If it wasn’t clear from the variety of reviews I write and post on Popzara, I’m kind of an all-platforms kind of guy. I just enjoy playing games, it doesn’t much matter where they’re from or what I have to play them on. If you were to give me a preference, however, I’d go for PC gaming every time thanks to the increased graphical power and customization available on that platform. Of course, it helps to have a powerful PC, too!
That means that when a game I enjoyed gets a PC port, I’m completely cool with giving it a shot to see how things have changed; our case in point this time is Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star.
Most of what can be said about this updated port of EXTELLA has already been said in our previous review of the PS4 version. Summarized: it’s basically Dynasty Warriors with a focus on terrain control via moving about a larger map and fighting in strategic areas. The majority of the game lies in visual novel-styled text and cutscenes, though, which is worth keeping in mind if you’re just looking for a Warriors-styled game. The writing is surprisingly well done given there’s a massive amount of it, so it’s not exactly torture to read through it all.
So it’s a Warriors game. That means you against armies, and you’re typically going to win without too much effort. If things ever start to turn against you, you can unleash an Extella Action, basically a powerful super move, or a Noble Phantasm attack that will wipe the current room clean. You can customize your Servants using Install Skills obtained via combat, allowing for a degree of character diversity, but the game’s rarely hard enough that you’ll need to grind much. All in all, for fans of the Fate series this is a perfectly acceptable adaptation that takes the games in a new direction.
What’s new in the PC port, then? Well…it certainly runs great. On my system EXTELLA cruises along at a nice, buttery smooth clip at all times, even when massive numbers of foes are onscreen and my Servant is mowing them down with fancy particle-saturated attacks. This game’s performance wasn’t exactly questionable on console, but I’ll typically play games on PC when I can get them and EXTELLA certainly runs well on the new platform. I can’t comment how the Switch version runs, but I’ve been told it’s similar to the PS4 version. My previous complaint regarding repeating voice clips remains, but that’s not exactly the end of the world.
More Japanese games finding their way onto the PC in playable, enjoyable states is always a good thing. It’s also available on the game-starved Switch, so there’s more love to go around. You can’t complain about more choice, after all, and the added power ensures that games can get their fair shake when it comes to graphics and performance. Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star is yet another step on a road that I hope we can continue on; perhaps we’ll eventually reach a point where console exclusives are a thing of the past. That’s optimism, sure, but I’m feeling uncharacteristically optimistic lately thanks to great ports like this one.