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on November 7, 2013
Far back as I can remember I was in love with role playing games. From discovering the hobby with buying Dungeons and Dragons at a garage sale to playing Ultima 3 on my C-64. Role playing games allow us an escape from everyday life. Now NIS (the creator of the Disgaea series) have created a new series called The Guided Fate Paradox. But is this a journey that you will want to go on or should you just stay home?

The plot behind The Guided Fate Paradox centers around a 17 year old named Renya. He goes on to say that he is very unlucky and has never won anything in his life. While in a mall he comes across a cute girl in a maid outfit. She coerces him to spin the wheel as he might win a prize and he eventually does so. It turns out he has won the grand prize and the prize is that he is to become God. Renya is stunned and at first doesn’t believe her but it turns out she is an angel named Liliel. The angel transports him to Celestia and explains that his job is to alter the fates of the people that pray to him.

What Renya has to do is enter the Fate Revolution Circuit and explore the areas within. In these dungeons various monsters manifest as the persons fears and slaying these monsters help them overcome these doubts. This is one of the most interesting concepts I have ever seen in an RPG and the story is very engaging with cutscenes and great voice acting.

The dungeons that you enter are randomly generated almost giving you a rogue-like experience. Each time you enter a dungeon you will encounter different enemies, various traps and gimmicks that can hinder your progress. Unlike other games where the action occurs in real time this is a turn based game. Nothing will happen unless you move and you can get the jump on some enemies attacking them before they can even see you.

You will not be going alone in the dungeon however as you can have one angel accompany on your expedition. Each of these angels has various powers and can turn the tide of battle. There are also various items you can find in the dungeon that you can equip or give to one of your angels. Later on there are huge boss battles that will require you to think and plan out your actions to beat these superior foes.

If you are a fan of some of the earlier Disgaea games or want a change from the traditional RPG’s you need to get this game.
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on July 14, 2014
Guided Fate Paradox is a "mystery dungeon" style game. In short this game is way better than it really has a right to be. Mystery Dungeon games are a bit of a niche market, but this one does its genre proud with a slew of great features. One of the biggest hurdles to random dungeons is starting at Lvl1 each go around and never getting a real edge, which can be tough if you're not a strong player. NIS combated this with their usual super-buffing of characters, there is a well designed tile upgrade system that allows to earn permanent character boosts. The graphics are pleasant and crisp though they're lacking in animation during cut-scenes. No matter the seriousness or silliness of a situation the character overlays don't really react. In a curious twist the story is rather well thought out and reflects a lot on the concept of being "used" for the benefit of other people. I highly recommend this game.
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on February 5, 2015
This game reminded me a lot of the Playstation game Azure Dreams. It's basically a "mystery dungeon" game where you can run around with an NPC partner through randomly generated dungeons. Each time you beat the dungeon or exit it, you lose all your levels but your stats get better. You don't get to use any other angel except the first one until around the 7th chapter.

It has cute artwork and sprites, but the acting quality (in English) was lackluster and at times, grated on the nerves. The music's pretty boring so I usually played my own music while crawling the dungeons.

It's not my favorite game but it was fun for what it was.
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on March 3, 2016
This review is spoiler and essentially plot free:

To start, I am a long time fan of NIS and all the games they make, so this review will be comparing this game to other games by them occasionally.
For starters the plot of this game is pretty NIS normal (angels, demons, ect.) but what is unique is that each chapter is a side story that is different and interesting, although I do admit a few of them (especially the first 2) seem to drag on a little longer than then should.But these side stories are different from the usual chapter setup of NIS games (regardless that they are still called chapters) because the side stories are completely unrelated to the main plot. Generally the stories are even references or directly taken from various subcultures or stories told throughout the world today with a twist of course. I personally found the main plot somewhat dry and uninteresting, but the side stories are what keep making me pull the game back off the shelf to play again.

