Awakened Fate Ultimatum (review)


Awakened Fate Ultimatum, NIS’s newest rogue-like dungeon crawling RPG, is set several years after the previously released title, The Guided Fate Paradox. It follows certain boy who became a god of a certain Celestia. If you played the previous title, you finally have a chance to see how the events of that story have altered the current state of affairs between the angels of Celestia and the devils of the Netherworld.

Where the previous game featured a team of angels and a main protagonist who battled for the ability to guide the fate of humans, you now play solo as Shin Kamikaze, the newest boy chosen to be a god in the war between Celestia and the Netherworld. He must make the ultimate decisions whenever fate can be changed by a tipping of the scales. While you may be alone on the battlefield, you still have support in the form of two allies, an angel and devil who serve as mentors to Shin’s fated new role in the world.



Awakened Fate is most akin to the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series where in every movement, equipment change, or attack you make, all other enemies on the floor do so as well. Now this may seems to be unfavorable odds for our fated hero, and in reality at times the game can and will find ways to make you feel that way, there will always be a way to circumvent these instances if you are prepared for it. That is the biggest thing I can say about this game. The worst situations that you will find yourself can either be fixed or prevented all together. On the opposite side of the coin everything can be perfect, but if you become careless it can quickly lead to peril.

After each Dungeon you will spend your time in Celestia, your home base for the conflict between Good and Evil. Sadly this is just an over-glorified menu, though you will spend 80% of your time in Celestia shopping for new items, upgrading your equipment or upgrading your character with levels gained from the previous missions.

Each chapter is broken down into the same cycle: story event, upgrade and shop, then exploring the next dungeon, making a game changing decision, then rinse and repeat with the occasional surprise. Every dungeon ranges anywhere from 5-15 floors, and you are encouraged to get in and out as fast as possible, since loitering for too long will summon an enemy that is near impossible to kill for anyone who is not at max level. This brings about another thing this NIS game is, it probably has the lowest stats for an NIS game to date for me personally. My final stats were Level 46 HP 178 ATK 90 and DEF 92 which got percentage increases when you deitize, but after playing other NIS staples like Disgaea, I am used to stats being in the hundred thousand range.



As the newly created God, you have both the power of angels and devils at your fingertips. You can utilize SP. These new strengths allow you to fuse or deitize with each of your 2 new forms depending on the situation. When deitized in Angel form, you do bonus damage to the forces of evil. You have higher offensive capabilities and melee range, which is great for closing gaps and attacking pesky ranged enemies. In Devil form you deal bonus damage to the forces of good as well as giving you access to powerful magical abilities, like Energy Drain to heal yourself or Dark shot which allows you to do defeat enemies before they reach you.

While traversing the dungeons, there are traps scattered across the floor. These will more often than not be a biggest factor in you failing a dungeon. You will want to avoid the negative traps at all costs. There is nothing worst than running away from enemies to hit either a paralysis, sleep or seal trap and be forced to just watch yourself be surrounded and killed by the mob of enemies and lose everything that you are carrying.  So you may be thinking just take the enemies head on. Well as I stated before every action you take, every other monster on the floor does the same and moves towards surrounding you, so you have to sometimes retreat for better positioning.

Now there are traps that can actually work to your advantage, and these will range within the normal temporary RPG buffs that increase accuracy, speed, defense and attack. However these traps almost never seem to last long enough for you see them put to good use. You must position yourself to stay in range of these traps if you wish to utilize their bonuses during combat. During the stickiest of situations you will hopefully have built up enough power to access your most powerful trump card, the Resonant Deitized gauge, which allows you to empower yourself even more with your form of choice. You also can use all skills for free for a limited time or unleash an extremely powerful ability to pull you out of near death situations or to even the playing field in boss battles.



Now while combat and story will drive you forward, you can take a break and enjoy the sounds of the game. If you forget a detail that has happened in the past, there are the Library, Music Hall and Art Gallery where you can view your collection of anything that you have previously encountered. There is also a lot of fan tribute service in the form of sub-scenarios that are included in the game, such as the angels from the previous games and other pop-culture characters. While the Art Gallery and Music hall serve very little purpose other than enjoying the work of the artist and composer, the Library on the other hand is a great tool while progressing through the game. It records the stats of all the enemies you face including their item drops, which can help you to create strategies on the best ways to tackling groups of enemies.

Final Reaction

Awakened Fate Ultimatum is a solid dungeon-crawling RPG and has a lot of good things going for it. It has a strong narrative that puts choice in the hands of the player, thus altering the mindset of the main character and those around him. These decisions will often resonate with the player. The idea and execution of putting you literally in control of the scales of power does a great job of really making you feel like you control fate, and along with that comes all the feelings of pride or regret from the consequences of your decisions.

The combat is challenging and at times can seem relentless, but with proper strategy and preparation, these situations can be overcome. The customization for your character is a little lacking with only being able to equip a weapon, shield that can be customized with extra abilities and one accessory.

Unfortunately it does fall a bit on the short side when it comes to length, with my first completion falling somewhere in the 10-15 hour range, which can be doubled by a second playthrough and making the opposite choices at each of the decisive moments in the story. However there are at least one bad ending that I arrived at when trying for a devil-only path on my first playthrough, making it impossible to perform a one-sided decision path.

All major roles in the game are voice acted which is a nice touch. Unfortunately there is not a single cutscene. Each story event is played out in the form of a visual novel which oddly works for the most part, but there were a few of the more action oriented or emotional moments in the story where I would have loved to see in action instead of leaving it up to my imagination. This game is great pick up if you are fan of challenging rogue-type dungeon crawlers and RPGs where you will actually care about the decisions you make at key moments in the story. It has a strong narrative and characters that you will naturally gravitate towards and good twists and turns that may be obvious to some but not all.

Rating 3.5/5 Atoms

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