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Review | Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force (PC)

by on March 2, 2017
 

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force ended up being pretty enjoyable on PlayStation 4, but how will it fare in the realm of PC?

Story

You control a lazy vagabond who goes by the name of Fang, who has recently wandered into a village featuring a sword buried in rock. None of the villagers have been able to free the sword, but Arthur, err, I mean Fang, manages to do so effortlessly, as the sword has chosen him.

To Fang’s surprise, he discovers that the sword is not a normal sword at all, but hosts Eryn, a fairy who tasks him with recovering more fairy swords. Fang, on the other hand, is quite reluctant, preferring to just laze about and eat, but she manages to somewhat convince him.

The duo then quickly run into another woman who goes by the name of Tiara, who is also seeking out the fairy-inhabited weapons known as Furies. Tiara knows far more about the weapons than Fang or Eryn, and is in need of the duo’s assistance to defeat the monsters and retrieve the weapons. She manages to get on their team by promising Fang free food.

As the group gathers more Furies, they draw ever closer to their goal of reviving a goddess pinned into place by a large number of swords. Only the magic of the fairies within the Furies can remove a sword, and removing said swords also powers up the fairy in question.

The group encounters more eccentric characters, becoming involved in weird and wondrous situations. You also have multiple paths, based on how you play, and not all endings are good.

Gameplay

If you’ve played any of the Hyperdimension titles, you should feel comfortable with this title. Outside of a dungeon, navigation is menu-based, which helps to quickly get into the action. You can purchase and synthesize gear at the shops, and the pub acts as the game’s quest hub. The inn allows you to advance the story by freeing a sword from either the Goddess or Vile God with the Furies you have obtained and not yet used to free up a sword.

Every sword has an additional buff, with many of the Vile God’s swords featuring a more powerful effect than the corresponding Goddess sword. This makes it quite tempting to free from the Vile God, and the moral conflict presented is quite effective. Since the consequences of your choices aren’t apparent for a while when you first play the game, your decisions are driven purely from your own moral point of view, How far would you go as for capitalizing on the power of the Vile God before you draw the line?

In addition to the aforementioned buff, the Fury will also gain an ability that can change a variety of things in a dungeon when you place the weapon near it. You may change enemies, items, or even gain more experience at the cost of weakening your defense, to name a few possibilities.

Upon entering a dungeon, you will be in a fully 3D scenario, seeing enemies and landmarks alike on your map. The dungeons are typically pretty straightforward, honestly. As you move through the dungeons, you will be able to launch an assault on your foes to gain an advantage in battle, but the opposite is also true; If you fail, they will gain the advantage instead. All enemies being visible also means that, if you so choose, you can attempt to avoid them entirely.

The battle system itself is turn-based. You will be able to move your current character around freely in a limited range and attack any enemy or support any other character within your range. Each weapon and ability has a different range, which helps encourage players to mix up melee, spells, and skills to their fullest. In addition, if you strike your enemies with weapons they are weak against, you have a chance to bring your teammates in to continue the combination.

Once your tension hits a certain level, you gain an ability known as Fairize. This shows your character impale himself or herself with the weapon, transforming into a more powerful form with more powerful abilities. These abilities do cost a significant amount of HP and SP, but can utterly demolish your enemies.

Once you have won a battle, you will gain WP, which can be utilized to customize your characters, raise their stats, unlock more combos, and unlock more abilities.

One annoying thing is, for a while at least, the game appeared to randomly crash on me. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason that I could discover, but it was annoying when I was halfway through a dungeon and that happened. That said, it seemed to stop doing so as I progressed.

Graphics and Sound

Tsunako utilizes clean, defined lines and rich color to make every character distinct, as well as gorgeous in both motion and stills. The enemies also feature a cute design, featuring the traditional JRPG staples, such as snakes, fire birds, and zombies.

The environments are much less impressive, however, simply tending to be functional and pretty, but rather minimalist in design and devoid of any noteworthy features.

Uematsu’s music remains quite nice, and the timing of the tracks is spot on so that they feel perfectly suited to the situations they play in.

Final thoughts

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force was enjoyable on the PlayStation 4 and it remains enjoyable on PC. The major complaint I had was with the random freezing, but this may no longer be an issue. Still, if you want to be perfectly safe and have a PlayStation 4, you may want to opt for that version instead.

The title does hook you in for a fun, humorous ride, so JRPG and anime fans should still find plenty to enjoy, regardless.

Final Score: 4/5

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