As for the game-play, it is a turn based combat system very much like Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman or mystery dungeon games if you are unfamiliar with the example. It is somewhat rouge-like in the sense that your level restarts at 1 every time you begin a set of stages and your stat gains come from leveling equipment and a skill tree of sorts that works kind of like the Cam-pain HQ from Disgaea 4 (place objects on a map to gain bonuses with positioning and efficiency playing a large role in overall effect). The only thing I found odd was that 90% of the combat (basically everything but the boss fights) is completely unrelated to the ongoing plot other than through the theme of the enemies and background. It feels like you are playing a game while watching an anime. Honestly I found it very odd but also somewhat refreshing.

Overall I found the game very interesting to say the least, with a unique take on storytelling as well as some more traditional turn based gameplay. Would and probably will try again. 5/5
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on May 4, 2015
This game was not really what I was looking for. However, if you like Disgaea series you will love this game! It does have a quirky story, so I did really enjoy that. Everyone has different taste, so you might just like it.
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on October 12, 2014
The largest irritant of this game is how you lose all your equipment and money whenever you die, which happens a lot because each stage has a large difficulty "curve" until you've ground out enough levels in previous stages to take on the next. Not terrible, not fantastic. Something to play in the vein of disgaea.
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on January 8, 2016
I've seen some pretty badly written reviews on this and figured I'd toss mine in for people that need more than "YOU LOSE ALL YOUR LEVELS!!!!!11!!"

Basically it's a turn-based RPG where every move you make in the dungeon is considered a "turn", and then each enemy makes theirs (it's *much* faster than it sounds). When you die, you lose all of your equipment and half your money (though you can deposit items and money in storage to protect them). It sounds punishing, and it mostly is, however the developers did this to force you to not worry as much about equipment, and to focus more on the stat-building tools you have at your disposal. By using your equipment often enough for it to give you special stat bonuses to apply to your character, you can then do things like hit and kill enemies in one hit that are 10+ levels higher, or be able to improve your defense so that even bosses can't actually inflict damage when they hit you, etc. So you're not nearly as dependent on equipment as you would be in something like Dark Souls or Disgaea, or Final Fantasy.

So if you can wrap your head around that concept and not get too irritated (though you WILL get irritated, I promise), it's a clever and deep game with an interesting story and decent voice acting. It's also got the trademark NISA trait of having LOTS of text and exposition in between each dungeon floor (you only have to listen to it once, and you can skip every story scene if you'd like). But you don't really need to pay attention to the story to enjoy the game.

I'd say the worst thing about the game is that there's a couple difficulty spikes early on (most notably in Lesson 4) that may turn some people off from playing, but the game goes back to a reasonable challenge after that. Also, the gameplay itself can get a little boring after awhile because while the backgrounds of the dungeons change, you'll find that you're essentially doing the same thing over and over again, but with some different results if you're playing around with different stat builds and such. Despite being a JRPG, there isn't any fanservice at all, so it's safe to play in front of your kids. There's some risque dialogue from one of the angels, but that's about as bad as it gets and it's not explicit - just naughty.

So ultimately, if this type of gameplay sounds like fun and you need an RPG to mess around with (by the way, there's TONS of post-game content as well as a New Game+ mode), this'll probably be fun for you and at $20 or less, it's not a bad purchase at all.
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on January 20, 2016
As soon as I saw this game I knew I would love it. A roguelike from NIS? who can beat that!? I was further strengthened in my belief by the fact that most of the people that had problems had them because "its too hard" or "its not disgaea". I question why anyone would go into a game thinking its going to be like disgaea simply because its from the same company. They can only make one game, apparently.

Anyways, this game did not disappoint.

First, the plot. The plot of the game is very interesting. In this game, you are god. Using your powers, you grant the prayers of mortals by destroying the aspects that keep them from changing their destiny in a parrelel world, which is synced to some extent with the real world. The story progresses after you reach the end of each story level in a dungeon.

