Now that you’re caught up with the story, let’s talk about gameplay. Threads of Fate is what you’d expect from a late 90s PlayStation game. The controls are basic. You move the character, attack with either melee or magic, and jump. It’s really just good ol’ fashioned gameplay. However, one major issue I have is the lack of camera control. The camera is static except for a few scenes when you’re allowed to swivel the camera around. These scenes usually are in houses, and that’s not exactly when camera control is needed. It’s a shame because this game has many points that require precise platforming, but the awkward camera angles will lead you to have a few pitfalls and leaps of faith. I consider this a major no-no.
Most of the gameplay takes place in the town of Carona. Carona has a couple of shops, an inn, hotel, church, and two areas where most of your plot-driven characters stay. Threads of Fate has no consumable items, so shops only sell equipment and key items for the story. Equipment works a little differently in this game compared to other action RPGs. Once you purchase equipment, it automatically applies itself to your character and only acts as a bonus to your attack power or defense. The leveling system also doesn’t work like a typical RPG. There are no experience points and no indicator that you’re leveling. You gain points instead by just playing the game. The more damage you take without dying, the better your hit points will be. This is also true with your attack power and magic points. When you acquire damage, use magic, or attack, you’ll notice that your maximum points for that attribute periodically increase. This really minimizes the need for grinding and keeps the gameplay moving swiftly without interruption. The only time you might want to grind is when you need to gain more magic points in order to access a secret area. For example, when you need to melt large ice blocks or blow up boulders in the way. I really like this element, given that it is an action RPG with an emphasis on “action”.
Since there are no consumables, most secret areas lead to more magic spells or coins. Coins in Threads of Fate are different from gold, which is the main currency. There are bronze, silver, gold, and platinum coins that are used after you have been killed. You do not have to backtrack far if you have coins because they will allow you to restart in the same area. The difference between the coins determines what you will restart with. All coins refill health but they will grant you a different amount of magic points. I think this is a really interesting idea but it makes the game extremely easy and forgiving. As I mentioned before, that is both an inn and hotel. The inn is free to stay at but the hotel costs 500g. This game plays heavily on the idea that you get what you pay for. When you choose to go back to your room and sleep for the night, you will have dreams. Depending on the room you stay in, these dreams may be either funny or plot-relevant nightmares. The biggest advantage to dreaming is that you will be given hints on where hidden areas may be! This leads to more magic, more coins or rare items to sell for more gold. I think this is a great mechanic! It really adds an extra incentive to revisiting previous areas rather than just telling the player that they should blindly go look for secrets.
In summary, I really feel like my itch for a unique experience was fulfilled while playing Threads of Fate. The low poly character models are beautiful and endearing. Any time I started to feel exhausted while playing, the punchy dialogue would pull me right back in. It’s wonderfully written! The music in this game is just okay with only one or two tracks standing out, but it gets the job done. As previously mentioned, the camera controls leave a lot to be desired. Threads of Fate is a shorter game, only taking about 8 hours of gameplay per character so if you’re looking for a short and sweet experience, look no further! Threads of Fate is a great addition for anyone looking to boost their PlayStation collection! So go out there, and find this relic for yourself!
Review Copy Purchased by Author