Compile Heart’s Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is a remake of the well received PS3 Fairy Fencer F with an added storyline which you choose, improved graphics, increased active party size, and tougher enemies all around. On the surface, this is a game I probably wouldn’t be interested in. Luckily, I gave this game a try and boy, I’m glad I did.
Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force begins with the protagonist, Fang, and the fairy contained in the Fury – a magical fairy containing weapon that is the central point of the entire game – named Eryn in a jail. Eryn, urging Fang to take responsibility for pulling the Fury out, continually pesters Fang about upholding the contract they formed to help aid in maintaining the seal of the Evil God that the Goddess fought so hard to contain herself. Fang eventually caves, and thus, the story beings.
The opening part of this game was…wow. It was cliché after cliché. The entire opening part of the game was pretty painful. The dialogue was trying way too hard to score some laughs and the personalities of the characters felt very forced. The game does not fail to remind you that Fang is a lazy good for nothing, for example, and it feels like they are beating a horse on this front. Fortunately, the pacing of the game improves drastically, as does the story, so if you can make it past the opening parts, congrats. You’re about to be in for a fun game!
After the opening sequences, you will soon be left to travel the world, searching for more Furies, gaining numerous companions on the way. Despite their archetypes still being predictable, the characters themselves start to grow on you. The constant bickering between the party characters you pick up as you travel adds a bit more depth to their character development.
Taking gameplay mechanics straight from the Neptunia series, it feels more refined and quite frankly, I enjoy it way more in Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Forces than I ever have had in a Neptunia game. The battle mechanics are a quick, turn-based, chaotic (when you have 6 heroes on the field at once), and easy to get into. The most fun about the battle system is how insanely fast you can go about it, while still feeling like you have to think and manage each order you give the units. There is also an added “Fairize” option, which allows you to “equip” your Fury after building up a meter and gaining incredible powers for a duration. These were super fun to pull off and the music shredding in the background was the icing on the cake.
The gameplay itself is also relatively straightforward. Find a dungeon, go through the dungeon, retrieve the Fury, go back to town, stock up, heal up, pull a sword from either the Goddess or Evil God, then rinse and repeat. It’s a well-known formula to those who’ve played JRPGs before. There are some puzzles in the dungeons, but not enough to make them really feel that special. You can also stab Furies into the ground to give dungeons you find a special modifier, whether it’s an increased drop rate percentage, or perhaps some increased experience per monster unit killed.
Speaking of Furies, the most fun and unique system in this game is the Fairy system. Fairies, which reside in the Furies, offer multitudes of benefits. By pulling a sword out of the Goddess or Evil God, you do battle at the cost of a Fairy, or, you can keep your fairy and use it for the world map, or equip them and gain some combat abilities. By pulling from either the Goddess or Evil God, the story splits into one of two endings – something that was not previously available in the original Fairy Fencer F game.
Despite all the good, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force has it’s downfalls too. Immediately upon starting the game, I had to go into the sound settings and mess around with them. The soundtrack is amazing, but for some reason the sound effects and music volume were 10x louder than the speaking voices. Another thing I disliked about the game was the continuous dialogue
All in all, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force isn’t anything that RPG fans aren’t used to by now. While nothing really seems out of the ordinary in terms of RPG’s, the game’s fast battle system and amazing soundtrack lead to a surprisingly enjoyable experience.