Threads of Fate (PlayStation) review
"Ever since the birth of the role-playing genre gamers have been bored to death by fetch quests. Whether it’s fetching an old man’s cane or a witch’s elixir, these painfully bland gaming moments always manages to slow down the action to a snail’s crawl. Now imagine a game where every single quest is a fetch quest; Threads of Fate is such a game. While more of an action RPG than a traditional RPG, Squaresoft’s opus manages to disappoint on nearly all levels. "
Ever since the birth of the role-playing genre gamers have been bored to death by fetch quests. Whether it’s fetching an old man’s cane or a witch’s elixir, these painfully bland gaming moments always manages to slow down the action to a snail’s crawl. Now imagine a game where every single quest is a fetch quest; Threads of Fate is such a game. While more of an action RPG than a traditional RPG, Squaresoft’s opus manages to disappoint on nearly all levels.
The one thing Threads of Fate really has going for it is the option to play as two different characters. One of the characters is Rue, the fairly stereotypical hero who doesn’t speak much and has a haunted past. The other character is Mint, a feisty, spoiled ex-princess who wants to take over the world. Both of these characters embark on a quest to find an ancient relic that can grant wishes. The two storylines intertwine at moments, hence the lame ''threads'' moniker. The game was originally called Dew Prism in Japan. Why should everyone else in the world be stuck with the “Threads of Fate” name? It sounds like a Lifetime movie about spousal abuse.
Mint’s story about revenge and world domination is far more entertaining than Rue’s generic love and love lost plot. Mint is bitchy and self-centered, but this anti-hero is always fun to watch. However, despite the strength of Mint’s personality, neither chapter can really hold up well as a whole. The storyline is so clichéd, consisting of wise dragons, godly evil powers and a one-dimensional supporting cast. Also, both Rue and Mint go to almost all the same locations and experience the same events, so you don’t really experience a whole different viewpoint like the game’s box may lead you to believe.
Both Mint and Rue are different when it comes to abilities, but towards the end of they are essentially the same. Rue has the ability to transform into monsters he has defeated, and Mint can cast a plethora of magic spells. The reason they feel similar is because they each solve the game’s simplistic puzzles in the same way. Most puzzles require Mint to cast a spell, but as Rue you just have to turn into a monster that can cast the identical spell. For the most part their special abilities are worthless because you’ll mostly be using generic physical attacks, anyways.
Fans of Squaresoft games are accustomed to incredible and epic worlds to explore, but Threads of Fate’s world is neither incredible, nor epic. All of the dungeons are bland and lifeless, and there is only one minuscule town to explore. What’s even worse is that the only excuses you’re given for venturing is find some random item. Fetch quests weren’t fun in 1989, and they aren’t fun now.
There is one portion of the game I did happen to enjoy immensely. For once, a tiny portion of the game doesn’t take place in boring town, random dungeon or the other usual locales. Instead, it takes place in some weird world full of stars and a fluorescent pink landscape. In this “world” you have to complete a few zany 2d-platformer stages. Despite the leap from 3d to 2d, this was one of the only inventive and original parts in this title.
Threads of Fate is short in terms of length. Now there’s something I often get complaints about, but I digress! Completing both the chapters should take no longer than fifteen hours in total. Even most action RPGs take longer than a paltry fifteen hours to finish. For good measure, there’s a couple sidequests thrown in, but even those are short and boring, so don’t expect a lot of bang for your buck.
Most RPGs of late have been known for excellent graphics, but Threads of Fate doesn’t quite reach that bar. The characters are fluidly animated and their garments are pleasantly detailed, but for some reason their faces always show the exact same emotion. I know this is a PSone game, but games that came out years before this could at least show when the characters are surprised, scared, or even bored, much like I was when playing through this game. I already mentioned the blandness of all but one of the environments, but I’ll mention it again. The environments are lame and uninteresting.
When it comes to music, Squaresoft is the pinnacle of quality in the gaming industry. Threads of Fate fails to live up to the high standards that other Squaresoft games have set. The tunes are simplistic, extremely repetitive and ultimately forgettable. There isn’t any voice acting, which is surprising considering the fairly small amount of text. Chalk up another negative for this game.
If you really want a solid PSone action-RPG, I heartily suggest checking out Brave Fencer Musashi. Where Threads of Fate is lacking in quality music, depth, length, epicness(Yes, I know that isn’t a word) and overall fun, Musashi can mostly deliver in all of those departments. The idea of two separate stories seems like a good idea, but why have two lackluster stories when other games can provide one really involving one, and actual excitement to boot?
Community review by djskittles (January 27, 2004)
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