"The Guided Fate: Paradox is a randomly generated, dungeon crawl fest whose premise is as opposite of Disgaea as can be."
If you love the Disgaea series, you may not love this game. In lieu of a turn-based, strategy RPG system, The Guided Fate: Paradox is a randomly generated, dungeon crawl fest whose premise is as opposite of Disgaea as can be. You start off as an unlucky high school student named Renya, who randomly happens upon a Japanese lottery and wins! Yay! Oh, but then you die. What's up with all these NIS America games killing off the character you're playing as within the first ten minutes of the game?
It's fine though. You wake up and you find out you're God! Not a god. But God himself! Pretty damn cool. But the exact opposite of being Overlord of the Netherworld like in Disgaea. As one would expect though, you've got a long way to the godly top. You are assigned a weirdly subservient angel, Lilliel, to help accompany you on your quest. The awkwardness ensues when you find out that she is willing and able to do "whatever you want". But there is work to be done!
Apparently, heaven, or Celestia, is a lot like The Matrix. Whenever Renya, as God, enters the Fate Revolution Circuit, he is responsible for granting the wishes of mere mortals by saving everybody's hopes and dreams from the likes of Cinderella to zombies. The dungeons you are trudging through and the enemies you are defeating takes place in the Copy World, where as the people who are being affected inhabit the Original World. It just so happens that granting wishes and imbuing Renya's own "divine intervention" can drastically change the course of the time space continuum, which results in some really awesome boss fights at the end of dungeons.
"Unlike a turn-based system, all of the enemies’ actions and movements are happening in real time, so getting attacked from behind is bound to happen."
The Guided Fate may feel mechanically different from Disgaea, but the hard-drawn art style remains similar, just with more bright colors and angels instead of demons. Equipping and using items is as pertinent as ever. You will need to repair your items and use them often in order to be able to upgrade them once they "burst". Control-wise, I found that navigating the dungeons themselves using the D-pad was a tad awkward. Unlike a turn-based system, all of the enemies’ actions and movements are happening in real time, so getting attacked from behind is bound to happen. It's just frustrating when they attack, move over one space at the last second, you attack, and you miss.
I apologize for referencing Disgaea so much in this review, but I have never played the PSP title Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger v.s. Darkdeath Evilman, to which The Guided Fate is the spiritual successor to. It just seems to that the formula for seed for success that Nippon Ichi planted ten years ago has given us a much more polished version of this game time and time again.
The Guided Fate: Paradox ends up playing more like Pokémon: Mystery Dungeon and less like the Disgaea I know and love. That's definitely not a bad thing, as customization, the randomness of the dungeons, and picking the best angel companion for the task at hand are all huge assets to this game, but I would have liked to have seen more polished version of the concept. I do appreciate the attempt at something new from Nippon Ichi and anticipate what they have in store next.