Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is a dark fantasy JRPG developed by Compile Heart. You may know them for games, such as Hyperdimension Neptunia and Omega Quintet. It’s a re release of the original PS3 game from 2013 with extra content. Compile Heart are mainly known for light hearted niche JRPG’s that doesn’t take itself seriously. However, don’t let Fairy Fencer have you thinking the same. Although it has it’s Comedic moments, the game is made for a mature audience with its dark tone and narrative.
The main story has you playing as a Fencer named fang. He likes eating and living a lazy lifestyle. He finds a sword and awakens a fairy named Eryn. She doesn’t have any memories but holds a great power of the goddess. The aim of the game is to collect furies during your journey so you can revive the goddess who was sealed away alongside the vile god and help Eryn get her memories back. There’s a back story that explains the war between the goddess and the vile god that lead them in to a deep eternal slumber. The story itself is told as a visual novel with great English voice acting. During your journey, you’ll meet many characters and some will also join your party.
The gameplay was pretty basic when you explore each dungeon, you have the ability to dash and jump. You can encounter enemies if you get to close, but you can also avoid them if you dash across. The game has save points before you reach certain events. The hybrid combat system is strategic and allows you to move your characters around before planning your attack. There’s a lot to learn as you can plan your formation and use your magic attacks. You’ll be able to use fairize once your tension gauge reaches a certain level. Once you use Fairize, You’ll transform into fury form and merge with your fairy. With fury form, your hit damage and defence will increase. You can also boost the power of your weapon when you earn WP, this will increase your hit damage along with the range of your attacks. The game allows you learn the basics of the combat and you can also go back on the select menu if you’re confused. I found the hybrid combat system pretty fun as I was grinding to level up all my party members.
The visuals weren’t cutting edge but some of the dungeons looked good and colourful. Since this is the switch version, you may notice some minor downgrades since the hardware has its limits. The game does look better in docked mode on your TV compared to portable mode. You’ll able to tell the difference with the resolution and draw distance. You’ll find different locations like an icey cave or a Lava pit. The character designs also looked great. You’ll notice parts in the game that run in 60fps like when you morph into fury form or when you do your victory pose. The soundtrack also felt fresh and engaging.
Overall, I had a good time with Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force on the Switch. The story kept me in suspense and the voice acting was top notch. The hybrid combat system was also well designed as it wasn’t to hard to get use to. If you’re into dark fantasy JRPGs, then Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is worth trying.
A review code was provided by the Ghostlight games to review
Developer: Compile Heart / Publisher Ghostlight Games
Release date: 17/01/2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch