Threads of Fate Review
Strangely enough Dew Prism was a Square game that I had not been anticipating much. The game was released in Japan and was well received but I thought that US gamers wouldn't react the same way. After its title was changed to Threads of Fate (which I prefer over Dew Prism), and a public demo was released, I decided to give the game a chance. Much to my surprise I found a game filled with fun, colorful characters, vibrant animation and a Disney-esque adventure story. The demo was fairly short and I was craving for more, as soon as I experienced Threads of Fate, I knew Square had another sure winner on their hands. Threads of Fate was overflowing with lush backgrounds, excellent music, and best of all a unique style of gameplay. Some people have also dubbed Threads of Fate as a soul survivor sequel to Brave Fencer Musashi. Mainly because the game has some aspects that are very reminiscent of Musashi and it plays to some extent similarly to Brave Fencer. Having said that, Threads of Fate can also be compared to Square's very own Vagrant Story. Both games have quite a lot in common, the real time combat system for example and the way of gameplay are two examples. Enough of the comparisons, let's see how Threads of Fate can compare to Square's other marvels.
I'm afraid that Square has done it again! They have found a way to push the Playstation's limits even further than they have done with Vagrant Story. Square manages to bring out the most polished Action/Adventure/RPG yet. Using the game's engine, Threads of Fate has no FMVs or CGs, the game is 100% real time. The real time cut scenes are created wonderfully using the game engine, the detail in all of the characters is sheer wonder. All of the characters are super smooth and can arguably be described as some of the smoothest looking character models the PS has even produced and I don't mean that lightly. When the camera gives the player a close up of a character, you will quickly notice the immensely overwhelming detail on that characters body. Take a look at these wonderful screen shots your self and be amazed. The backgrounds are in real-time unlike Square's other titles, the backgrounds almost look as if they are pre-rendered though. The detail that was paid to the backgrounds is certainly noticeable because these are without a doubt the best looking real-time backgrounds I have yet seen. Things like crates, waterfalls, water in general, and walls all look fantastic. The one flaw that I find with Threads of Fate is that there is not a single computer animated sequence, one or two would have been nice, but I can live with it. My final word is that Threads of Fate is certainly a nominee for best visual achievement in a game.
My take on the gameplay is very positive, Threads of Fate has very few flaws to affect the game in any way what so ever. In TOF you can pick two characters, by picking Rue you will be submerged into a very story driven adventure, by picking Mint you will be thrown into a world of revenge. My first pick was Rue his story is pretty good, much better than Mint's. Story Spoiler: Rue's story starts out with Rue and his best friend Claire sitting and talking in Claire's shack, all of a sudden wild screams burst from the animals and Rue goes outside to check out the commotion. Rue doesn't see anything but suddenly a creature with an enormously huge right hand appears, Rue starts battling him but the creature throws Rue aside. Claire jumps in and hits the creature with a shovel over the head, the attack had little effect on him, the monster picks up his hand and whacks Claire to the side, killing her. Later in the game you will see everything that happened during that night, after Claire's death her spirit will enter Rue's body and sticks with it. Rue's journey is now to find the most precious treasure the [Relic]. The [Relic] is a treasure that can bring Claire back to life and Rue is determined to find it no matter what. Rue's adventure begins three years after the incident.
Mint's adventure is far less emotional than Rue's but like many other people in the world of Threads of Fate, Mint is also looking for the sacred [Relic]. Her plot is revenge, Mint is a princess who was suppose to be crowned ruler of her empire but because of her bad manners, lack of respect and lack of self control the high council voted her younger sister to be crowned as next ruler of their empire. Her sister possesses the power of an Aeon's [Relic] and Mint doesn't like having her younger sister bossing her around and having more power than her. Being outrageously angry at her sister, Rue runs away from her home and finds herself on a journey to look for the [Relic] to show her sister that she has the ability to use it as well. Rue's adventure starts out two years after she escapes and she also happens to be on the same ship that Rue is. Both characters will cross paths and will eventually team up to search for the [Relic].
When Threads of Fate first arrived in the office I sat down and played the game for 3 hours straight, I couldn't get over the great gameplay and the unique magic that each character possesses. Rue possesses the power to shape-shift into enemies that he has defeated in the past. By holding Square a rotating menu will open up that will let the gamer pick a choice of four recently defeated enemies. This is an extremely handy feature for the future of Rue's adventure. Mint possesses the power to learn new magic abilities (kind of your old fashioned FF character). As you progress through her adventure she will learn new abilities and use them to her advantage. Updating your status such as HP, MP, and equipment can be done by either fighting and gaining HP/MP or HP/MP can be upgraded in a certain shop. Weapon upgrades can be purchased in a weapon shop, and so can upgrades on your defense. Threads of Fate is more RPG than action/adventure. It has a lot of dialogue (but not too much) and the game was translated perfectly.
Before I forget, I want to mention these structures called Ateliers. This is where you collect information leading to the discovery of a [Relic], you will be visiting many different Atelier's throughout your journey, in order to enter them a certain puzzle/task has to be completed for the doors to open. Threads of Fate is surely worth every penny, you will not only be playing one adventure but two, when was the last time I let you guys down?
The soundtrack is one of the most memorable soundtracks that Square has created yet. Next to Final Fantasy VII and IX, Threads of Fate has the best tunes. Most of them are high pitched and very cheerful-like, I like them a lot! The one disappointment that I have with the game is that there is no voice acting in it, but that leaves more to the imagination. I am very fascinated by the soundtrack, though I hoped that some voice acting was included.
Control is another feature which Square nailed on the spot. The analog is tight and has sensitivity control while the Dual Shock is packing a good hit. Controlling characters is extremely simple, there is no problem, as I like to say "just pick up and go". The control is great and suits the game perfectly.
Threads of Fate is yet another Square masterpiece. It's unlimited charm is not to be missed by anyone, go out and pick up Threads of Fate if you know what's good for you. It will hold you over until Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy IX. I think that Square has once again outdone themselves by releasing another incredible adventure, or should I say two adventures. Threads of Fate is by no means a childish game, it's a game that will attract all gamers alike, whether you are an action, adventure or RPG gamer you must not pass up on Threads of Fate.