Greetings! Railgunfan75 here. As many of my fellow bloggers already know I am a huge fan of the Fate franchise. I have discussed the franchise quite a bit on this blog and I’m sure some of you might be sick of seeing me talk about it. If you are one of those people, I apologize as I have more Fate content for you. One thing that I have never discussed on this platform is the fact that I am a huge fan of the Fate/Grand Order mobile game. Well, the game just passed it’s 3rd anniversary in North America and I thought it would be cool to share with you some thoughts about my time playing the game. Might as well nerd out about an anime based game right?
I was one of the people who jumped on board pretty much when it released back in 2017. And honestly, I had no idea how much this game would suck me in and try to take over my life. I had dabbled in mobile games before and pretty much a rookie when it came to gacha games. I had played the Love Live mobile game a fair amount but usually as just a means to kill a few spare minutes or to get my brain going. Then I heard about the new Fate mobile game at it’s release and had to give it a try. It turned out to be really different from what I expected.
The major expectation when diving into a licensed game like is that you get to unlock the many characters that the franchise has to offer. On that front, FGO does not disappoint. I really like the massive roster of characters including characters from the various anime series and a bunch of new characters. Some you really come to like, others you just want to punch through the screen if you could. The fact that you get an emotional response from seeing these characters shows the amount of effort that was put into the game. Your first character unlocked, Mash is not only great to use in terms of gameplay but just an awesome character in terms of the narrative. Her naive and caring nature is a nice counterpoint to the destruction and death which permeates many of the characters and the story. Along the way you get to meet some familiar and some new characters. Over the course of playing the game, I have greatly added to my list of favorite characters.
Speaking of the characters, the character designs and animations are really well done especially for a mobile game. I also get excited when I can unleash a Servant’s Noble Phantasm as each character has their own unique cinematic. I always get goosebumps when I can pull off one of my favorite characters Noble Phantasms or chain attack. The game in general looks really nice.
The first major surprise for me was just how intensive the main story of the game actually is. Compared to the other mobile games that I have played and some console games, the story of FGO is massive. I have easily logged in a few hundred hours into the game just on the story alone and I am still on part one! And the story itself is really fun to play as with each chapter you get new characters, have some time to explore their backstories, and get a plot with a ton of twists and surprises.
I also need to mention the many events that occur through the year. These have their own stories themselves many of which are fun reprieves from the world ending main narrative. The stories also get you special characters on completion (many of which are great in terms of gameplay) which is also a nice bonus. Some of my favorites included a civilization sim type event, helping Saber Alter dressed as Santa go around deliver gifts, and helping Ishtar manage a cross country race. These stories are silly and absurd but because of all of the awesome personalities on display they are just a ton of fun. I also love to play the side quests where you can improve an individual character and delve more into their history. These short little story snippets The visual novel style of story telling works really well for this as you get a lot of detail about the events that occur. Yeah the heavy reading aspect of the game may bother some people but for me the stories that they tell are worth the read. The stories are not the only option though as if you don’t have a lot of time, you can play quick quests for materials to improve your characters.
The battle system in itself while simple on the surface is actually a ton of fun. In it’s simplest form you activate relevant skills, pick three attack cards and go. As the game progresses you need to start using more complex strategies in terms of characters used for battle and how you execute the battle. One of things that I have come to appreciate is how you can use different strategies based off the characters available to you. In addition the Friend system of the game lets you use another person’s servant to fill in a gab that you might need for a battle. This system has saved my bacon in a ton of cases. I like the fact the game difficulty grows gradually as you progress. And if a story part proves to difficult, you can play in the other game modes or events to improve your party. I have done this on numerous occasions (hence why I am still in Part 1 of the story). Even at those tough moments though I was never lacking for anything to do.
In terms of any complaints about the experience it involves the actual gacha system itself. Pulling for higher rarity characters can be a really frustrating task especially if you are a free to play or on a limited budget. There is a a reason that it is called “gacha hell”. And while I have a good pool of characters to work with, it took me a long time to get to that point and some bosses or challenges still give me a hard time. In three years of gameplay, I have spent money only a couple of times but I certainly can’t afford to dump money on the game each time that there is a cool character I want. And if you wan’t a ton of top tier characters you either need to grind a ton for in game currency or drop a bunch of money. And even if you do that, there is no guarantee that you even get a top tier character. I think it took me over six months of playing to get my first SSR character without spending any money. Of course, I remember when I pulled that character Gilgamesh and I how stoked I was but it took a long time to get him. My favorite character Altria took me around 18 months to get, it was such a cruel wait.
Especially compared to some other games, FGO is really cruel with the drop rates of it’s top characters. Of course the point of the game is to make money for the company and I don’t mind spending some money on it. This is also the result of the game type itself and I knew going in that this was one thing I would to have to deal with. But after seeing how some other games approach this, it does make FGOs gacha system frustrating to deal with Potentially having to spend a few hundred bucks for one character like some people do is ridiculous for me. Sure it does make those moments ever so sweeter when you do pull the character that long awaited character, but the struggle of getting the character you want or a character which could fill a need that you have can be frustrating.
I have dumped a lot of time and energy into Fate/Grand Order and it has been an insanely fun experience. Just like any good game it engages, frustrates, and rewards the player for taking part. My experience with the game has been suprising. When I picked it up, I expected to spend 10-20 minutes a day just fighting enemies. I ended up diving into a game which I can put hours at a time into and it was free to start with. There are not many games that can provide this much entertainment and the fact the Fate/Grand Order does makes it special. It’s intensive story, fun and tragic characters, and simple yet engaging gameplay have sucked me down the rabbit hole of gacha hell and I don’t regret it at all.
Thanks for sticking with me through this rant about Fate/Grand Order. I thought that since it takes up a fair portion of my free time, that I would share with you all some of my thoughts playing the game. If you are a Fate fan especially, I really would recommend checking this game out. It really is a ton of fun. Do you play the game? If you do I would to hear about your experiences with the game. I would to celebrate that you got your favorite servant or cry with you that didn’t get them. So please comment below or on Twitter (@railgunfan75). So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off. Stay safe, stay respectful, and stay geeky my friends!