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Fate Stay Night back to reviews
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Nigh Unreviewable
...not that it'll stop me of course.

It's difficult for me to describe what I think of F/SN as a whole due to how wildly inconsistent its quality is. There would be moments were I was left raging at something (most likely an infodump or the protagonist being a tool) only to be immediately swept away in either a moment of gloriously entertaining stupidity, something genuinely awesome, or a sequence that was just plain fun.

But let me tell you, it makes for quite the experience. I can't recall one dull moment in the entire VN (well, other than all the incredibly overwrought and drawn-out Deus Angst Machina backstory parts in Heaven's Feel, anyway). Even the more slice-of-life parts usually either had some sort of tension in them or played a part in the world building, so I was invested nearly the whole time. That's quite a feat, seeing as it took me about 68 hours to read the entire thing.

That's not to say I appreciated all of those 68 hours, naturally. Some of the other problems I had with F/SN were that its characterization wasn't always the strongest (I often wondered whether Zouken was inspired by Captain Planet villains), that the Holy Grail concept still felt a bit vague to me even with all the infodumping, and that it missed a fair bit of potential (such as what might happen had Shirou decided to become a ruthless hero like his father in that one ending of Heaven's Feel, the lack of time given to just Berserker and Ilyasviel without outside intereference or Sasake Kojirou's character in general), though I'll grant that we got so much already that asking for more is kinda greedy.

Positives: Art, setting, premise, character interactions, all were pretty good in general. Not really sure what to say about them; 70 hours can't be crammed into 400 words. Music was a bit on the dull side; I can say that much at least.

As far as the routes go, Fate was, well... cute, I guess? The rest was like taking drugs: Unlimited Blade Works was my twenty hour high, and Heaven's Feel was the withdrawl symptoms that came after. It was draining to read until it picked up 3/4 of the way in.

So yeah, I'm not sure this told you anything about the work, or whether that's even possible in such a short space, but whether or not I liked it, I don't think this is something visual novel readers should pass up.
I'd say Fate/Stay Night is quite reviewable, but not within the constraints of this site's format. I could easily run out of space complaining about all the things I think it did wrong, and I rated it a 9/10 on the Visual Novel Database. I've already had to cut reviews short before for works I had a fraction of as much to say about.
comment #17786 Desertopa 20th Jan 13
Even if I had more words to say anything with, I doubt I'd be able to come up with any kind of cohesive opinion on it. I'm far too conflicted about it to know what to think. It's kind of like the Evangelion of visual novels in that regard (and in many, many others). The best I can say is that, for better or for worse, it kept my attention.
comment #17790 DeviousRecital 20th Jan 13
Zouken wouldn't be that ridiculous if Nasu didn't get the brilliant idea of giving him penisworms.

What were you thinking, Nasu? .__.
comment #17791 kay4today 20th Jan 13
Don't forget how Zouken has a pretty weak motivation for wanting to maintain his immortality, and how he has The only Middle Eastern-based Servant in a game released not long after 9/11 HEY-OH
comment #17797 DeviousRecital 21st Jan 13
Zouken doesn't really have a weak reason to me. Obtaining the Grail out of a mix between honoring a woman he admired and his own ideals isn't really weak to me. If you're referring to his Motive Decay, I still have to say I find his motivation understandable. The Dark Side Will Make You Forget and quite literally his body and mind decaying makes his Motive Decay believable. And as for the second point, eh. Didn't bother me.
comment #17798 kay4today 21st Jan 13
I didn't even bother paying attention to that part at the end where they tried to go in depth with his backstory. Those aren't details you introduce at the end of a story. Not if you want me to take them seriously, anyway. For most of the story, we understand that Zouken's main motive is that he's afraid of dying, so that's what I'm sticking with. That stuff at the end just came across as Nasu's writing staff running out of time and throwing in one last-ditch effort to try and make Zouken more three-dimensional. Maybe that would have worked were Heaven's Feel a comedy (God fobid), but here... nope.
comment #17799 DeviousRecital 21st Jan 13
There are clues earlier that you seem to have missed. Zouken's conversation with Ilya in front of the Einzbern castle, for example.

And don't blame the writing staff for your refusal to see that his motivation is a tad less simple than you make it out to be.
comment #17802 kay4today 21st Jan 13
Maybe it is, but by the time we figure it out, it's long past the point where it would have mattered. Especially since part of it relies on a character we know almost nothing about, and at the point where it was brought up, had seen only once in passing. If they wanted to make him less of a cardboard cutout, they should've spent much less time describing his atrocities and much more trying to tell us where he was coming from. And there was loads of potential there; this guy is the only character in the work that's seen all the Holy Grail wars (other than maybe Saber). We could've gotten a lot more from him than we ended up with.
comment #17803 DeviousRecital 21st Jan 13
True. But to be fair, the first two Grail Wars are unimportant and the important parts about the Third and the Fourth Wars were already explained earlier, so it's not like there was much to get to know from him.

Zouken was not very well-written, I agree. And his memories + death scene seemed more than an attempt at Alas Poor Villain than anything else to me.
comment #17808 kay4today 21st Jan 13
[[SchrödingersGun You don't know the first two are unimportant]]. Perhaps Hollow Ataraxia will make some use of them. I'm very curious to see what the finished result of it is. I haven't looked at any spoilers since I know the translators will probably be done with it this year. Probably. It'd be nice if they got more than 0.1% done every two weeks or so, but at least they're still working on it.
comment #17813 DeviousRecital 22nd Jan 13
Well, the corruption of the Grail started with the Third War, so I don't see how the first and second would have much relevance.
comment #17814 kay4today 22nd Jan 13
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