The Awakened Fate Ultimatum: Heaven or hell

March 12, 2015


Like clockwork, NIS America releases niche titles that, for the most part, will go under the radar, but manage to catch the eye of a few. A year after the success of The Guided Fate Paradox, a sequel makes its way onto North American PS3s. The roguelike formula seems to be working well, and with Haruhi Suzumiya artist Noizi Ito once again at the helm of creating characters once again, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum hopes to keep players hooked.

The events of The Awakened Fate Ultimatum occur six years after the events of The Guided Fate Paradox. While Satanael met his demise in the last game, the war between angels and devils still rage on after. The story’s protagonist, Shin Kamikaze, is a mild-mannered, lone wolf high school student who suddenly meets an untimely end when he’s attacked by devils traveling home from school. Shin is saved by Jupiel, a noble, hard-working angel from Celestia; and Ariael, a devil scientist and prisoner from the Netherworld. In an effort to revive him, a Fate Awakening Crystal is shoved into his injured chest. Much to Shin’s surprise, the very thing that saved him makes him God of Celestia. Suddenly being tossed into this mess, he’s tasked with helping Celestia take down devils and try to win the war for the angels who have severely started to fall behind. With both Jupiel and Ariael at his side, his choices become more important than ever.


For the most part, Ultimatum plays extremely similar to Paradox. A few gameplay changes were made to further streamline the confusing elements of the last game. A major change is the switch from the isometric grid to the standard grid found in most roguelikes for the dungeons. With this change, it solves the previous entry’s control issues with navigating the battlefield. The equipment system has become more simplified as well, breaking it down into a basic weapon-shield-accessory format. Simplifying this system, however, changed how our protagonist learns skills.

The level-up system is separated into both an Angel and Devil side. Each unlocked skill point promotes the growth of the chosen side and effectiveness in battle. A new gameplay element called Ultimate Choices forces you to choose one of two scenarios. With each decision, it skews certain events in a different direction, changing the outcome of the story as well as the characters who partake in it. Upon making each choice, additional skill points and new abilities are awarded specifically to what side you chose. This replacement for the overcomplicated grid the previous game sported is a welcome change.

On the battlefield, you no longer have a teammate alongside you, and are forced to traverse the randomly generated dungeons alone. Unlike the last game, your level upon leaving the dungeon will continue to grow by repeating older dungeons or advancing with the story. Because of Shin’s connections with both Jupiel and Ariael, he’s able to change forms – dietize, if you will – and face both light and dark enemies alike and exploit their weaknesses accordingly to each enemy for the cost of a small amount of SP after each action.


Like many games released by NIS America, Ultimatum has a horrendous difficulty spike that can easily be found the moment the game stops holding your hand. While you might be keeping up with enemies toward the beginning of each random dungeon, progression makes enemies tougher. Unfortunately, the experience rate is rather slow. More often than not, you’ll either find yourself dying, therefore losing all your weapons; or reloading a save, having to do entire dungeons from the beginning.

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum‘s simplified mechanics will definitely appeal more to newer players, allowing them to get a flow of the game, but players of the last game may be left wanting more, since several of the in-depth elements that drew them in are no longer present. If you can bypass the difficulty spike and find some interest in the choose-your-own-adventure influences on the story, though, it’s still worth dipping into.

Pros: Great character design, Ultimate Choices keep the story interesting
Cons: Difficulty still an issue, uninspired story segments, not nearly as funny as the first game

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.