Fairy Fencer F (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 16.09.2015

Review for Fairy Fencer F on PC

Fairy Fencer F is sort of like a nice and small meal made by someone who didn't have all the proper ingredients to make it. That is to say that, while it can be good and may leave the eater feeling filled and happy, when looking back, it's easy to notice that, despite how well-made the meal was, it lacked all the proper toppings, was smaller than it should have been, and was served on a paper plate. That doesn't suddenly invalidate how good the meal was, but when having to describe it accurately, it can only sound bad and fails to capture what was good. However, this version of Fairy Fencer F holds the added burden of being a port in addition to the challenges of being a good game. As a result, those who already "ate" will feel full and hold little desire to have a "second helping." Cubed3 reviews Compile Heart's JRPG, having previously looked at the original PS3 title.

When it comes to making a good JRPG, there are many elements that need to fall into place proper. The most important is a solid story, as that is what will drive the player to complete the game. While some may contest that the freedom of choice found in most western RPGs is more important, to say that this robs the traditional story of merit is foolish. In regards to holding its story, though, Fairy Fencer F manages to do so… but also never really transcends the mould. A battle between a Goddess of Light and a God of Darkness, mysterious ancient relics holding magical powers, a "chosen one," the gathering of a part of heroes to eventually challenge the darkness and win - it's all the classical story, and it's within Fairy Fencer F with little alteration.

The story focuses around a young man named Fang. A ruffian and street rat with little to his name, he stumbles into a small town with a magical sword embedded in the centre. This sword, obviously, is not normal, as only certain people are capable of pulling it out and wielding its might. Despite the promise of any wish being granted, encouraging people to try their hand, none have been able to do so. Three guesses as to who is able to actually do it. Upon pulling the sword out, Fang is greeted by an adorable little fairy named Eryn. However, there is a caveat to the promise of any wish being granted. One fairy alone can't really do it. Instead, Fang will need to head on out to recover other swords containing other fairies to try and revive the Goddess for his desire to be fulfilled.

Screenshot for Fairy Fencer F on PC

This story perfectly encapsulates everything good, and likewise bad, about Fairy Fencer F - namely both its simplicity and enjoyability, along with its predictability and lack of originality. The story derives a lot of its strength from its solid and good characters, with almost all of them being enjoyable and having amusing and solid personalities - but at the same time, they are confined by a simplistic narrative that takes almost no deviations from the expected path.

The gameplay is fairly solid and simple, but it also takes little risks and is fairly easy to predict. The visuals are pleasant and decently drawn, but also addled by some fairly standard and bland environments. It won't wow anyone, but barring those that demand every RPG be top-of-the-line, it won't really disappoint anyone, either.

For example: Eryn is a fairly likable character. She's got some spunk and is fairly kind, most certainly helpful, but she's also irritable and can be snippy at times. Unlike some other faeries that enjoy shouting, "Hey! Listen!" Eryn actually does her best to make up for Fang's shortcomings. However, her story arc is bland and obvious. Meanwhile, Tiara is a regal, yet dark and demanding girl, with a clear like for being verbally abused, but she is also serious and can be rather sensitive, as well. Neither is actually "bad" as a character, but compared to some of the bigger names, they don't really stand out, either.

Screenshot for Fairy Fencer F on PC

Gameplay wise, Fairy Fencer F is also fairly standard in that it follows the stock JRPG set-up for turn-based games. Move to a spot (Okay, stock for turn-based JRPG games that allow movement), select an ability or skill, or just outright attack. No real surprises beyond that the game allows shots at mixing and matching various attacks. What the game attempts to do is offer a variety of weapons, each with its own distinct strengths and weaknesses. The idea is to create and chain together sequences of attacks, switching between weapons to take advantage of multiple situations. In practice, it is basically: "Find one or two good combos. Use them. Rinse and repeat."

FFF does also try to offer some other unique features, such as the ability to directly alter a dungeon by boosting or reducing various effects. Maybe the dungeon can be coaxed into offering up more money, but doing so results in all skills costing twice as much. While this might sound good in theory, it is simply far too easy to abuse and turn into a situation where its originality is lost and replaced with an attitude of "turn everything good on; go to dungeon; steamroll everything due to getting massive amounts of EXP, WP, and Gold, resulting in being far too over-levelled for anything to pose a threat; pummel boss until they beg for mercy; repeat."

Screenshot for Fairy Fencer F on PC

It is time to go right for the heart, though. Is Fairy Fencer F a good game? Simply put, yes. When reviewing games it is very important to remember that, just because a game has its short-comings and flaws, it does not mean a game is bad. FFF is a decent title, with the potential for the series to soar should it try to actually progress beyond its safety zone. The world and setting holds much potential, and the ideas brought up could be tweaked to become much better. With some refinement, FFF could have been something great - but there is still hope for the continuation of the franchise.

That is also why this PC port is so frustrating and annoying! Instead of trying to improve, it is a direct port with only a few changes to work on the PC. This means that controls originally made for a console controller are now being adapted to a keyboard, which can be clunky and cumbersome. Its greatest shortcoming, however, is that this could have been much better than its console version simply by improving what was already there, and, thusly, comes off as lazy.

Screenshot for Fairy Fencer F on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The real disappointment here is that basically no changes were made at all. When a port is made, there is a prime chance to offer updates and improvements to the formula of the original game - altering recruitment times, changes in game balance, optional bosses, and so forth. However, Fairy Fencer F has remained largely unchanged. It is still an enjoyable title that doesn't quite manage to pull itself together, but doesn't fail, either. It still has potential. It is still, frankly, fun. Aside from people that desire to play this on the PC over the console, though, there simply is no reason to buy this version.

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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