Final Fate TD Gameplay Impressions | Anime Hero Collector and Tower Defense

Final Fate TD gameplay impressions

Can tell me what you get if you mix anime, card game, and tower defense? You get something like Final Fate TD, that’s what. This recently released game is an interesting and clever melting pot that just works, providing a challenge that has more tactical depth than one might have imagined at first by looking at those cute graphics. Besides, being a fan of hero collector games, I’ve grown to become a sucker for great 2D character artwork, and in that regard, this game delivers in spades.

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So, there’s one hot topic that I wanted to debate with you guys before diving deep into Final Fate TD: hero rarity ranks. Do you prefer stars or letters with your heroes? I’m a bit torn on this matter, but Final Fate TD obviously prefers the latter. The cream of the crop in this game is that SSSR grade, which I don’t even know what it stands for. Perhaps Super Special Spectacular Rare? Sassy Scintillating Stylish Rare? Whatever that may be, it’s clear that these heroes are in a league of their own, displaying some stunning artwork, impressive weaponry, and jaw dropping trinkets. That’s why they are called Deities in the game and have the upper hand against the remaining classes.

Now that I’ve got that out of my chest, let’s see what awaits you in Final Fate TD. You start by picking your avatar between male and female. This is pretty much your last bastion of defense, or your living tower, if we can put it that way. Your ultimate goal is to protect your character and avoid that its health is drained by the incoming waves of enemies, destroying every minion and the occasional boss until they stop coming and the path is clear. Sounds simple, right?

Things are quite effortless at the start, as you only have a few heroes to deploy and your enemies are slow and clumsy. You have a few preset spots where you must place your units, but the team will steadily grow until you have a full deck of eight heroes to deploy. Classes range from Shooter to Enchanter, Fighter, and Mage, with the Deity tier dealing additional damage and theoretically crushing everyone else.

The hero selection screen displays your current party, which is limited to eight characters. You can change any of them, equip gear and runes, and enhance heroes with upgrading material. I really like the style of this screen, with the scrolling cards on top and the excellent 2D artwork shining on the larger area. The chibi version of each hero is also present, with awfully cute designs. Beira is the ice queen that is pretty much a requirement in every game in the world since a certain princess made it to the theaters; Revi is a feisty girl with pigtails, long legs, and a couple of hovering guns; Eve is a mystical snake-girl mage; and Nero is a half-man, half-machine demigod with wheels instead of feet. Yes, it’s a waifu fest, but there are male characters in Final Fate TD as well, although the vast majority is female – I’m not complaining. Each character comes with a short bio describing its background and motivations, in case you want to pay close attention to the story.

Final Fate TD Gameplay Impressions

You unlock heroes by means of a familiar gacha system in the Tavern. There are two banners at the time, Normal and Elite, and you can only pull SSSR heroes in the latter. You can recycle heroes and earn a currency called hero essence that you use in the shop to purchase SSSR hero shards, which I did as soon as I found out about this. Lunara and Inari are two of my favorite designs, so I’m shooting for them. Other way that you can earn heroes is by meticulously following the tutorial quests, which grant you a specific hero after a few missions.

Now, allow me to rant about something. I hope that the devs do something about the main menu icons, like grouping them into a couple of subtle buttons, because it feels a tad cluttered and you don’t know what’s free and what’s not. Besides, the nice artwork suffers from the large number of flashing icons. Rant over.

The graphics during the tower defense part are really cute, colorful, and crisp. The vertical display may seem prone to a restricted viewing area, but the pathways are clear and there is enough layout variety to keep you on your toes. The chibi characters are nicely animated and the screen is constantly filled with visual effects. Things do get hectic on later stages, of which there are over a hundred, but not to the point of blaming the game for my failure – those pesky flying sprites, oh how I hate their disdain for normal melee attacks. I’ll get you all someday!

