Review – The Guided Fate Paradox

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NIS America localizes another Japanese title and brings it across the Pacific Ocean to the shores of North America. Was it a journey worth making, or should it have stayed in the Land of the Rising Sun?

Read our review to find out.

 

Created by the same development team as Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, The Guided Fate Paradox is the spiritual successor to Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman – an extremely approachable roguelike RPG. The Guided Fate Paradox continues in the same vein with a fresh and unique approach towards the roguelike genre, with a memorable cast of characters and story, tons of customization, and seemingly infinite replayability.

Players take on the role of high school student, Renya Kagurazaka, who has become a god by winning a lottery in a mall. The game is divided into four different worlds. Renya lives in his real world to start with, but after his lucky lottery win, he also gets to visit his god world called the Celestial Garden. Once in his god world, he can travel into the dungeons to answer prayers from people and things in the Original World. Renya must travel through the Copy World in order to affect changes in the Original World and make people’s wishes come true.

Renya

Renya

Gameplay is very familiar since it’s reminiscent of most Disgaea style games, but with a nice twist. Battles are somewhat turn based, but at the same time you can freely move from one bad guy to the next. Instead of being locked in to any one battle, battles are more fluid and dynamic. You’ll also have helpers along the way that attack for you automatically, albeit within your “turn”.

Turns are basically set up so that anytime you do something, the enemies will also do something in an equal amount. Move two squares and the bad guys move two squares, along with your little helper moving two squares. Attack and everyone else also does one action. It’s an interesting concept that’s executed nicely, and standing your ground isn’t always necessary. You can choose to steer clear of some bad guys by making a wide berth, while others may only give you two options. Fight or run like hell the other way.

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The controls were pretty easy to understand and use. Different weapons were picked using the left analog stick and a weapon wheel. With a battle grid laid out around you, each weapon’s trajectory or damage pattern is projected as to where it will go. Just make sure a bad guy will be hit with the weapon, and press Circle. Pretty simple, really. If you don’t want to keep fighting someone, just use the D-Pad to get the hell away from them. Renya has a helper angel that is set to follow him everywhere he goes, and in turn helped to fight his battles. She was given a long range weapon and therefore if any bad guys wanted to follow us, she would keep attacking them.

Weapons and clothing items (armor, etc.) are found in the dungeons and can be bought in the Celestial World. Once you have a weapon or item, you can visit the blacksmith also found in the Celestial World in order to strengthen them. This adds depth to the game, and is something that is needed in order to take out the bigger and badder enemies and bosses you’ll come across while dungeon crawling. The variety of bad guys you’ll have to face is pretty big and can give each dungeon its own unique feel.

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The story is told through cut scenes that occur while you go from one dungeon area to another, and the developer did a great job of storytelling in this way. It breaks up the monotony that can be had in some of these games where battles seem to be never ending. The biggest complaint we have is with some of the characters being nothing more than Jr. High like bullies with grating personalities and childish dialogue. There are only a few, and once you find them, you’ll know who I’m talking about.

NIS America usually knows what titles will fare well here in North America, and picked another decent title to localize. While the game does have a few minor flaws, and would probably have been better on the PS Vita, it’s still a solid Disgaea style RPG.

Fans of that series will love it.

 

7

The Final Verdict

ProsCons

  • Deep storyline with plenty of gameplay
  • Interesting battle system
  • Fight or flight option

  • The story can be childish at times
  • Some characters can get on your nerves

VerdictA fun little game at a great price
Rating
70%