Coming up on the game’s third anniversary for JP and past the first anniversary for NA, my friend Joe and I decided to team up to give you our impressions of the game so far from our two sides of the coin. Him from NA, and me from JP. Here’s my side of the story.

Story

As some in the NA server kind of realized at the beginning of the game, the story at launch was not as good as it could be. According to what we heard from Shiokawa, the creative director of FGO, the story was written with the intent of being a smartphone game at the beginning. In other words, short and bite-sized segments between the action of gameplay. If I had to personally describe it it would be similar to the story of Love Live School Idol Festival.

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For those who don’t know(and I’m not knocking LLSIF, I still love the series and the game), LLSIF requires you to reach a certain level in-game before you can unlock the next scenario to progress the story. It’s typically two levels and you get a new song to play as well. However the story in my book always seemed short without much depth as compared to the story that the anime tried to tell with Muse and Aqours.

I loved the story of the both animes but I was pretty bored of the LLSIF scenarios. I would assume that it was mostly fanservice slice of life for the players rather than actually trying to tell an actual narrative story.

So back to FGO. Fuyuki, Orleans, and Septem were written like this. It wasn’t until Okeanos and America did they realize that we, as fans of the Fate franchise and Type-Moon in general, didn’t come here for the gameplay. We play Fate/Grand Order for the story. I always described it once the story started getting good as “They stopped trying to write a cookie cutter phone game, and started writing Fate.”

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Fate stories always have a certain feel to them. They’re stories of ideals,people, emotions, about right and wrong, and the rampifications of your actions. While some times you can’t have everything you but at the end, you’ll have some happiness with the people you care about.

That’s what Fate/Grand Order’s story can be and I love reading it.

Gameplay

Now let me tell you…the people that recently joined JP and the NA crowd…you don’t know how lucky you have it. I’ve been playing this game since around July 31, 2015(launch day) and I’ve seen the game evolve.

One of the biggest changes was that we used to have a 10 minute way for 1 AP to regen. We used spend half the day waiting to play the game rather than playing it back then.

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Another thing was in our rolls back then especially in the tutorial, there was nothing guaranteed. We didn’t have a guaranteed 4 star servant. My first account started with Mashu, Jing Ke, and 9 craft essences. And even worse back then, after the tutorial you weren’t even guaranteed to get a servant in any of your rolls. I remember the salt from players spending a chuck of change only to get nothing but craft essences.

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Let’s not get started on my favorite part, the Quality of Life updates and the servant animation updates. I don’t like playing NA because there’s no back button and I can’t live without it now. As well the update to servants like EMIYA who use animations more consistent with their appearances in animes like UBW and Extra is visually excellent.

Grind

Let’s not lie. Unless you’re not playing every day, the days that you’re not playing the story or not playing an event, you’re grinding materials and QP.

The Grind for materials used to be a lot harder. Another reason I didn’t play NA at the beginning is that they didn’t have the Class daily quests to farm for statues and monuments for servants. I saw new NA players farming the old nodes that we used to farm back in the day and I really didn’t want to go back to that.

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The QP grind is fairly easy if not tedious at some times especially if you’re like me and have multiple servants that you want to max level and max skill. I burned so much QP max leveling my Helena, Da Vinci, Jeanne Alter.

Now the one thing that the game is totally and completely unforgiving in is farming for unique materials like gears, hearts, and so on. Those are very rare drops and the nodes in the singularies don’t drop them very often so it’s best to farm during events. However they are very satisfying once they do drop almost akin to one of those rare drops in games like Monster Hunter or MMOs.

Connection and Fantasy

Connection with the game is very important. After all how are you going to keep playing for hours and even years like me and not give up the game. The answer is forging a connection with your servants, the game, and the story. You really need to get invested into it.

A lot of people do this via having favorite servants or servants that they want to have on their team. I know I would be super happy if I had Ishtar, Ereshikgal, Musashi, and Scheherazade.

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However others do it by roleplaying, living the fantasy by putting themselves as the Master of Chaldea. It makes it more interesting by thinking of how you interact with your servants on the day to day basis and how you spend your time with them and the other members of Chaldea. Connection is a major reason why the community was so sad at the end of Part 1 and why they were gunning for the Crypters at the end of the Prologue to Part 2.

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We lost someone that we spent a year and a half with at the end of Part 1.We built memories with this person and looking back at all of the CEs this person was in makes a somber feeling that we’ll have to accept we’ll never see this person again.

And we lost Chaldea itself at the end of the Cosmos in the Lostbelt Prologue. The place where started out alone and after 2 and half years of bonding with our servants, Mashu, and all of the staff, it’s all gone. The place was baked with memories and bonds of everything we had did and it really hurt to leave.

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Tips and Tricks

Fate Grand Order is not a hard game. It actually gets easier to jump in every anniversary really. However there are some tips to remember.