You have to It is the PERFECT DIFFICULTY, if you bother to look at the tutorial(which most people DON'T). The controls are not intuitive. If you stupidly walk up and just press 'attack', then yes, your going to die. But anyways. The "Aberrations" get stronger as you go through the game, and eventually require more advanced plans and levels. For example, you can use the "glove weapon" to do a comet upper attack, which does damage and picks up the enemy, and then throw it away for you angel companion to defeat. At the end of each dungeon, your levels will be reset to 1. But fortunately, there are many ways to keep growing stronger. As you use equipment during the dungeon, it maxes after a time. This is called bursting. for each gear you 'burst' you get a token to place on a sphere grid, similiar to FFX, to increase whatever stat you want permanently. Moreover, this also increases the rate of growth when you do level up. In addition to this, as you level up, you also get to keep some of your power in your "Base stats" which dont change when your level is reset.

This is the first game I have truly enjoyed in a long time. It defies the norm of games nowadays in that you cant win by mindlessly pressing buttons, but thats what I like about it.
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on August 5, 2014
Closer to a VN than a VG. The amount of gameplay is hideously overshadowed by the "storyline," which consists of stationary character animations with superimposed text occasionally flexing while you tap the x button over and over again. There are "storyline" sections in between every single "level" and last much, much longer than the levels themselves. The levels might take 4 or 5 minutes to complete and the dialogue sections can occasionally stretch to 15 minutes or more. This might not be so awful if the storyline was a little a stronger. But God (pun?), sometimes it just keeps going and going and going on about nothing or something that has not yet been explained and so is effectively nothing. At times it also feels heavy-handed enough that it should have been aimed at children.

Ultimately, the gameplay and storyline do not organically mesh and, really, barely relate. It could literally be possible that the programmers of the game levels never even met the writers. The two aspects of the game are seriously that disparate.

Gameplay itself is fine, when we are allowed to actually play, however. Battles are entertaining enough and everything is very customizable. The leveling system is unique and innovative (although channeling FFX in certain aspects).

If you have the patience for VNs (and I don't... not NIS's fault, I suppose) you might be able to enjoy this game with only a few minutes of actual gameplay time on the hour.
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on December 3, 2013
I love NIS for their uber strategy role playing games with crazy high levels and huge cast of characters that you can use. The Guided Fate Paradox is another one of their variants that falls outside of that, at least for me, winning formula.

Game play is very similar to Izuna, where you move around a grid map one block at a time. Each move or action you take causes all enemies on the map to move. I'm not a fan of this style of game play because it can be mind numbingly easy or impossibly hard depending on where enemies spawn and how big your level gap is when you start trading blows.

Your main character, the only one you control directly, restarts at level 1 each stage. Finishing the stage or using an exit will dump those temporary levels into your Total Level count which raises base stats and unlocks other power ups over time. I'm good with that, it's a nice take on leveling up. You unlock stat boosting holy symbols by leveling your gear, which take a huge stat cut when the gear caps at the current level. This can only be reset at base and only up to rank 6. After that you have to find a random floor, or so the guide tells me.

The soft caps, limited ability to grind, and the single playable character + single AI team format aren't really what NIS is famous for, so that's why this game lost one star in my review. If you love Disgaea, Makai Kingdom, Phantom Brave, LaPucelle Tactics, etc... this isn't the game you're looking for.

12/16/2013 Update

So I finished the game after two weeks of very casual (1 ~ 2 hours a day) gaming. The 10 chapters feel short, especially after they stop breaking them in half. When I reached post game it all fell apart though. I have been grinding out 1 base stat here, two tile unlocks there per run for over a week and the over all game play hasn't changed.

The game balance is just off. I haven't played a single stage where the damage exchange between the hero, Renya, and any of the monsters felt balanced. It's either one or two shot KO's both ways or zero damage. There is very limited room for strategy or working around the enemies when they over power you and it's beyond moot when you over power them. You simply have to grind, extremely slowly, until you unlock the symbols and loot the gear you need to take zero damage.

Adjusted my star rating to 3 overall, 1 star for fun. Izuna had this kind of game play and it was way more enjoyable to play because you actually took damage and used healing items for more than just filling slots in your bag. This game is just a rogue style gear check.
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