After saving the world of SE.R.A.PH, it is time for the Master to enjoy a well-earned break. However, that break is short lived. In Fate/EXTELLA LINK, these are the events that transpire. Will the Master and their servants be able to overcome the new threat that is closely approaching or will fate determine that it is time for them to meet their end? Let’s take a look at our review of Fate/EXTELLA LINK and determine if it is worth it to save the world!
Release date: March 19th, 2019
Genre: High-speed Action, Hack and Slash
Release Platforms: PlayStation 4 / PlayStation Vita / Nintendo Switch / Steam
- PlayStation 4: 1 (Online 2-8)
- PlayStation Vita: 1
- Nintendo Switch: 1 (Local and Online 2-8)
- STEAM: 1 (Online 2-8)
Picking up where the story ended in Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star, Fate/EXTELLA LINK expands the roster of playable Servants with 10 legendary heroes added to the original selection of 16. These newly added Servants hail from other entries in the Fateseries and include the likes of Astolfo, Scàthach, and Francis Drake. The high-speed action gameplay of Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star returns with improved visuals and new battle mechanics in both single-player and an added multiplayer mode supporting 4-on-4 online battles on PlayStation®4 system. Players will also be able to move freely around their new base camp—a medieval cathedral suspended in the sky—and interact with Servants to build bonds with them.
The story in Fate/EXTELLA LINK is a continuation of the previous title. When the game begins, the world of SE.R.A.PH is attacked once again by an unknown enemy. This unknown enemy attacks the player, who is shortly saved by a new servant by the name of Charlemagne. From there the Player returns to their base to reunite with the old gang, then shortly afterward is moved to a new camp. The story begins to evolve and progress from here.
The story in the game as well is presented surprisingly well. Some parts do become predictable as the story evolves. However, it does not stray or become uninteresting. I found myself engaged through the story to see each path through. The player will find themselves enjoying the game in this context.
*This section will break down the gameplay in general, followed by comparisons of the Switch and Playstation 4 version*
If you played the previous Fate/EXTELLA title or a warriors game (Dynasty Warrior, Warriors Orochi, etc.), the gameplay is exactly the same. If you are new to the franchise the gameplay is very simple. The first mission, which is the prologue mission (or mission 0), will break down all of the mechanics.
As the mechanics are learned, the player will find themselves destroying over 1000 enemies throughout each level. There are different difficulties for each mission. This ultimately boils down to which enemies have increased attack power, however, it once the gameplay is mastered, it shouldn’t be an issue. One element of the mechanics that may be difficult is the camera itself. It does need some work as it will slightly be at different angles that will put the player at parts that may not be seen.
There are also multiple levels in the game which could lead down the same path or different paths in. It is interesting as the game does seem to travel different paths in which the games do progress differently in each mission. Each mission tells a different story as there are about 3 different missions within each Day. In terms of the storytelling, it plays out really well for each path taken. In addition, the players will see the different wives/servants (male and female) during the story while building their bonds.
*Gameplay Comparison PS4 Vs Switch*
For comparing gameplay between Switch and Playstation 4, it’s clear that the playstation will play smoothly. I found no lag in the game except for the opening cinema when the game loads up. It seems to suffer some slowdown. For this same opening on the Nintendo switch (handheld and docked), it did not have any slow down. It is an interesting comparison of that part.
Load times are slightly different, which was also surprising. The playstation load time took about 5-7 seconds to load into menus and into battles. For the Switch (handheld and docked), it was about 6-9 seconds. It is only a slight increase, but unless the player as stopwatch at hand, it will not even be noticed.
Performance wise, I noticed zero differences when the Switch is docked compared to the PS4. Both games play completely the same in terms of battles and performance. However, if the Switch is undocked to be played in handheld mode, the performance for the battle is slowed down a bit in terms of frame rate. Think 50fps to 40-45 fps (this may not be accurate, but the concept is the same) when game battles occur. Once again, it is only a slight difference.
Verdict for gameplay: The PS4 has a slight advantage in Fate/EXTELLA LINK, but the difference is minimal between the two versions.
Visual and Audio:
^Playstation 4 Screenshot
^Docked Nintendo Switch Screenshot
^Undocked Nintendo Switch Screen Shot
Visually, the game is very beautiful. From the character models to the environment, it looks great. However, this comes with a caveat. While there are different missions, most of them take place in the same environments. It can be beautiful to look at but becomes wearing after a while since it lacks variety.
^ Two different levels, same environment being used
Audio wise, the voice work in the game is well done. The characters from the anime all reprise their roles in Fate/EXTELLA LINK. It works completely well as you can feel their emotions through their voices. The game is Japanese voices only with English subtitles. In terms of music, there is only minimal variety. Some of the same tracks do replay as they are an environment based on my guess. It becomes old over time.
*Visual and Audio Comparison for PS4 VS Switch*
Visually, the Playstation 4 has the edge here. It looks beautiful and visually appealing. While docked, the Nintendo Switch lacks visual elegance. Undocked, the Nintendo Switch decreases is visual beauty quite a bit. That is understandable as it is necessary for the handheld mode.
Audio wise, I heard zero difference between two versions. The Switch version (handheld) is surprisingly not compressed and matches the docked version.
Verdict for visual and audio comparison: The Playstation 4 only takes the lead due to having the advantage in visuals. Outside of that, everything else matches up completely.
If you are a fan of Warrior games or hack and slash games in general, Fate/EXTELLA LINK will be right up your alley. This goes double if you are a fan of the Fate franchise. There is much to do, much to experience, and fun will be had all the way through. However, if you are not a fan of either, this game most likely will not be for you.
Verdict for Fun Factor: While the game is fun for any console that you will play on, I have to give this one to the Nintendo Switch. This is due to it becoming a portable game on the go. I can essentially play Fate/EXTELLA LINK anywhere as long as I carry my Switch with me. That intensifies the fun factor.
*The verdict for this area will be the same no matter what so only 1 paragraph will be here*
Fate/EXTELLA LINK carries a high replay value to it. Someone can simply rush through one playthrough and leave it at that. However, to get the full experience, you have to play and replay every stage. This is in addition to increasing the bonds of your servants, playing each difficulty, aiming to get EX ranks on all levels, and much more. The game has much to offer which makes it replayable more than most games.
Fate/EXTELLA LINK is a great second entry for Fate/EXTELLA There is a great story, easy gameplay, and overall fun. During the gameplay, there is much more in between for the player to discover in their own experiences. If the player is a fan of these type of games (hack and slash, action) this will be right up their alley. However, if they are not, this may be a difficult game to just pick up and play.
While there are slight differences between the counterparts of the consoles, it will be an enjoyable title no matter where it’s played. However, the Playstation 4 has a slight advantage in gameplay and visuals. Otherwise, the games are on par no matter what version is played. I made the choice of playing on the Switch version over the PS4. This is simply due to the portability of the device. It works well for my schedule and allows me to invest more in a game I am enjoying. I am sure others will appreciate this too.
Overall, Fate/EXTELLA LINK is an enjoyable title. It can be picked up immediately and enjoyed. For the Switch, it can be picked up and enjoyed in the literal sense. I want to shout out XSeed and Marvelous for making this on the Switch due to not that reason. Otherwise, the differences are minimal and nothing that is a deal breaker. I recommend Fate/EXTELLA LINK from my experience with it.
Until next time, Mgs2master2 out!
*Once again, thank you to XSeed for a Switch key and a Playstation 4 Key that makes this review/comparison article possible.*