Pretentious, badly-written... and just plain boring. (VN Review)
has no idea what it wants to be. Low-key Urban Fantasy
or High-key Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny
? Dark and serious story or Sengoku Basara
-esque Rule Of Cool
fest? F/sn tries to be both but, while I'm not saying it couldn't have ever pulled it off, fails miserably at it. The 'serious' stuff just ends up dreary and distracting, while the 'awesome' stuff just ends up childish and out-of-place.
I mean, King Arthur being a girl alone (for no real reason I may add) practically invites irony and sniggering, yet it's taken 100% seriously.
If the 'darker' approach was to work, then F/sn would need decent characters worth caring about. Characters it doesn't have. Shirou's dull, preachy and unrelatable (even in HF), Saber's even duller, Rin's just plain annoying, Archer only serves to make Shirou even preachier, and everyone else is either drowning
in Deus Angst Machina
, a stereotypical Complete Monster
, or barely developed at all.
Even the servants, for all Nasu's 'research', come off as pitifully watered-down versions of their legendary selves (Cuchullain especially, and what's the point of having Heracles there if all he's going to do until his 'death' is scream mindlessly?). Oh, and special note goes to completely ignoring Gilgamesh's entire Character Development in the original Epic
All the usual pitfalls of the Nasu Verse
make their appearance here too, rigid, inflexible and utterly boring World Building
, tons of Info Dumps
and Purple Prose
that read just as bad in Japanese as they do in English, an unhealthy overdose of Magic A Is Magic A
(so it can be conveniently broken for the main character) and being too far up on The Roddenberry Line
for its own good, and an adolescent focus on 'action' (albeit justified this time considering F/sn's premise) prevented from being any fun from how hugely pretentious the rest of the work is.
Oh, and when F/sn actually does try to be humorous, the results are... dire, to say the least.
I guess the premise alone was intriguing, and some of the music and artowrk was fairly good, but those are about the only positive things I can say about F/sn.
Final Verdict: Avoid
. The Nasu Verse
in general is in need of a serious overhaul (or a much stricter editor), and Fate Stay Night
shows that more than anything else.