Review by Nicholai777

"Eroge with Heart"

Fate/stay Night is easily one of the most famous visual novels out there. Easily used as an introduction into the world, the pragmatic, touching, and humorous tales lead gamers into a beautifully woven tapestry. Yet does a story simply reach the level of holding an entire game up? Simply put, in Fate/stay Night's case, yes. More than a simple tale, it breaks beyond basic storytelling to convey an immersive experience like never before. Type-Moon has done it again.

STORY
Visual novels live and die by the stories they tell. Fate/stay Night is no different. You play as one Shirou Emiya, a high school student with a penchant for mechanical objects and menial tasks. Honorable and selfless, he puts others before himself. However, after an unlucky streak and a timely rescue, you are thrown into the Holy Grail Wars--a long running contest to fulfill a Master, or participants, wishes--without so much as a mindset for the job. Yet somehow, you end up with an excellent Servant, a mythical warrior summoned to help the Masters. The tradition tale focus on the relationship with Saber, your servant, as well as your father, a Magi and the circumstances of the previous Grail War. The other two focus on other main characters, such as Sakura Matou, a lively girl with feelings for Shirou, and Rin Tohsaka, an excellent Master allied with Shirou. Each is lengthy and focus on different aspects of the characters.

However, this is an eroge game. For those who don't know, that means it has adult (pornographic) scenes. No matter how you excuse them, they are what they are. That isn't to say they aren't entertaining or directly out of context. Each has reasons, and the story develops to the point of it being necessary. However, they are graphic, and as such, I must preface this.

Mirror Moon, a small fan-translation team, did a fantastic job of capturing both accuracy and context in their translation. Everything feels as if it takes place in Japan and the translation is pitch perfect. Furthermore, they brings extra personality to the game. Every little detail has been looked over perfectly. I give massive props to the team. This is not necessary, though, if you understand fluent Japanese.

AUDIO
Without the secondary disk, there are no voices to go along with the dialogue. The only thing that accompanies you along the story are a handful of tracks and countless sound effects. These range from raindrops to the clash of metal, back to the serene sounds of a kitchen in the morning. The music is nearly timeless. Appropriate for each scene, we hear cheerful melodies, haunting piano pieces and fierce fighting tracks. They fit perfectly and sound wonderful; some are even slightly nuanced to the story arc the game is following.

GRAPHICS/VISUALS
Do you like anime? Easily said, the graphics are sprites and backgrounds tailored in an anime fashion. To say you're participating in an anime would be a disservice, yet understatement. However, they are all beautifully drawn and feature wonderful detail and personality. For a six year old game, the anime animation is hardly dated; it gets the job done and then some.

Yet I must say something. During particular scenes, the game has a tendency to zoom in on the sprites. By no means is the game in high definition. The sprites do inflate and the pixels with them. This distorts the images and drops the focus. However, these scenes are few and far between and don't detract away from the other graphics.

GAMEPLAY
Again, this is an eroge. The majority of the game is spent mired in text. However, if you fully realize that going in, you won't have any trouble. Every now and then you encounter a branch, or dialogue choice. This involves pointing and clicking. As involved as the game is, this is all it will be gameplay wise. I won't say anything more.

IN SUMMATION
In summation, Fate/stay Night is one of the most fantastic visual novels out there. For fans of anime, eroge games, wonderful storytelling, and Japan, you could do much worse, but not a lot better. Fate takes the genre and blows the standard directly out of the water. We can only hope that Type Moon's next decade is as influential and breathtaking as the 2000's have been. Fate is a tour de force, leading the way through the Visual Novel market. Bravo, Type Moon. Bravo.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/14/11

Game Release: Fate/Stay Night (JP, 01/30/04)


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