I’m assuming everyone is familiar with the tower defense genre at this stage, so I won’t go into much detail. But Final Fate TD comes with a few intricacies that make the game increasingly complex as you unlock new game modes and possibilities. Final Fate TD invites replayability and testing new strategies, until you discover which one is best suited to your team. You can blitz stages that you have completed with a full 3-star rating, quickly earning gear and additional experience that will help you reach the threshold that is later on required to unlock new regions. Stamina wasn’t an issue for me, because there’s a daily ramen event where you can claim free stamina three times a day at specific intervals.

Blindly deploying units equals setting yourself up for failure. You must learn about each hero’s abilities and how they can contribute to the team by slowing down or damaging specific enemy types. An affinity system increases your chances, as some heroes receive boosts if their buddies are in the battlefield as well. Umbra, for instance, gets a 15% attack boost if she is deployed with Revi. Keep an eye out for affinities because these small boosts may grow to become something critical in later levels.

Final Fate TD Gameplay Impressions

To increase your own character affinity with each hero, you must give them gifts… What, were you expecting to chat them into becoming best buddies without offering anything in return? It’s like a BFF simulator where one hand rubs the other. Well, in fact, it’s a rock-paper-scissors system where you choose one rival and pick your move. Winning gives you a few gifts that you can offer to any of your heroes, potentially earning diamonds, shards, and assorted items in return, not to mention stats bonuses.

SSR heroes come with a base skill and a special skill, as well as a PvP-exclusive ultimate, and Deity heroes add a unique talent on top of those. Heroes of R grade are mostly fodder used to awaken superior heroes, so in my opinion I wouldn’t waste time and resources on them. In a nice twist, you get to directly affect the outcome of the battles by using Anima to unleash spells. You earn Anima by eliminating minions and each one contributes to raising your meter. At 10 Anima you can choose to cast one of two spells: the first one increases the chosen hero attack speed, while the other, Icy Rain, doesn’t deal much damage, but hinders enemy movement. There’s also an Ult (called an Artifact here) that can be activated at 30 Anima, and you can choose between four options: the Revelation Sword damages all enemies on screen, the Eternal Banner enhances the heroes’ strength,  the Void Shackle traps enemies, and the Thunder Engine destroys everything on its path. You must gradually unlock the artifacts and the effects only last a few seconds, but they’re completely worth your while.

I know for a fact that many players dread anything with the words VIP in them, there’s no denying it. However, Final Fate TD doesn’t force you into purchasing VIP, since these can be unlocked through progress alone. You can climb your way by spending diamonds, which you acquire with relative ease by playing, and by earning VIP experience via daily quests. Focus on this goal and you should unlock various VIP tiers without reaching out for your wallet. If you want to go bigtime in PvP, then you should consider investing; otherwise, you can enjoy many days of gameplay without worrying about it.

And that leads me straight into the player versus player mode. The Arena ditches the tower defense gameplay in favor of a straightforward team hero battle. Your eight units will face the rival team in one-on-one fights across several rounds, with the winning hero standing until he is defeated or the battle ends. It’s not just a simple matter of who has the highest battle rating; you must also consider how each class counters the other and align your formation accordingly.

The Ancient Realm is a location where you enter one of different dungeons. It’s like the endless tower that you know from other games, with the 300th floor apparently being the peak of the challenge, at least for now. Earning items such as hero shards is nothing to scoff at, since you can combine these to craft a hero of your choice.

I’m used to seeing world bosses in MMORPGs and the like, but Final Fate TD also includes a challenge where you put your team to the test against a foe of nearly infinite health. The more damage you deal, the better the rewards – this is a good place to earn hero essence and hero shards.

Final Fate TD is a nice addition to the tower defense genre, with an appealing hero collector spin to round things up nicely. It’s cute, the artwork is really good, the gameplay is fun, and there’s enough depth to keep things interesting without turning the mechanics into a mess. I recommend you give it a spin if you’re a fan of any of those genres. The download link is in the description, as always. Good luck getting that much-desired SSSR hero – man, those grades are really getting out of hand.

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