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Fairy Fencer F Review

We take a look at Fairy Fencer F, a turn based combat PlayStation 3 JRPG created by Compile Heart.

Tiara and her fairy partner, Malcolm (he's really called Cui, but I had more fun calling him Malcolm)

Tiara and her fairy partner, Malcolm (he’s really called Cui, but I had more fun calling him Malcolm)

I’m new to JRPGs. I’m new to anime, actually. Fairy Fencer F is the first JRPG I’ve played for consoles and I’m still getting used to waiting patiently after attacking for the enemy to fight back in a game where I’m not playing as a team of worms. In short, Fairy Fencer F has been an introductory game for me. But did it make an impression? let’s see…

The opening plot isn’t anything new; In ancient times there was a battle between a goddess and an evil god, fought by others with weapons made by those gods. Eventually the battle lead to a stalemate that exhausted both gods into a permanent sleep. That’s about it. We play in present day as a crook called Fang who is mainly apathetic about the world around him so long as he gets something to eat and the occasional nap.

The game starts when Fang manages to pull a pretty cool looking sword out of a stone – King Arthur style – and becomes partnered with Eryn, a fairy connected to the sword’s power. She tells Fang that the sword is in fact what’s known as a  ‘fury’ – a weapon created by the goddess – and that he is a Fencer – someone who can wield the blades. The goal being to revive the goddess by collecting all of the hidden weapons.

Fang and his fairy partner, Eryn

Fang and his fairy partner, Eryn

After that, you’re left to make friends, meet locals, and fight your way through the world, searching for furies as you go. That’s about it, really. Fairy Fencer F goes for the “here’s a bit of story to get you going, now go have fun!” approach, which is fine if the story is interesting or the game is fun.

The Music is mainly pop-rock, which fits in with the combat but gets repetitive after a day’s fighting, and the usual adventure style soundtrack found in every other game. The exploration music is varied enough too, but the best audio by far is the unusual trombone soundtrack that accompanies ‘Eryn’s ‘Lecture’ tutorials. I would occasionally leave the tutorial page on and let the bouncing deep blarts from the soundtrack run endlessly in the background.

When dungeon crawling, the speed of the camera and the way you run make for dizzy playing at times. the slightest touch will send the angle speeding off, and it felt like I was spending more time turning the character around and realigning the camera than it did exploring. It’s as if the camera is tethered to helicopter blades.

Stunning visuals

Stunning visuals. Well… not really.

The 2D animation is of decently anime style, but unfortunately the quality drops when you go into 3D – Fang and the enemies become quite polygonal to a point where it  just makes the game look unfinished. The blocky textures feel more like something you would see on the PlayStation 2, and the shifting quality felt like more effort was put into the talking and other safe interaction portions than the actual gameplay.

The combat wasn’t very fun, either. you can Fairize (morph with your sword) when you fill a power bar, and become more deadly – but it isn’t enough to make the fighting fun. Enemies will either attack you, be attacked by you, or just bump into you in order to fight, and every few steps is usually met with yet another creature to stab at as go about your day. Once you’ve fought one fight, you’ve pretty much fought them all.

I was hoping for something more interesting and entertaining, but from it’s thin opening story to it’s repetitive combat, this bland looking game doesn’t have much going for it. If you like turn based fighting, colourful anime, Japanese pop music and feeling a bit dizzy, then Fairy Fencer F is probably worth playing if you can find it cheap. And we all know there’s plenty of people who’ll jump at anything for a quick anime hit. For anyone else, however, you’d best keep looking for something else to play.


TheGamersHub Score
Reviewer: Izaak Stoakes
+ Pros

- Colourful 2D anime scenes are a pleasant change from the usual greys and browns of a lot of modern games

- Good background music

- Quick to go, gameplay is pushed to the front over story

- Cons

- Not very interesting storyline or characters

- Over sensitive camera

- Poor in-game graphics

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