Fate/Extella Link follows Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, which came out back in 2017. Thanks to Marvelous, the sequel’s available for Vita owners as well as PS4 owners, so if you started the journey on Sony’s handheld then you can continue there as well. We did, and here are our thoughts.
There was a time when the Vita had plenty of games like Fate/Extella Link, including One Piece and a few Senran Kagura titles. To see another Fate/Extella title pop up in 2019 is a pleasant surprise indeed, and it’s even better to know it’s an improvement over the previous game rather than just a lazy copy/paste job.
On the surface, though, you might think otherwise. Fate/Extella Link looks and feels quite a bit like The Umbral Star when you focus on the visuals – the user interface is pretty much identical, and the environments you battle in are quite familiar as well. There is a lot more content though – which extends to characters, missions, moves you can unlock and a social interaction system that fleshes out your in-game relationships.
The different fighters you unlock actually feel different when playing as well, and the story mode – however “out there” the writing can be at times – has a good amount of replay value as well. This is partly because you can play with a vast roster of characters, but there are also multiple story arcs to explore and uncover. All of them involve characters based on famous historical figures, although in Fate/Extella Link they are immortalized as digital recreations instead.
Outside of the story mode, you can also engage in a wide selection of extra missions for you to tackle as well. These don’t just serve as a way to dive back into the game through easily digestible chunks, they also give you a chance to unlock additional experience points and thus skills for your characters.
The missions are very combat-centric, and outside of the eccentric storyline that’s also the focus of the main campaign. Luckily, the combat is very well done – rising above the simple button mashing that we sometimes see in the musou genre. There are still plenty of buttons to mash, but you can also launch special moves and attacks by combining your face button presses with the shoulder buttons. The more you play, the more of these moves you unlock – and many of them are super moves that add spice and fun to the combat.
I wouldn’t say that Fate/Extella Link does anything to revolutionize the genre, but it’s a very competent musou brawler and it feels like it’s been ages since we had one of the Vita. It’s visually comparable to The Umbral Star so it won’t blow anyone away in that regard, but the game engine is solid and doesn’t crumble when there’s a lot going on at once. If you’re a fan of similar games, especially if you played and enjoyed The Umbral Star, then this is the Vita game you didn’t know you were waiting for.