Fairy Fencer F! Calling all Fencers (PC review)

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Compile Heart and Idea Factory are no stranger to porting their successful JRPGs to PC for Steam users lately, and this time they have brought over Fairy Fencer F.  You play the role of “Fang”, a reluctant hero who cares more about what his next meal will be rather than saving the world. This all changes once he meets his fairy partner “Eryn” who needs his help to recover her memories so she can free the Goddess and establish world peace. The cast is full of unconventional characters that look like they would fit into classic character tropes but instead often surprise you with their characteristics and odd backstories as the story unfolds.

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Since this is developed by Compile Heart, you will undoubtedly see similarities between this game and others they have released. The characters are designed by Tsunako the Hyperdimension lead character designer. They brought in Toshiki Inoue from the Kamen Rider series, Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame to compose the music. On top of that you will also get to see Final Fantasy concept artist Yoshitaka Amano’s beautiful art, and this time for PC it’s in glorious 1080P versus the 720P on the previous PS3 version. Sadly there isn’t many other improvements besides the visuals in the PC version. They do include 2 free DLCs right off the bat with others being available for purchase like extra costumes, cosmetic changes, and one that will increase level caps and unlock new dungeons.

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For me the meat of any RPG is in the combat. Since this is what players will be spending the most time doing, it needs to be enjoyable, worthwhile and have options for customization and/or improvement as the player progresses. The battle system is similar the HyperDimension Neptunia series but comes with some improvements. For the most part you can control how often you will fight by either attacking or coming into contact with enemies while exploring. During combat you have the option to attack, use skills/items, run, swap members or fairize which allows you to fuse with your weapon for a temporary stat bonus. Combat in Fairy Fencer F is turn based and moves at the pace you want it to go. At anytime you can set the controller down and it will come to a halt, provided it’s your battle turn. This comes in handy since you will often want to line up special attack moves for maximum potential, or possibly to adjust your characters formation to prevent the weaker ones from falling in combat.

Fairy Fencer F also lets you decide how to develop your character’s specialties, after the battle you earn “WP” which can be spent either on stat increases, spells, or even basic combo attacks with different weapons. This plays a big role, thanks to the Avalanche system, which allows you to trigger devastating team attacks if you are able to continually strike the enemy with the weapon they are weak to.

As you progress you will collect weapons called furies. These, once equipped, will entitle the characters to specific bonuses and skills which will level up alongside your characters as well. Utilizing furies is important since they have the ability to alter entire locations by being stabbed into the map. Some of these can vary from changing the roster of enemies, preventing healing or even increasing rewards after battle, and not all are beneficial, so you must pay attention to what world altering effect you decide to use.

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Overall thanks to a light-hearted and fun narrative with a focus on character development and plenty of comedic set pieces that break the fourth wall, Fairy Fencer F is saved from being just another game on the old Steam backlog. It’s an excellent JRPG with well executed elements and mechanics that  makes it tough to put the controller down at times. Some earlier sections of the game have smaller dungeons that can be completed within 10-15 minutes while the later ones were generally about an hour maximum including the cutscenes. Even with the longer dungeons, I still often found myself playing longer than I had planned since I could finish more objectives in a shorter time span than I could in other similar RPGs. The game and level design is intuitive and its plethora of save points also make the game great for short pick up and play sessions for people who only have 30 to 60 minutes to play at any given moment. Fairy Fencer F is still not perfect, but the slight enhancements from the original are sure to keep fans of the genre interested from start to finish, and be a welcome addition to their Steam RPG library.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

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Jada Griffin
Jada Griffin 334 posts

Legends tell of a princess captured and raised by Ninjas to be their future leader. Jada was trained from an early age to max the luck stat, always strike first and to never surrender.