Publisher: NIS America
Platform: Playstation 3
Release Date: 28th October 2013
Renya Kagurazaka is your typical unlucky 17 year old high school student. A guy who laments the fact that he has never won anything in his life. All this changes during one of his routine trips to his local shopping district. There he sees a cute girl in a maid outfit who convinces him to try his luck at a lottery. Renya wins the grand prize much to the amazement of the girl. She then immediately declares he is now God and knocks him out with a club.
Upon waking, Renya finds himself in Celestia in the presence of a group of angels, who are dressed in similar fashion to the girl running the lottery. The girl in question is named Lilliel and announces that she is the personal angel assigned to help Renya, who is now God. As God, Renya must answer the prayers and wishes of people. These wishes are collected and filtered through a special machine known as the ‘Fate Revolution Circuit’.
This machine not only collects prayers but also can be used in order to create a copy version of the real world. In this copy version Renya can work towards granting the wishes by guiding the fate of the believer towards the right path. The changes that happen within this world start to take effect in reality. As Renya continues to use the Fate Revolution Circuit his Godly powers increase leading the way to answering prayers and granting wishes that are more difficult and need more Godly power to undertake. While Renya is granting wishes within the copy world the angels in the real world take part in preparations for the upcoming battles against the demons and ultimate devil Satanael.
The Guided Fate Paradox is a roguelike RPG. Gameplay consists of entering dungeons. Each dungeon in the main story has 10 floors that need to be cleared in order to complete the current chapter of the game. In the beginning there is a break point after 5 floors but this changes as of chapter 4.
In order to complete a dungeon all floors must be cleared in one playthrough. If the player leaves the dungeon or is killed they must re-enter the dungeon and start from the first floor. Also whenever the player enters a dungeon they always start from level 1.
However there are certain ways in order to become stronger. The first is by collecting items that are in dungeons. Each item has it’s own special ability that can be used. Some weapons have attacks that can hit multiple opponents or increase attributes. When a piece of equipment is used enough it will enter a state called burst. When in this state the equipment will not be as strong or offer as much status enhancement as it did previously however it is necessary to burst as much equipment to become stronger. When a piece of equipment bursts it creates an attribute boost that can be used in the games levelling system known as the Divinigram.
In the Divingram there are various tiles that can be filled with the status increases from burst weapons. When a weapon is burst it will give a tile that increases attacks, armour and other pieces will give tiles that increase speed, accuracy and defence. Also within the divinigram items can be placed that can increase the effectiveness of certain pieces of equipment. When these items are placed on the divinigram they add a percentage increase to certain pieces of equipment. This initially starts at 5% but can be increased by using special towers on the divinigram that emit energy. When this energy is fed to these items their power increases.
The other advantage of bursting weapons is that they can be upgraded or synthesised together when they are in this state. When weapons are strengthened it takes more points to burst them, meaning they can be used at full power for longer until they weaken again due to the burst effect.
When traversing a dungeon in The Guided Fate Paradox it should be noted that if the player is killed they will lose all items they have in their inventory, half their money and anything they have equipped. Therefore utmost care should be ensured to make sure this doesn’t happen. The game offers a few helping hands to avoid this fate. The first being that the player will be accompanied by one of the angels during their traversal during the dungeons.
At first Lilliel is the one to accompany Renya but as the story progresses the rest of the angels will be available. At certain story moments there are times when Renya has to brave the dungeons alone or the choice in which angel to accompany him is limited. Along with having an Angel partner to prevent death and loss of items, the game also has a bank to store money. A warehouse to store excess items and later on there is access to a system that can store the players favourite load out of equipment that can be summoned within the dungeon for a limited amount of time. This is a handy feature for those who have a set of weapons they don’t want to lose or to ensure they have powerful equipment when facing the boss on the final floor.
The Guided Fate Paradox puts all these measures in place to aid the player but at the same time the game offers quite the challenge. As it is a roguelike game, it generates random maps for each floor overtime with random equipment found in each. Also as the game progresses it starts to get more noticeably difficult. The game eases the player in with the first set of chapters acting as a tutorial for the game. Teaching players the mechanics of roguelikes and how best to play the game. The advice and techniques taught to the player is vital to surviving through the dungeons later on. Along with this the upgrade and levelling mechanic means that replaying previous levels to gain more stat increases and bursting more equipment is a necessary action to comfortably get through some of the later chapters.
As for the story of The Guided Fate Paradox, it revolves around each dungeon in the game acting as the world created inside the Fate Revolution Circuit in order to grant the wish. As with most other Nippon Ichi Software games there are a lot of anime/video game references, self referential humour and same rather entertaining dialogue between the various characters.
As the story progresses things do take a more serious and darker tone with a few twists and interesting insights around the current events and the nature of the wishes, the people who made them and what needs to be done in order to grant them. The game presents a likeable enough cast of characters in order to convey the story and move things along. However the villains are quite lacking due to how little screen time they get and how weak their motivations seem to be in comparison to the angels.
It seems like the story of the game needed an overall goal to reach for in order to justify the rather episodic nature of the chapters. As the story progresses the villains do turn up in interesting places and the events around them are rather well handled but they needed a bit more development in order to be more than an obstacle that needed to be cleared in order to advance.
As for the wishes themselves and the dungeons based around them, the game provides quite some fun and interesting takes on prayers. The first level is based on a fairy tale with characters inside it questioning the story they’re trapped in and being bored with having to constantly relive the same set of events over and over again every time someone reads it. It’s a rather fun and interesting concept that quickly establishes how things change between the copy world and the real one. With that respect the story and the events are a lot of fun to watch and have a lot of charm.
The Guided Fate Paradox is a rather interesting game. It has a lot of charm, an intriguing premise handled in a very fun way. A game that is also fun to play and provides a decent challenge in terms of difficulty.