Today we’ll be taking a look at the PC port of Fairy Fencer F, an RPG that was originally released on the PlayStation 3 back in 2013. Developed by Compile Heart’s Galapagos RPG brand and published by Idea Factory, fans of their previous titles, such as the popular Hyperdimension series, are sure to have high hopes.
The tale of Fairy Fencer F begins “a long time ago”, as the Goddess and Vile God do battle. These two powerful beings fight with all of their might, and each unleash a final barrage of fairy-infused weapons at each other. Many of these weapons clash, bouncing down into the realm below, but many on each side hit their mark, sealing both beings away.
The weapons that bounced into the world below have become known as Furies, and those who wield them are known as Fencers. One hapless Fencer, known as Fang, is far from your typical JRPG protagonist; While many tend to be good people who stumble into a grand adventure, Fang is a lazy bum who only wants to know where his next meal is coming from and wants to sleep as much as possible.
You may be wondering what a guy like that is doing, gathering these weapons. It turns out that the very first Fury he pulled out was by sheer happenstance; He had been told that whoever pulls it out will have a wish granted. As for his wish, well, you can see that in the image below:
After the amnesia-ridden fairy that inhabited this Fury, Eryn, rescues Fang from jail (though it should be noted that he was quite content in the cell, being able to eat regularly and sleep as much as he wanted) and whines a bit, Fang succumbs and heads out on the journey to collect the remaining 99 Furies in order to unseal the Goddess.
Along the way, he’ll meet a variety of characters, who seem to, in many cases, just happen to drop into the party for no real reason. You’ll learn more about these characters as the story progresses and learn that each one has a distinct personality. As you play through the title, everybody grows, and the growth feels quite natural, so at the end of the game, you’ll likely remember who everybody is and have your own favorites amongst the cast.
The translation is as high quality as you would expect from Idea Factory, which is always a concern with titles. The story is decent, though there aren’t very many twists that will take you by surprise, unfortunately. That said, when all’s said and done, the characters and story combined make for an enjoyable ride.
The gameplay of Fairy Fencer F will feel familiar to anybody who has played the Hyperdimension games. Everything has been streamlined, making navigation (outside of dungeons, of course) menu-based, which allows you to quickly get into the action. It’s also quite minimalistic, so you’ll have no confusion about where you’ll need to go for your specific needs.
The shop allows you to shop for gear as well as synthesize your own. The pub is the game’s quest hub, and the inn will allow you to advance the story. You can also visit the plaza to purchase information on where a Fury may be located. Gaining these Furies will allow you to harness the fairy that resides in them, typically granting buffs and stat increases.
Another way to find these Furies is by advancing the story. As you gain the fairies trapped within the Furies, you’ll be able to unleash the seals on either the Goddess or Vile God, granting the fairy used (each can only remove one seal) an additional buff and the ability known as “World Shaping”.
This ability is used to find new dungeons or remix them by stabbing the Furies into the ground nearby (or, to remix, into the dungeon itself). By remixing the dungeons, you can change a variety of things, such as enemies, granting more experience in exchange for a lower defense, and more.
Once inside a dungeon, we switch to the fully 3D scenario in which you’ll explore. As with Hyperdimension Neptunia, you’ll see the enemies and landmarks on your map. There aren’t any puzzles to solve in the dungeons, and they are mostly straightforward.
You can see the enemies and attempt to launch an assault on the map in order to gain an advantage in battle. If you fail, however, they will have the advantage. You can also decide to attempt to avoid the enemies entirely.
In battle, your characters and the enemies take turns. During your turn, you can move the character in question around freely in a limited range, and attack any enemy within movement and attack range. Each weapon type and ability has a different range, so if you’re too far from the enemy to melee it, you may want to check your skills and spells.
If you happen to utilize weapons that the enemy is weak to, then, in addition to the combos your chosen/active character can perform on his or her turn, you have the chance to bring other characters in to continue the combo.
Perhaps the biggest feature is your ability to Fairize once your tension has hit a certain level. Activating this ability causes your character to impale himself with his weapon, transforming into a more powerful form that has access to powerful abilities that can demolish your foes… at a cost of a significant amount of HP and SP.
After battle, you can utilize the gained WP to customize your characters, unlocking more combos, abilities, or simply raising your stats.
Fairy Fencer F is a decent title, though gamers who have played a niche RPG anytime recently will likely know what to expect. That said, the customization options grant it a degree of difference. The graphics are nice, and the music is typically spot-on.
When all’s said and done, the fun gameplay, interesting characters, and customization options offer enough for Fairy Fencer F to stand on its own, apart from the Hyperdimension series. Though gamers who are looking for a challenge may be a bit disappointed in how easy it is for the most part, it’s still a fun ride.
Final Score: 4.25/5