Lately, there’s been a boom of mobile games in the market. From simple games like flappy bird to complex ones like clash of clans, mobile games have steadily made their impact in
the gaming world, and yet a lot of people still don’t call mobile games as video games. I won’t go too in-depth into that regard as it’s merely a difference of opinion among people, but I will talk about a mobile game that I’ve had the chance to play.
Right now, in the anime fan community, there’s been only a few mobile games a buzz. One of them is the popular Love Live SIF which is mainly a rhythm game. The one other game gaining major popularity, albeit both positive and negative, is DelightWork’s Fate/Grand Order.
Carrying over Type-moon’s popular franchise, the fate franchise, Fate/Grand Order brings many fate fans’ favorite character just a touchscreen away with its wide array of old and new servants. Servants are are Heroic Spirits and Divine Spirits summoned by the Holy Grail for the purpose of competing under Masters in the Holy Grail War. That said, I won’t go in too deep about Fate’s story because I’m nowhere near knowledgeable enough to properly explain it. Instead, I’ll just get right into the game.
Fate/Grand Order is a card collecting game in which you collect servant cards to create a party in order to clear maps. It’s kinda like an RPG of sorts. The gameplay is pretty unique in which your party’s attacks are made into cards and you get to choose which attack pattern you’d like to go for the turn. Your servants also have multiple types of skills that you can use to turn tides into your table. With that said, FGO plays much like pokemon with its turn based combat and strength-weakness type attributes. There are also things called “Craft Essences” which are basically equipment for your servants. They will improve a certain factor for your servant depending on what kind of CE you equip on them. There’s a lot of underlying factors to this game, which I find really useless, but I’ll just refer you to a game guide if you want specifics because explaining this game’s complexity would make it just another “how to play” guide.
Anyway let’s get underway with the story briefly. Fate/Grand order is a collection of “grand orders” where you, as the protagonist, with your servants go through each order to fix problems that could alter history. Each order is a location and era in which you have to progress through with your party members, aka your servant team. Everyone starts out with their lovely assistant shielder, also known as Mashu, who shockingly uses… a shield. Anyway let’s get down to opinions about this game.
Here’s the lowdown, FGO’s gameplay is honestly unique in which it took a lot of elements from different games and mashed them all together. Was it a good combination or was it a monster? That is purely subjective. I’ve seriously had a lot of time and wasted a good number of hours grinding away through the story line, but as with per norm on online mobage, this game has an energy system as well. In the first release of the game, it had a horrendous regen of 1 AP (energy point for this game) per 10 minutes which makes most players dump their energy on 1 huge dungeon and stop playing for an entire game. Now, the developers realized it was stupid to have a ridiculously long regen timer so they shaved it off in half, but that still doesn’t change the fact that this mobage is still energy dependent. No energy means no playing. I guess that’s just how it goes with Japanese mobage.
You can recharge your energy back to full but that would cost you a quarts gem. Quarts gem are stones that you gain through story quests, rewards, compensation gifts, or buying it with real money. That might sound good but quarts are used for trying to draw servants and essences through a system the community calls as “gacha” which comes from Japanese gachapons and this is what makes most players cry. The gacha’s drop rate is horrendously low with a 1% on getting a 5* servant.
Moving on from the limitations of the gameplay, the actual gameplay itself is pretty amusing. You use cards with three attributes as your attack, of which namely are Arts, Buster, and Quick. Each card has its own purpose that’s different from the other. Each servant has 5 cards and differ in card set, i.e some have BBBQA and some have QQQAB. Aside from that, servants also have “Noble Phantasms” which are a unique skill only available to them that has various effects per character. Combine all those complexities and you have an abundant number of possibilities to build your party, which is honestly one of the most fun things in this game.
While the game is pretty fun, it is fairly flawed. The combat system can be fun but the enemy AI is a bit underdeveloped and would use the same buff three times in a single turn while yours have cooldowns. There’s also the case where you can’t cancel your attacks if you wrongly order them. One of the bigger problem is that Delightworks seems to have a potato for a server whenever they finish a major maintenance, making the game unplayable for a couple of hours.
As for the visuals, this game is pretty good. I haven’t played much mobage to compare but it’s got decent effects which sometimes causes weak devices to actually crash. The cards for the servants were drawn by different artists so various art styles can be observed but all of them have their own charm. The music isn’t by far the best but its fine, I especially like the song when you go to myroom, and some servants have their own theme OST that plays when you use their noble phantasms. The voice acting for the servants as well is pretty good and sometimes I find myself wasting an hour just listening to the voices.
Despite all that, FGO is pretty fun. Whether you’re a type-moon fanboy waiting for his waifu to pop in gacha or just a random guy w/ plenty of time on his hands, this game can entertain you a lot. The major problem that I can find is, considering this is a mobile game, you need to spend to play nonstop. Despite its flaws and drawback I’ll still say the game is a good 3/5, but that might just be my inner fanboy. Whatever it is, everything is purely subjective so you might or might not enjoy it.