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Shadow Fate - All News

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Sunday - May 15, 2022
Tuesday - May 10, 2022
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Sunday - May 15, 2022

Shadow Fate - Review @ Euphoniac

by Hiddenx, 08:16

Euphoniac reviewed the J-RPG Shadow Fate on Steam:

Shadow Fate Review

"Shadow Fate" is one of the best JRPGs I've played in a long time. Among the ones made with RPG Maker VX Ace, it's my favorite one together with "Forever Home". If classic old-school JRPGs with turn-based combat are up your alley, you won't regret buying this massive adventure (40+ hours of playtime).

Story: Spawn, an embodiment of human sin, is summoned by the Vengeance Guild that ostensibly fights crime in the city of Atro. When Spawn learns about the Vengeance Guild leader Ysella's true goal (which is to summon Ioro, the Devourer, an entity beyond the mortal realm that prevents humans from reaching paradise), Spawn is forced to flee. Together with other party members that get involved, he must first fight to live another day, until the party is strong enough to thwart Ysella's and Ioro's ambitions. It's a well-executed save-the-world story with a few twists and many shades of gray. There are also implications about our wasteful lifestyle, and despite themes like "human sin", the game doesn't really enter the minefield of "religion territory". Furthermore, two well-executed love stories are central to the plot. To top it all off, the ending is emotional and immensely satisfying, and the many unexpected and competently foreshadowed secrets of the party members spice up things along the way. Only small demerits can be noted: A few MacGuffin hunts in the game's later half slightly impact the story flow, and the party only learns about Ysella's and Ioro's past through "flashbacks".

Characters: It's a lovable bunch. Spawn struggles with his (absence of) humanity in a way that makes him the most human of all characters. His teammates get involved involuntarily in the great quest, but they all have unique personalities and make great additions. Meet Wyatt, the caring gunman who didn't want to follow in the footsteps of his father (a famous bounty hunter); Terell, a bodyguard who struggles with heights and old age (both played for jokes); Rennie, a sassy farmer girl who gains the ability to change into different monster forms; Kye, a merchant with telekinetic powers; his sister Kendra, a psychic that loves (recorded) TV dramas and to steal shiny things; and, lastly, Sidalia, an assassin of the Vengeance Guild whose life and beliefs get turned upside down as the plot unfolds. The antagonists Ysella and Ioro are great, too, since they share a heartbreaking past.

The graphics are beautiful, a lot of resources are used to create stunning maps. In contrast to many other RPG Maker VX Ace games, "Shadow Fate" can be played in an expanded window mode.

Gameplay: The usual here: You explore dungeons and fight (mob/boss) monsters in turn-based (side-view) battles. Dungeons (like forests, plains, temples, ice, volcano, sewers) are well designed and offer lots of exploration incentives (many well hidden treasures) and a few (not really hard) puzzles. On most dungeon maps, the party members' field abilities can be utilized to obtain extra treasure, so it's a good idea to scour all maps using different party compositions (unfortunately, party members can only be switched out at inns, and you can't see a field skill map icon unless the character in question is in the active party). Spawn can use teleportation panels and cloak himself to give the party a first strike state when engaging in battle (monsters are visible/respawnable - no random encounters - and chase/ambush you when you approach them uncloaked). Wyatt can snipe a few distinct enemies to convert them into treasure chests, Terell can destroy obstacles, Rennie can reach far-away treasure chests, Kye can float nearby treasure chests and create bridges, Kendra can talk to the dead and remove spiritual obstacles, and Sidalia can charm or lure enemies for certain benefits. Fast travel is unlocked later, and a quest log details the party's objectives, which means the player doesn't have to do without modern amenities.

Battles are very complex, but a lot of fun, not only because of the great skill animations. The active party is composed of three members, and Spawn (if present) can't be switched out. Each character has a huge set of unique skills at their disposal, which means the player has always means to fight back. Spawn is a jack-of-all-trades neutral and elemental (especially shadow) damage dealer that can also be played as an evasion tank. Wyatt utilizes physical gun shots with elements attached and learns some really powerful support and damage skills later. Terell is mostly a classic tank, but can dish out a surprising amount of physical damage as well. Rennie is a party of her own, since each of her monster forms, between which you can switch freely, plays differently. Kye has a variety of unique "merchant"/"sailor" skills and is the only one who can fly and ground flying enemies. Kendra is a great healer/mage/disruptor and the only one who can steal items from enemies. Finally, Sidalia is another jack-of-all-trades, utilizing different stances related to different playstyles.

One important mechanic at play is the "EX meter" that fills by using certain skills or performing certain actions during battle. You can either wait until the "EX meter" is full to use a "super" skill, or you can use part of the meter to trigger the "EX effect" of one of your basic skills by pressing "Esc" shortly after the skill selection. Other factors to consider are the enemies' positions, the many status conditions that can be inflicted, the use of "instant" skills (that don't use up an action point), the reach of multi-target skills, and skill cooldowns and warmups. Also, some skills can only be used in the aforementioned first strike state during the first turn. Furthermore, while actions can't be freely distributed among party members (each party member has to use up their own action points, usually one per turn, but more when certain skills are used or conditions met), the order can be chosen freely (e.g. you can cure a silenced party member on the first position, enabling him/her to use a skill this turn). The battle system seems overwhelming at times, yet it's "easy to learn, but hard to master" at its best. By the way, all party members can and should be developed, not only because the final boss fights cleverly force you to use all of your party members. You're "stuck" with certain party members during particular segments, which means it's a good idea to become accustomed to their playstyles.

Adding to the complexity is a plethora of items, including specialized equipment pieces for nearly any situation, character-exclusive accessories and food items that provide decent (but mutually exclusive) buffs. Honestly, it seems a bit too much at times, and it's definitely possible to overcome all challenges by sticking to a few select equipment pieces, but I'd rather have too many than too few options. Many equipment pieces even have skills attached that can be learned by using the skill a certain number of times. Most of these skills are "mere" elemental ones, but they are great for exploiting enemies' elemental weaknesses.

Sadly, a lot of things can be permanently missed during the game's first hours, including the ability to earn certain achievements (later), so completionists should refer to the information provided on the Steam forum. In addition to offering a lot of side quests, the game "challenges" the player with different mini games, including three well designed "seahorse racing" tracks and a bowling mini-game, all of which can be completed even by players that are less proficient when it comes to action segments. While the game contained a few bugs at launch, the developer, who is very active and friendly, has fixed them astonishingly fast.

In conclusion, the game is everything I'd expect and hope to see in a modern retro-style (insert your favorite classic JRPG series). If every other game showed the amount of love and detail that has gone into "Shadow Fate", our gaming backlogs would be infinitely longer.

Tuesday - May 10, 2022

Shadow Fate - Gameplay

by Hiddenx, 15:10

TheGamedawg checked out the recently released J-RPG Shadow Fate:

Let's Play Shadow Fate - Part 1


Information about

Shadow Fate

Developer: HuntingSwan

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: J-RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released: 2022-04-05
· Publisher: HuntingSwan