Serin Fate is one of those games that have a lot of good features, but missing a lot of quality-of-life fixes to make it more enjoyable.
Genre: RPG, Adventure
Release date: 25 Aug, 2021
Serin Fate is an adventure RPG with a lot of mandatory elements that you usually find in farming games in addition to magic and monster taming. You can farm, mine, capture monsters for you to fight, fish, and many more. Despite the varied features, it still focuses on the adventure element at its core, allowing you to explore the whole region and figure out how to proceed from the obscure hints.
The game presented itself in 2D sprites with too many details – it’s hard to associate the characters to their portraits at the beginning. However, the dev excels in drawing backgrounds, allowing you to see beautiful-looking landscapes from time to time. The trees are especially good with their various shades and color.
The story doesn’t catch my interest. This might be related to the character problem that I mentioned, but the numerous, bland dialogues that follow also don’t help in keeping me engaged. The characters have a personality from the way they talk, but I found them to be boring. They all sound like simple-minded people with one unique personality.
There are a lot of things that you need to learn, but the game does a terrible job of explaining them. You are forced to learn everything by yourself, and the amount of progress that you get at the beginning will depend on your understanding of the game. Sure, there might be some tutorial quests, but it only taught you the basic controls. Moreover, one advanced quest is too confusing since it doesn’t explain how to obtain a recipe and material.
The game never makes it clear in explaining how to process materials. There might be simple ones like Work Bench that lists all materials to craft a certain item, but the others, namely Furnace and Sawmill, requires you to put any materials without knowing what you’ll get from it. While the latter one can be obvious, the Furnace has other materials that you can burn apart from ores and ore crumbles. Moreover, the said material is needed for a quest progression, and there is no way I would know how to make it on my own.
On the bright side, the game gives freedom in whatever you do. It mimics the basic gameplay of farming games where you can do anything that you want, although you won’t be tracked based on how long you are playing the game. The day and night cycle might force you to do repetitive tasks like tending your inactive chimeras and find a certain chimera, the monster that you can capture in the wild, but you can always ignore them and focus on your main quest.
Grinding is required to clear the areas. Despite the freedom, most features are mandatory to progress. Doing so will provide you with materials to upgrade your gear. However, the game never makes it clear in telling how strong you need to be. I had to grind mindlessly for 5+ hours since I couldn’t pass through one difficult enemy in the first area, and it wasn’t until I got an OP chimera that I could clear the whole area with ease. There might be other ways to get stronger, but it was all too vague to me.
A lot of game progressions are blocked with vague hints. I can’t count how many times I was stuck in an area to progress the game. Unconventional mechanics are introduced in the game and I always forgot that I could call my friends from the key items to ask for help. Moreover, some progressions are blocked until you do a certain thing, which again, provided almost no clue on how to accomplish it. You will probably need to look for a walkthrough or ask people to figure out what you are supposed to do.
The game is unclear about the skill tree progression. It features a skill tree with a lot of branching paths, where you can level up some skills several times to master them. However, the important skills are placed on the top, and you will be doomed if you focus on the bottom ones. Although these skills are required to progress the game, the only “help” that it gives is through an optional dialogue with a certain NPC. The amount of information that you have to take at the beginning can overwhelm you, so the info from this NPC can be easily missed.
Combat is passive. There is no dodge mechanic, but you can increase your dodge chance stat. Most of your damage comes from your chimera, although you need to hit enemies or bushes to recover AP that is spent for their skill. Enemies will scale in difficulty as you play the game, and you might be forced to grind at some points to handle them.
Bosses aren’t that different from normal enemies due to how combat works. Some bosses have an attack that you can avoid by walking, but you don’t even need to dodge them. These attacks aren’t fatal and your character would have already been set up to tank the damage anyway from dealing with the normal enemies.
Length and Difficulty
I finished the game in 76h. It offers two difficulties, with a perma-death mode in the harder difficulty. I’m not sure why there is such mode in a game like this, especially since you can get one-shotted if you don’t know what you are doing. Some areas are just a big no at the beginning, and having an encounter with an enemy in that area can risk your life. However, it is not that hard if you don’t mind grinding a bit and not take too many risks. You need to be familiar with the game first though if you want to finish the harder difficulty in one go.
The game needs a lot of quality-of-life fixes to make it more accessible to all players. Luckily, the developer is actively adding fixes daily. Also, the game is not suited for a controller. It takes too long to do things that can easily be done with a keyboard.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Serin Fate is one of those games that have a lot of good features but missing a lot of quality-of-life fixes to make it more enjoyable. It’s more suited to early access players since most parts of the game require you to know about the mechanics to enjoy its value. You might spend some hours hating the game at first, but once you get past the “tutorial” part, you’ll begin to appreciate it. I admit that it’s still hard to progress because of the vague hints even after all that, so I could only recommend buying it later, maybe in a year or two, after the quality of life fixes have been implemented and a more compact guide has been released. The game is still alright at its current state, but you need to be aware of the cons and okay with it if you want to try it.