Title: Fairy Fencer F Advent Dark Force
Developer: Idea Factory
Publisher: IDEA FACTORY / COMPILE HEART
Genre: Adventure, RPG, Strategy
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: 12+Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Fantasy Violence, Use of Alcohol, Partial Nudity
Release Date: 17/01/2019
Price: £29.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Long ago, a war raged between two powerful deities. The conflict endured until each was sealed into the great unknown, scattering their Godly weapons across the world. These lost weapons – now known as “Furies” – are highly prized by warriors who call themselves “Fencers” and it is said that whoever collects a Fury shall be granted one wish. By chance, a young man named Fang pulls a Fury from a stone and inadvertently becomes a Fencer himself. Now he must choose which deity to awaken!
In the three stories to play, friends become foes, foes become friends and, based on your choices, multiple endings can be unlocked!
Customize weapons by fusing them with fairies and alter dungeons through World-Shaping. Even transform with the “Fairize” skill and become stronger in battle!
With up to six party members on the battlefield at a time, you can play as all your favorite Fencers!
Play in Easy, Normal, or Hard mode and switch the difficulty to suit your play style!https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Fairy-Fencer-F-Advent-Dark-Force-1496937.html#Overview
The latest in an ever-increasing line of JRPGs to make the jump to the Nintendo Switch, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is a re-release of the 2015 PS4 game of the same name, which was a re-release of the original PS3 version, Fairy Fencer F, which came to stores in 2013.
It is clear that the developers, Idea Factory/COMPILE HEART, want to make the most of this IP that they have created, and rightly so! From the very outset, Fairy Fencer F is evidently a labour of love. The passion and dedication to providing an enjoyable gaming experience ooze from it and the desire to share this with as many as possible is only natural. My initial thoughts, and which remain my closing ones, are whether some six years later, it still offers enough to warrant a full-priced release?
Looks and Sounds
As is often the case when playing what is effectively another ‘port,’ the graphical content comes under scrutiny. Many ports are usually a re-hash of the original with a fresh coat of paint applied. Of course, a port entails much more than that, but to many an end user, this is where the game earns its right for purchase.
With that in mind, it is fair to say that Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force holds up well enough on the Nintendo Switch. It doesn’t look incredible and certainly doesn’t rival some of the greats of the Switch catalogue, but it also doesn’t look out of place either. In-game, when controlling the characters, it has enough detail, colour and creativity to invite me to continue playing.
Outside of battles and dungeon exploration, the art style of the cutscenes is outstanding. I loved the attention to detail in each character’s design, and the animations did ever so well at portraying the character emotions and their personalities. For me, it is here that JRPGs come into their own, and Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force does not disappoint.
Alongside the excellent visuals during cutscenes, audio elements are deserving of special mention. The voice acting is on point, really bringing the relationships between characters to life – no mean feat considering it is all told through still images rather than video content. I found the characterisation to be the most enjoyable part of my time with Fairy Fencer F, and it provided both humour and despair in equal measure.
Gameplay and Replayability
Common among many an RPG, turn-based combat and ‘grinding’ are the order of the day. The premise is simple: visit dungeons to obtain fairies, which take on the form of weapons. Once one has been accessed, you can use this to release a sword from either the Goddess or Vile God in a ritual known as ‘Godly Revival.’ Depending on your choices each time, the story can change accordingly.
To unlock a fairy, you traverse through said dungeons encountering enemies. These enemies are visible at all times, and you, therefore, have a choice whether to engage with them or not. The battle system is similar in design to many that have come before it, with you taking turns at combat. You have a number of options at your disposal, from a simple attack to using magic or items to inflict more damage. HP and SP make an appearance here, and managing these bars carefully can make the difference between winning and losing.
One area of combat which does stand out from the crowd is the ability to ‘fairize.’ By selecting this, a cutscene occurs during which your character is stabbed through the chest with a sword and takes on an additional form. This can be used to gain an advantage and greatly influences battles.
During this segment, I have spent the majority of the time referencing the battle system and dungeon exploration, with good reason. The game is largely made up of this, and outside of watching the fantastic character interactions, you will spend most of your time doing both. This makes replayability quite difficult to recommend, as you will already have done a lot of it by the time the closing credits roll.
To ensure there is a desire to play again, the developers have offered the following:
Three Stories, Three Paths
In three branching stories, friends become foes, foes become friends, and based on your choices, multiple endings can be unlocked! As well as this:
Shape the World
Customize weapons by fusing them with fairies and change dungeon stats through World Shaping. Even power up Fencers through the fairies’ power to transform, or Fairize, during battle and change your world!
What is hopefully apparent to all reading is that there is a lot on offer here, and any Nintendo Switch purchaser is benefitting from the re-release that previously occurred on PS4. For fans of JRPGs, you will feel right at home here, and an inviting journey to save the world is there to enjoy.
For those who are not familiar with JRPGs and are trying for the first time or those that enjoy the appeal but maybe not so much of the repetition, I would recommend sticking to the cheaper alternative on PS4 or 3 – if it is a viable option. It has to be said though; the opportunity to enjoy a 30+ hour JRPG on the go is always tempting…
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force on the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Fairy-Fencer-F-Advent-Dark-Force-1496937.html