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PSP Review – Fate/Unlimited Codes

September 3, 2009 Written by Adam Wolfe

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Coming to the PSP as a digital download only title, Fate/Unlimited Codes is a 3D fighter from Capcom. This game is releasing to a relatively untapped genre on the PSP, but it is about to get a little more crowded with Tekken 6 and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. So with those two titles right around the corner is this title also worth your purchase, or should you just wait for more established franchises?

Fate/Unlimited Codes story is based of the Japanese visual novel called Fate/Stay Night. Fate/Unlimited Codes has a more streamlined story though only focusing on the Battle for the Holy Grail. There are seven masters and seven servants competing in the tournament. They fight in hopes of becoming the victor of the tournament, so that they may gain access to the Holy Grail, which will grant one wish of their choosing.

The story for each fighter really is not all that engaging and at times can come off confusing, with characters talking about issues that have happened in previous tournaments; but they never really fully explaining them. It is interesting to see how each character deals with the thought of winning and who is in it for evil or for good. Unfortunately all of the stories only end up being played out over four cut scenes, which doesn’t quite offer enough depth to really explain the story line. Then again, fighting games usually don’t have the deepest of story lines.

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Fate/unlimited is a weapons-based fighter, so each fighter has some sort of weapon, from swords, to guns, to grenades. The fighting mechanics are all very fluid, which is instantly noticeable upon your first play. The controls are very simple to get used too and are fully customizable to fit everyone’s particular play style. It is a 3D fighter so you can move in a 360 degree circle with the left and right bumpers controlling this range of movement.

When you do start looking at each player’s move set, the first thing that comes to mind is the relative ease there is to performing them. Each character has their own special movies, but they have cut most of the button combos in half compared to other fighters, such as Street Fighter and Blazblue. There is a tutorial mode to learn the basics and a training mode to hone your skills.  The tutorial also makes most combos a lot easier to master, which makes for a more enjoyable game, since you wont have to learn as you go.

There are multiple game modes available to play such as Arcade mode which is your basic story mode. Fight your way through a number of fighters and see how each character ultimately decides their wish. There is also the Vs. 2 player mode which is all played through ad-hoc and Vs. CPU.

Besides the basic fighting modes there is also mission mode, which will have you trying to complete different tasks for each character. These can be as simple as beating a particular character in a certain amount of time or performing a specific combo. The missions are all pretty easy, but some can get quite difficult. All in all Fate/Unlimited Codes offers a lot of gameplay with 17 characters and over 250 missions.  These can only mean hours and hours of entertainment.

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As mentioned above Fate/unlimited Codes does have quite a lot of unlockable content such as movies, images and character statues.  The character statue’s voices can be used as the narrator, which is a nice little feature. These can be unlocked by completing each story and although they don’t add a ton to the gameplay its just nice to have these other options.

The graphics for this game are pretty impressive for the PSP. They have a sort of cell shaded Anime look. Each character is wonderfully detailed and vary quite a bit from one another. The music also fits the game’s theme well, with the only downside being the voice over’s as far as sound is concerned. All the voice’s are still in Japanese which seems kind of odd since all the subtitles and title screens are in English, so it feels like they just tried to rush it out here in North America.

Overall I did not have a ton of issues with the game, although the story is pretty awful, but as far as fighters go that is pretty much the standard. It is odd they kept the Japanese voice-overs instead of adding some English voice-overs, but it isn’t game breaking. Depending on your skill level you may not like the overall easy gameplay, and even on hard you can make it through a lot of fights. Now in my book, I actually liked that it wasn’t that hard, but if you’re a seasoned veteran with fighters this may be a turn off. The last issue would be with the character balancing although most of the characters seemed pretty balanced, there was definitely a few that seemed far superior then the others. These particular characters when used made even hard difficulty setting feel generally easy.

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Overall this is a great fighter for the PSP. For hardcore 3D fighter fans this game may not be as challenging but for the beginner holding your own is something that is easily attainable.  At $29.99 the price may be a tad steep, but if your really craving a decent PSP fighting game you can not go wrong with this title.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Accessible 3D fighter

Graphics are excellent for the PSP

Story is broken, but it is the norm for a fighting game

Jam pack full of extra features

6 out of 10