Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is the localized and improved version of the original Fairy Fencer F on PlayStation 3 but for the newer generation console. It boosts with improved graphics, an enhanced control system and many fanciful characters. It is based off of Hyperdimension Neptunia‘s battle system in which turn-based combat is employed but with tactical and strategic positions around an enemy. When this title was offered to me I was just happy that it was a JRPG that I could sink my teeth into, but I was even more delighted to participate in the hilarious adventure that unfolded. Fairies in any story can bring players like me to dream of distant places and what not, but I’ll have to leave the judgment of how well this game did with the concept of magical creatures to the game-play and tale as I proceeded through it.
Interesting Characters & NPC: There’s so much to do with so many unique characters! Each one usually has a specialized ability that can greatly assist one another during combat such as shielding, power-ups and more. Their interactions with each other is fantastic as well as hilarious moments happen all the time with not only the conversation between one another but also with the enemy. This makes the game more lighthearted and does well in making fun of itself and typical RPG archetypes. Even enemies make fun of their role in the story progression as lowly grunts call out that they’re typically what the player first meets when starting their adventure. Long dialogue and conversations between players in sections where they are drawn is beautiful to look at with so much effort put into the art and their overall design, fans of anime will really enjoy looking at these well-crafted scenes.
Releasing Gods: There’s a choice in which God in the game you wish to release depending on good or evil. Both gods are stuck in a magical seal in which only the player can release them by collecting Furies during game-play. This is great because it adds to the replay-ability of the title when you want to run through it a second time to get whatever the other choice endings are. There are apparently more than two different endings so that would mean that there’s some other action to perform other than freeing the two. This will have to be explored in greater detail at my leisure. A good story is what makes the game that much more fun and this is just made Fairy Fencer F that much more interesting along with its other aspect that adds to the addiction.
Scavenging for Furies: It’s all about collecting Furies which contain Fairies! One of the addicting elements in the title corresponds with pulling swords out of the ground to unlock special fairies. These ‘Furies’ can assist in battle, help for transformations, and add some serious firepower when your combos are high enough to bring out the special fairy contained within. They’re found in the free roaming areas and are only obtainable by a ‘Selector’. There’s so many opportunities for customization and combinations between all the Fencers, Fairies, and weapons that it starts to become a little overwhelming but also creates the charm for the game play by making it grandeur. It’s guaranteed that players will try different ways to fight each time they progress through the story to see what they could have done in the past. This is a big plus when it comes to the entertainment value of the game.
Game Play Gets Repetitive: While Advent Dark Force is great for sating that obsessive compulsive nature to collect Furies and fulfilling other story choices in another play through, it doesn’t do well in terms of interesting game play in the long run. The player will have to get used to combining combos with characters by moving them around in a turn-based style similar to the same combat system as Hyperdimension Neptunia but with slightly altered variation. Players will enjoy getting used to the battle scenarios and eventually becoming better at performing combos in a turn-based format but it just remains the same with no interesting take on the classic RPG style. A select amount of battles have something compelling to them that makes combat more and more interesting as they proceed through areas but many just want to make the player avoid unnecessary ones. Unfortunately every potential battle against enemies of all levels are potential grinding points to increase levels and find other Furies. It’s just safe to say that by going through the typical RPG grinding players will tend to get that sense of boredom from the same game play every time.
Plain Looking Maps: Adventuring through multiple lands isn’t very awe-inspiring when most of the layouts and backgrounds aren’t even that pretty. Most of the time it’s all about the characters and enemies in terms of design and it feels like no effort was placed behind the landscapes. Even though the game can have a compelling story or characters can pull you into that world it starts to become jaded and ejects you when you aren’t really feeling the scenery. You want to be immersed in the environment along with your character but when laziness overtakes the developers in designing the maps you don’t really get that feeling. While so much effort was placed into the drawing of the characters, the mountains and plains in the background all just look like green and brown paper overlaid on some bumpy grounds. It took away from the experience and continued to make battles feel bland along with repetitive.
Altogether, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is a great RPG in terms of both story, drawn cut-scenes, and adventuring through the worlds but lacks in keeping interest with its poorly designed environments during battle and repetitive game-play. It’s certainly one of the more interesting self-aware titles out there and offers hilarious moments all around and I would definitely recommend it for role-playing enthusiasts out there. For those that are just getting started in the RPG category I would recommend it due to its not so complicated game play however much of the humor that a veteran gamer would understand might be lost on you.
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 8/108/10
- Controls - 6/106/10
- Sound - 5/105/10
- Replay Value - 8/108/10
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Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force was developed by Compile Heart and published by Idea Factory International. It was released on July 26th, 2016 in North America. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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