So if you got to know me, you’d know how busy I am — mainly because that if I don’t make sure that I’m working on something at any hour of the damn day, my brain will take over… in a very bad way.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to relax now and then, though… I just usually don’t have time to sit down and play for a few hours, unless I either plan out my schedule for it ahead of time, or just throw life to the wind and not worry about just how behind i’ll be in the future.
That’s where mobile games come in — I like ones that don’t require me to play at a specific time or day (I’m looking at you, Mystic Messenger), nor requires remembering where I am in a story and what choices I had to make. Specifically, Fate Grand Order (or F/GO) is absolutely great.
Fate Grand Order follows the timeline during and after the mini anime released by the same name, with you as MC meeting Mash (ultra cute and proper glasses wearing girl!) in 2015 at the Chaldea Security Organization facility. Here, people track and take actions to ensure Humanity’s existence well into the future — however, things are showing that it will all end come 2017 due to an anomaly that took place in 2014 at Fuyuki City. Prepping to send their prepared agents composed of Masters into the past, things don’t exactly go as planned — leaving only you and Mash to go and save the future.
As mentioned above, this game follows the story of you — MC — and Mash as you work through Singularity events through time to fix anomalies and attempt to restore the chance of Humanity’s survival. Everything in between the actual fighting plays out almost like your standard Visual Novel — lots of dialogue, cute images and (unfortunately) choices that don’t exactly have an effect on how the story progresses. Most of the time it just slightly edits the response from the character you are interacting with that directly follows, then resumes right back on the normal path.
I have to admit, I couldn’t really get into it despite my normal love for VNs. The banter between characters felt dragged on, and maybe it was because I was dealing with playing this game on a small smartphone, if anything it just gave ma headache. Ultimately, I just ended up skipping through most of the back and forth unless it actually seemed to have importance of an event. I’d love it if they can make a proper game on PC to better supplement and help my attention span towards the game beyond actual matches — that way to make sure that the various events and story actually had an impact.
If you’ve followed any of the previous Fate series, you’ll know the general makeup of how the game works in spirit — You’re a Master who has control of Servants (you start out with Mash of course). You get three at a time to choose from during battles… or technically two, given that you choose two from your own roster, with the third being a “Guest Servant”. You can choose whether it is some random that had logged in that day (meaning that you can’t use their Noble Phantasm), use someone you friended, or one of the “NPC” ones available based on your current place in the story. With each guest servant you use you earn friend points that can be used towards Friend Summons (we’ll get into that later), but you’ll get more using the game’s NPC. However… with how often you’ll get the daily Friend Summons anyway, it’s easier to lean towards super powerful friend or random summons.
So, let me give you as quick of a rundown as I can of the basics:
Every match is turn based, with three enemies per round, and three rounds per match. With each turn, you use cards to choose your attack: Buster is mainly Brute Force, Physical attacks, Quick attributes to Critical Attacks (and helps you gain stars towards upcoming ones), and Arts is more magic based, adding to your NP gauge. Getting three of the same attack types helps buff the attack, while three of the same character gives you an extra, 4th attack called “Brave Attack”. In general however, whatever you choose to be your first attack will give a smaller buff towards the other characters/cards used.
This is what actually makes it easier to play; there’s no worry of perfect timing, or if you’re fast enough to respond to an attack. You don’t have to worry too much of strategy. Well — okay — sure, you would have a better chance choosing cards appropriate to your servant type, but for the most part keep that in mind, and you’ll be okay.
However, this is not denying that the game can be absolute bullshit with chance at times. I’ve had moments where everything is going well, when suddenly one of the mini-bosses get one extra turn — effectively turning off the mojo of my team and getting the chance to do a charged attack each turn. (A bit of buffing using cards fixed that problem. )
So, speaking of servants and summons:
This is a mobile game. It has the usual “draw random cards” bit, with the ability to buy credits to get more chances. I haven’t had any reason to need to buy (especially with how damn expensive they can be) those sphere credit things to get more summons, so you’re good on that front. After the first Singularity/Story, you’re prone to get lots and lots of duplicates — don’t fret on that however, since you can always use that to further buff your summons and ability cards.
There can be strategy with allotting power cards to your servants, but.. let’s not kid ourselves — honestly, I always end up just piling on whatever extras I have to make sure I level up as soon as possible. It ends up being a sort of ‘experiment while you play’ sort of thing — make sure you don’t sacrifice any high level servants, and keep at least one of everything, and you’ll be good.
So, my overall opinion?
Well… I enjoy it. I don’t get hooked onto it like the game possibly wants me to be, but at the same time it isn’t something that frustrates me (I’m looking at you, Rage of Bahamut. ) It’s an easy game to sit down with and play for a while, logging in just long enough to get my daily rewards and check out the new artwork for cards. But beyond that .. ? The story isn’t really worth checking out, and will likely just be skipped through. It doesn’t take much strategy, and ultimately, it just kind of ends up being set down for weeks at a time before I come back to play. At the same time… ? That’s not really a bad thing, either.
Roro’s Anxiety Level for Fate/Grand Order : Absolute Calm