1. Master the Class advantages and disadvantages.

Each servant is strong against one class and weak against another. Make sure to remember who’s weak against whom so to save some time.

The class that is best for offense are Avengers being unresisted by every class other than MoonCancer, of which there is only one ,BB. Effectively making them one of the easiest classes to deal powerful uncontested damage with. This is balanced by the fact that:

A. They’re all very rare or limited
B. Despite their high attack stats, they cannot crit without some serious assistance or a large amount of stars.

The class that is best for defense is a hard tie between Ruler, solely for Jeanne d’Arc, and Shielder because of Mashu. Ruler resists all classes save Berserker and Avenger and deal double damage to MoonCancer. This means they all effectively have 1.5 times the HP that they appear to have. For some, that’s good. For Jeanne…it’s bordering on overpowered from a defensive standpoint since she has 16,500 at lv 90 which works like she has nearly 25k HP because of her class.

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Mashu if she’s max skilled and raised to her level cap is the best defensive servant in the game. She has no weaknesses at all, powerful defensive skills, and an NP that cuts damage and gives a free attack buff. She truly lives up to the class of Shielder.

2. Your Three Stars

As JP has learned, there’s no such thing as a bad 3 star Archer because they all have a niche somewhere. In addition there’s some three stars you should always look out for namely Cu Chulain from Fate/Stay Night, Medea, Kotaro Fuuma, Ushiwakamaru and Bedivere. They all incredibly useful in the short and the long term.

3. Farming

If you’re only going to login once to grab your daily gift, at least farm for one of the three currencies, QP, Mana Prisms, or EXP. This are the hardest things to get since while materials for skills and ascensions are hard to get they at least come in large numbers during events. These however aren’t sold or come in lower numbers. It’s always good to have enough QP to max some servants, saved enough EXP for a servant you want or need, and some mana prisms to buy important craft essences and summoning tickets.

4. Friends

Although you’re playing the game alone, you’re not the only one playing. There’s fellow masters playing the game which net you friend points. Getting a lot of friends is a mutual benefit. After all you can’t get every servant so you can use your friend’s servant and they can use yours so you can get friend points to roll the friend point gatcha. The friend point gatcha lets you potentially get new three star servants and crafts saving you a bit of quartz from getting them from the quartz gatcha.

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Also Joe had some questions he wanted to ask me so here are those as well.

Questions from Joe
  1. What are some tips you would give to anyone playing Fate/Go?

Make sure when you’re starting out in the game to buy a lot of the statues and the monuments from events so you don’t have to worry about them. I can’t tell you how annoyed I have been to have a servant be ready for final ascension only to see I didn’t have enough monuments.

QP, Mana Prisms, and EXP are the most important farm-able materials. Always try and farm these if you feel like playing and there’s no event, story quests, or interludes to do.

What was your favorite event, that hasn’t happened for North America yet?

I’d have to say the 2nd and 3rd Guda Guda events along with Fate/Extra CCC. After the first Guda Guda, the events are still comedic but they do have some serious undertones that I like. I firmly believe that Guda Guda Strange Tales of the Imperial Holy Grail had the best characters, plot, and interactions out of the Japanese servant focused events.

Fate Extra CCC was just an awesome ride with a combination of time travel, mystery, and discovery. Discovering the hidden plan that BB had for us to beat the final boss was amazing to see after looking back at all of the event mechanics.

Who do you think are some useful servants to have, be it for offence or defense purposes?

Offensively there’s always the gold standard of Jalter but there’s also amazing 3 stars like Bedivere, Cu Chulain, and Medea. Defensively there’s Mashu and Jeanne. They are the be all and end all for defense in FGO.

2.  Is the attribute system worth remembering?

Yes and No. Yes because it’s nice to know what you’re hitting for bigger damage but no because if you just use the buff on everything at least you’re hitting all of your bases.

3. What do you think is the biggest downside to Fate/Go?

The fact the “safety net” sucks. You can spent 600+ quartz on a servant there is no mercy system so you’ll never have a chance. The only safety net is that if you get NP5 of a 5 star servant then you get an unregistered Saint Graph towards getting a 5 star of choice. However you need 10 of these so you need to get 10 dupes of one servant you don’t want to get an opportunity at one you want.

And that’s it from me.

If I had to give you a hard recommendations of which to play, I would say if you wanted to experience the story then go play the NA version but if you wanted a overall better experience then play JP.

I hope you love FGO as much I do.

Please check out Joe’s blog over here as well.

So until the next time,
Later Days

You can ask me as many questions as you want on Ask.fm and you can follow me on Twitter to know when my new reviews are coming out. You’ll know when stuff comes out right when it does! 🙂

Also check out my right hand man, SkyCorps on AnimeWithSky where I’m also a writer. We’ve got some good reviews from all the writers, Speculations, Light Novel Reviews, and Manga Chapters Reviews. What are you waiting for? Come and check us out! You won’t regret it!

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