Half Past Fate Review (Nintendo Switch & PC)

Half Past Fate Review (Nintendo Switch & PC)

If there’s one goal I have for me as a game
journalist it’s for people to be able to look at an emotional sappy game and think, whoa
that’s a Luis Alamilla game if I’ve ever seen one. That’s what Half Past Fate is, one sappy wholesome
and an admirable game about relationships that I immediately fell in love with. Taking place over the span of 8 years, Half
Past Fate puts you in the shoes of 6 different paths of life. At one point you’ll be in the shoes of a corporate
investor looking for the next clean energy solution, in another, you’ll be a 2nd generation
Japanese tea connoisseur. Each of these six characters, each paints
a different background and story but despite their differences, their stories slowly get
entwined with another for the most wholesome game I’ve played this year so far. I found myself immediately caring for each
of the playable characters thanks to how well written each of them was. They came off as authentic personalities with
scenarios and reactions that felt believable. The 6-hour campaign is split into chapters
that have you take on a specific character. While each of these chapters focused on the
playable character, they didn’t juggernaut over the side characters that felt just as
fleshed out the longer I spent in that chapter. When the campaign started to connect everyone’s
stories together, I immediately got more excited about the next chapter just to see what laid
ahead for everyone. I jokingly at the time, described it to my
friend as Avengers End Game and even though I was joking, by the game’s ending, I had
the same butterfly feelings of seeing all the Marvel characters take on Thanos. That moment was only further solidified by
me eagerly wanting to tell my friends about this story the moment I rolled credits on
it. At first glance, it’s easy to mistake Half
Past Fate as a dating simulator, I know I did. It’s actually an adventure game with a lot
of the puzzle-solving of point and clicks adventure games only now presented as a top-down
RPG. Like most adventure games, these puzzles have
you looking for clues and items that connect with another to progress the story. At one point I was running late for a meeting
and had to get to the front of the coffee line. This meant having to go around the line, figuring
out why everyone was in line in the first place and trying to get what they needed as
fast as possible. These puzzles felt straight forward and intuitive. Find the items needed to solve the puzzle,
figure out the correct sequence of actions and solved. If I had ever been stump by a puzzle, and
I only really did by one car mechanic one, it was usually because I couldn’t find the
item I needed right away. Outside of solving puzzles, the rest of the
gameplay is dictated by the exploration of these sandboxes all across town. These small worlds felt beautifully crafted,
each of them piquing my curiosity, getting me to want to talk and inspect any interactive
item. Humorously enough I think the game was self-aware
enough to even make a joke about it while I was trying to sneak into the back of a store
in one section. Each of the 12 chapters focuses on a specific
character, telling you their background. Having the story take across a span of 8 years,
the story slowly connects the past with the present as the mystery of how everyone is
connected is slowly revealed. The anticipation was a slow but steady build
over six hours that kept me eagerly wanting the next chapter already. While this game felt more like an interactive
narrative than a traditional game, there is some replay value here. Throughout the campaign are hidden little
collectible bunnies. These play a reoccurring role in every chapter
as the bonus item and Easter egg throughout the story. Other than that, its campaign is a linear
adventure that can be completed in a day and it truly does feel like its meant to be played
in a single sitting. I actively find myself gravitating to these
short but sweet experiences more often with Sayonara Wild Hearts, Tetris Effect, and Florence
being my favorites. Half Past Fate is absolutely stunning, using
a contrast of 2d sprites in a 3d environment. It most resembles Octopath Traveler but without
the intense use of fancy lighting. Instead, the camera is angled in an almost
top-down view to give everything a bit more dimension. In combination with the shadows and shine
in the environment, its soothing to the eye. Its art style simply felt warm and inviting
with one of the best transitions in a video game I’ve ever seen. Walking into buildings activates this circle
wipe over the environment that’s just so pleasing to look at. It’s the god of war leviathan of transitions
in the sense I can do this over and over again and never get tired of it. It’s that good. In general, I was a big fan of the animation
here. Characters have subtle movements to them that
don’t feel overly animated but help lend to making the world feel alive when I’m just
wandering and exploring through it. There are some small oddities like this woman’s
thinking face looking a bit uh, well like that but I digress. Available on both Nintendo Switch and PC,
I didn’t notice any performance issues on either platform. Gameplay ran well on both platforms and the
short story size nature of the game translated well as a handheld game. If you were interested in this solely for
the handheld play, you can’t go wrong with it. Half Past Fate has a soothing chiptune soundtrack
that feels like a warm hug of music. It’s charming, cute and inviting. While a lot of the music is repeated throughout
the 12 chapters, I never really got tired of it. You could easily slap this music behind a
town in an unannounced Pokemon game and I’d easily believe it to be made by game freak. There are some clever filters used along with
the music too. For example, any time you’re inside a store,
the music changes to a filtered elevator like track that makes it sound like it’s being
played through a speaker. It’s a cute touch that I immediately noticed. There’s also some attention to detail in the
little interactions of character, like the differences in footsteps depending on the
material being steeped on. The one area that I think could use some work
though was the transition between songs. In more serious moments, there’d be a sudden
change in music that didn’t always transition well. Sometimes the music would literally just stop
and start playing the dramatic music, somewhat affecting the impact of the scene. In a month where most of us are eagerly excited
to shoot demons in Doom External or live our island adventure in Animal Crossing, Half
Past Fate is a good ol’ wholesome adventure that feels as traditional storytelling as
it gets. Sure some more gameplay could be nice but
sometimes a good story is all you need, it’s surely what I needed. Over the course of 6 hours, I went from knowing
nothing about this game, smiling at the rom-com drama throughout it and eagerly waiting to
see how it wraps up by the end of it. By the end credits, I felt a rush of emotions
as everything was neatly tied with a bow. I only wish I could relive the experience
or had more reasons to play it again.

5 thoughts on “Half Past Fate Review (Nintendo Switch & PC)”

  1. I don’t see the problem, when I’m thinking I usually look like 3:54 too.

    But this game seems like the peaceful little getaway that I need ~

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