When fairies get fury-us…….
Game: Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force
Developer: Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory
(Review code provided by publisher)
Fairy Fencer F returns once again with a more definitive edition if you will on the PlayStation 4. I’ve reviewed a hell of a lot of RPGs in my time here at NGB, and the bar has been set with the likes of Ni No Kuni and some fantastic games from the Tales of series. Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is another solid JRPG, but ultimately falls up short when comparing it against others in the genre. Let’s get into my reasoning shall we?
Once again, with all my reviews, I shall start with the story. It’s a weird one to be honest, but the sort of weird that you would come to expect from a Japanese RPG. You take on the role of the main character Fang who stumbles upon a sword known as a ‘Fury’. After pulling it out first time asking (even after many have tried), you are followed and joined by a girl, known as a fairy. The main character doesn’t want to know at first but soon comes around to the idea of getting all of the Fury’s and releasing the goddess, who is in eternal lockdown along with yes, you guessed it, the Vile God (love the originality….). You do have the choice along the way to choose who you want to free, so if you are feeling like a right even sod, this game let’s you do exactly that. For me, the story was quite predictable after a few short hours and left me feeling quite bored throughout most of my time with the game.
Audio wise, this game is absolutely bonkers, especially some of the narrative in the game. Some of the dialogue will definitely leave your eyebrows raised. Whether this was on purpose by the developers I’m not to sure, but yes, some of the narrative just sounds and looks damn right wrong. Away from that, the overall tone of the game is quite dull too, nothing that would really stay in your head after you have played it. For me, RPGs have to have strong soundtracks to make them stand out (think Final Fantasy X) but this really falls short in that department.
What was quite interesting however was the battle system. Usually in many RPGs that I have played in my time, 3 members can fight in one battle. However, you can put all 6 party members in battle once, which if anything is great when you want to grind and level up your characters once again. This does mean though that a lack of strategic approach is needed to be successful in the game. Obviously that is a good thing for newcomers of the genre, but didn’t really suit to the type of RPG I traditionally seem to go for more.
One of the best features in the battle system is the ability to link up with your fairy and Fairize. When the appropriate bar is full enough, you can link up with your fairy, ultimately becoming more powerful than ever for a short while. If you’re scratching your head right now wondering what the hell I’m on about, think of Dragon Ball Z and the transformation that occurs there. You can get extra EXP by fulfilling certain challenges in the game, which is handy when you need to grind out your characters to improve their level and skill set.
Unfortunately, when you do have to grind, the battles and overdoing dungeons multiple times really become a tedious affair. If you’re not the level you wanted, you’ll find that you have to go through dungeons time and time again. This really becomes boring after a while, especially when the difficulty hikes up about 1000 spikes after a few hours. This is my pet hate about some RPGs. You are going through the game at a natural pace then all of a sudden, the game wants to make you out to be some kind of complete novice.
I wasn’t really impressed with the visual side of things either. The cutscenes and player interaction skits are really nice to look at in terms of detail, but I was left feeling rather underwhelmed at the dungeons in the game. They looked like a high end PlayStation 3 title. It would of been nice if the developers paid attention to all aspects of the game, instead of just certain parts.
If you haven’t played a lot of RPGs in your time, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force would be a good place to start. However, for veterans of the genre like myself, you’ll quickly learn that it really doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary, or better than other games in the genre do themselves. The battle system does require a lack of skill in my opinion, due to the fact you can become very overpowered with your fairy and do not have to worry about a certain strategy to defeat a certain enemy or boss with 6 characters on the field at once. Whilst this may be a time killer whilst you wait for the next big RPG, this won’t be an RPG you’ll remember fondly.