talk about this game, it's time for a trailer.
A worthy sequelLink 's story picks up where The Umbral Star left off. You're looking for Altera right after she's been kidnapped by a mysterious villain. The story piece leans on the essence of the anime storyline, which in itself is of course nothing wrong with it. The Fate story just works, although I wonder if the real fans aren't ready for something new. You play as a Master as usual and you fight against evil together with your Servants. Servants are warriors from the past, given a second chance to correct their mistakes. In the beginning you can choose between a mage or a swordsman.
The story is fairly easy to follow, but the thinking behind it is hidden behind a lot of lore. Newcomers will be able to follow this specific story, but the depth will be easy to find, especially for the fans. But, it is still a Warriors-like game, which means that the story only needs to provide extra context. Still, I have to say that the way of presenting here resembles a mix of Musou and Visual Novel.
Dynamic and fluid
Where I indicated in my review of the previous part that I found the combat clumsy and that the animations of enemies looked lazy designed. This is one of the biggest improvements in this sequel. Link has better animations, smoother combat styles and even more flashy attacks. I almost got a sense of pride playing big fights. Each character now actually feels unique, despite the unique skills they already had in the first part. Even on the small screen of the Switch, the UI was still clear enough to be able to follow the other battles well.
The game also ran pretty well on the handheld. Graphically, the game also looks more than fine. When you fill your Moon Drive bar, you can trigger a unique skill. After using the Moon Drive a few times, a skill is released that is ten times more powerful. This creates a cut scene where the graphical aspect comes to the fore. You also do damage to every character in the part of the map you are in. You can use active skills to keep your combo level high. You have a home base in this part, where you can start missions and manage your Servants. You can give them costumes and switch skills. This makes for a real RPG experience, something I often didn't get in the first part.
This home base not only looks cool, but also provides more freedom. You can play each Servant individually and you can make them exactly the way you want. In a storyline that kept me busy for 18 hours, I was constantly impressed by how diverse the combat felt. This is something I usually miss in these kinds of titles. The fact that the game has different endings also shows that the community is well listened to. There is also a fascinating new multiplayer mode. King of the Hill pits 8 players against each other in two teams. This mode can be played online or locally and is unique too.
Apart from the freedom and content, the game looks spic and span. I was quite impressed with the graphics on the Switch. What is a pity is that the game only has 30FPS, this is not so much a downside, given the graphics content sets the bar high. The anime style is used with full potential and the environments also get enough attention and details.
Fate/Extella: Link is a worthy sequel, which completely picks up and improves on just about every flaw from the previous installment. You immediately notice how much love has been put into the game. Sure, the game is far from perfect and anime titles can only go so far, but for an anime game, this is a damn good title. Are you a fan of the Fate series or Warriors-style games? Then pick up this title for sure!
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