Miyamoto Iori is a young samurai living in a time of peace. His peaceful life goes completely upside down when he becomes one of the chosen Masters in the Waxing Moon Ritual. Together with his Servant Saber, a revived Heroic Spirit of a warrior hero from the past, he enters battle. Fate/Samurai Remnant is the latest game in the Fate/ franchise. This is a game series I had never heard of before this game, so I was very curious to see if this game could appeal to me.
Fine story with some pacing issues
In Fate/Samurai Remnant, as mentioned, we follow the story of Miyamoto Iori and Saber. At the beginning of the game, they don’t trust each other very much, but I like how you can see their bond grow as the game progresses. For example, you can see that they are a little cool to each other at the beginning, but later it turns out that they really care about each other.
Fate/Samurai Remnant has a perfectly entertaining story with a few surprises here and there to keep it fresh. However, I do have some issues with the game’s story. For example, I found it unfortunate that the first eight hours of the game consists almost solely of exposition. The game is so packed with mechanics and concepts, so it took them eight hours to explain everything. Only after this long period of exposition did the story begin to get going a bit. I understand the need to explain some things, but then the problem may be in the scale of the game. I can’t judge if this is true for people already familiar with the series, but for a newcomer, it was a lot of information.
At one point during the first few hours, I noticed that I stopped storing some of the information. This could be due to the fact that the text on screen was in English, but the spoken text there was Japanese. In such a case, I would click on to the next piece of dialogue once I had read everything on screen, possibly not giving myself enough time to process the information properly. Not something I can blame the game for, since I’m really doing that to myself anyway.
Once the story got going, I did begin to sympathize more. I was genuinely curious about the mysteries set up and how everything would play out. After about 25 hours or so, I felt that the ending did approach. I was ready for that after the long-winded first part of the game. Still, the game lasted nearly ten more hours. Because it felt several times like the game was almost done and I was ready for that, I found it very difficult not to look forward to the end a little. When finally the words “Final Chapter” appeared on the screen, I was re-energized and still able to enjoy the end.
Combat is a feast for the eyes
I find the combat to be the strength of Fate/Samurai Remnant. The different stances, variation in combos, magic spells and Servant skills keep the combat varied and fun to do. Also, the fact that you sometimes do battles as other characters with different skills kept the combat refreshing. In addition, it also looks fantastic. Every battle is a spectacle of colors and the special attacks are wonderfully cinematic. Still, there were a few points in the combat that I wasn’t completely satisfied with.
The first one I want to talk about is the Riposte mechanic. When timing a dodge perfectly, this mechanic allows you to counterattack. Nice, or so I thought. Unfortunately, in practice it was very difficult to execute this perfect dodge. With most enemies, it felt like more luck than wisdom and I was very surprised when the option to perform a riposte appeared on screen. I think I had a hard time mastering the perfect dodge because the combat is so tremendously fast. Overall, the speed gave the feeling of invincibility, that’s how quickly I managed to put enemies over my knee with my katana. Yet that speed, unlike a katana, was a two-edged sword. I think it was because of this that enemies’ attacks were less obvious, which made it difficult to anticipate them and execute a good dodge.
My second problem with combat occurred with the larger enemies. As the game progressed, I encountered more and more mobs containing a larger, stronger enemy that protected itself with a magic shield. This wouldn’t be a problem in principle, were it not for the fact that this shield deflects all your normal attacks. The only way to hurt these enemies was to wait until they finished a combo, or to use attacks that cost you resources or mana. This did take the pace out of combat, but was not the end of the world. I only found it annoying when I had to fight multiple enemies with a shield at the same time that were not vulnerable at the same time. In that case, the enemy that is not vulnerable interrupts your combo each time after a hit, preventing you from doing significant damage to the one that is vulnerable. This was frustrating and I was also always glad when those battles were over.
I want to talk a little more about the camera. This is because it always wants to be right behind your character and is very sensitive to small movements. For someone like me who is used to constantly self-correcting the camera, this results in over-corrections and a jarring image. While walking around the game, I really tried my best to stay off the right thumbstick as much as possible. With this, things went much better, but an option to turn off the moving camera would be desirable.
Very cool artstyle
I really like the artstyle of Fate/Samurai Remnant. There is a lot of variety in it and does try some special things. The normal style of the characters is pretty standard for a 3D animegame, but that doesn’t make it bad. The aforementioned cinematic attacks also contribute well to the artstyle. I think for me the most striking thing is still the cutscenes in a completely different style. Here I am referring to the flashbacks, which look like they were painted on paper with watercolor. This produces a tremendously cool result. I can greatly appreciate this kind of experimentation in artstyle.
Whereas Fate/Samurai Remnant is an action game, at one point I was surprised by tactical gameplay. This took place under the guise of a territory battle, but was not very deep. From my perspective, this was a way of the developer to add a little quieter moments in the game. It was a bit out of place with the rest of the game, so it would have been best for them to leave this out.
Fate/Samurai Remnant is a game that mostly relies on its combat and artstyle. The game’s story is quite reasonable and easy to follow, but goes on just a bit too long. The large amount of mechanics and concepts make the first eight hours of the game consist mostly of exposition. This made it a game that took a long time to get into. All in all, I think Fate/Samurai Remnant is an entertaining game that fans of the series will get more out of than a newcomer.