Just by playing a few minutes of the story you can already tell where the story is going to go. Our journey starts off when we meet Fang, a young man who only cares about food and catering to his hunger. From the get go of Fairy Fencer F you can immediately tell it is very Japanese.
The opening movie is full of flashing vibrant colours, anime style characters and over the top music, this game screams Japan. You also meet some new friends along the way, one of which tries to make you her “Peon”. This is almost exactly like Mugen Souls Z; it makes sense seeing as it’s made by the same company. However, this factor wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Despite my enjoyment of Mugen Souls Z, playing Fairy Fencer F just felt like I was playing the same game and that honestly wasn’t appealing to me at all (in fact it was this that let the game down).
The first thing I realised about this game is how great it looks. Its style isn’t similar to that of Mugen Souls Z, these aesthetics are what you’d expect from a Japanese RPG: bright colours, wacky hair and skimpy clothing. This is why it is difficult to work out who this game is really for, the voice acting and childish dialogue seems like it’s designed for a younger audience. However, the sexy anime girls are obviously designed for the older gamers. But unlike Mugen Souls Z the characters in this game looked like the classic anime character style, instead of deliberately looking like things you’d see on Nickelodeon early on a Saturday morning. I liked factor as it felt more like I was playing a Japanese RPG than something designed for toddlers.
One feature I was glad to see was that the game was dubbed in English, which is very handy for some of the longer dialogue sessions as I could see how that would quickly become tedious. I was also impressed to see an option to switch the dubbing to Japanese, which is great for those who wish to get the full effect of playing a Japanese RPG. But there were more flaws in the dialogue; some of the jokes were dragged out and just downright poor. So unfortunately this let the game down. This game is largely focused around visual novel segments, but that doesn’t stop the game from being decent. Normally in cases like these, having a lot of story is to make up for the low gameplay quality. But Fairy Fencer F was not like this at all! I enjoyed the gameplay as there were different abilities to make the game more interesting, without making it too complicated.
Fairy Fencer F gave you the ability to ‘Fairize’, in which you’d power up temporarily to a higher level by fusing with your fairy. But even with this power the game still has unpredictable difficulty in certain areas, so this will catch you out at least one. Along with other Japanese RPGs you will have to take a large amount of time for levelling up or collecting gold before you can progress further. In this game you have to get gold by fighting enemies and use it to buy information. This information helps you find Furies, which help largely in the long run. But I won’t give too much away.
Despite the gameplay mechanisms themselves being impressive, I found the dungeon layouts to be lacking imagination. Although the change of scenery was nice, the actual maps didn’t amaze me. Eventually they all seem the same, which again became very tedious.
I’m going to give this game 7 out of 10. I was debating whether to give it a 6, but this is a “good” game. However, I definitely wouldn’t suggest playing Mugen Souls Z then this. Unfortunately that ruined the experience for me due to their similarities. The combination of a good story and a not too confusing battle system actually made me enjoy myself. I will probably end up playing the sequel that is said to be released in 2015. It’d be interesting to see how it differs, and how it looks on PS4. If you’re a fan of JRPG games then I’d recommend it to you, as long as you’re willing to get past the childish parts.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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