In 2014, Idea Factory released its masterpiece JRPG, Fairy Fencer F, for the Playstation 3. The story, gameplay and characters flowed very well together and brought back that great turn-based style of gameplay. Now, the same game with better visuals and more content added has come back for the Playstation 4.
Only one word can describe my satisfaction for Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force and that is sensational. The game is the best JRPG that I have played thus far on the PS4. From the story to the combat, everything is so well-crafted.
Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force first starts with our main protagonist, Fang, waking up in a jail cell. Fang and Eryn, the fairy that stays attached to him after a few beginning events, must collect all of the furies that reside in the land so that he can be granted one life changing wish. Along the way to collecting all of the furies, Fang comes across friends who can join him in battle as he fights darkness that exists in the world.
A long time ago, there was a war that once was waged between the Goddess and the Vile God. The equally matched forces were eventually sealed by one another and were embedded in a special weapon that contained their powers. These weapons that the Vile God and Goddess left behind are called “Furies.” The ones who can use the furies are labelled as “Fencers.” The one who can collect them all will be granted one wish..
The story in Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force does not remain the same as the original from the Playstation 3 and PC. It now includes extra scenes, new characters, and a completely brand spanking new story route. Pulling out furies that reside in the Goddess and/or Vile God will decide your story arc. There are now three routes in the game which also includes the Evil Goddess. The story was already a creative and interesting tale, but now it has even more content that allows players with more freedom on what they decide to do. Three difficulties have been also added to the game – Easy, Normal, and Hard.
One playthrough of the game will take players anywhere from 30-50 hours to complete depending on how many sub-quests, side-events, and grinding a player decides they want to complete. Players also get the choice on what ending they get and what he/she wants to carry over from his/her original playthrough. Some players will also now find that some furies have been changed, removed, and added to this version of the game. Players may also see a resemblance to Mugen Souls Z as the stories are very similar.
Battling has never been better in Fairy Fencer F before. With the inclusion of now up to six playable characters in battles, the strategy and very nature of the gameplay has changed. This turn-based system plays very similar to the original Hyperdimension Neptunia games. Players will also have a few commands on screen – Skill, Magic, Items, Special, Switch, or Fairize. Players can create powerful combos with attacks of their choosing. The most unique feature of the game is using, “Fairize,” a transformation that makes your character stronger, faster, and allows them to use special abilities. The special attack depends on the character as each get their own unique ultimate abilities. The “Wait” option is there if a player does not have enough range to attack or if a player wants to wait out their character’s turn.
Weapon Boost in Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force allows players to customize their skills, magic attacks, abilities, and combo attacks. There are requirements for certain upgrades so players will have to grind a bit if they want to max out their characters. Sub-quests also have many of good benefits such as the S-Ranked Fury, Rita, and the many high quality items that characters can unlock as rewards. I did run into a glitch where even after completing all the A-Ranked missions, I couldn’t unlock the S-Ranking quest missions. After replaying a few A-Ranked missions it did unlock, but that is something that isn’t supposed to happen and didn’t happen in the original.
One highly noticeable difference in Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force when comparing it to the original is the frame rate and graphical upgrades. Environments look more detailed and contrast heavy in its full 1080p performance. The game is a lot more fluid while traversing the lands and during gameplay. I did notice drops in the frame rate, but it runs much smoother than the original for Playstation 3 version ever did. The game did freeze at least once or twice while playing for several hours at a time.
Overall, with the additional gameplay, story, and graphical elements, this game is better than its original Playstation 3 predecessor. I would love to see a future sequel to Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force. The story has a perfect blend of comedy, romance, action and drama. The gameplay reminds me of every Role-Playing Game that I enjoyed mixed into one great game.
9/10 – The Best JRPG on the Playstation 4 to date and is one of the best remakes of a game that I ever played before.