I know we are expected to relate to the main character of any story but I assure you, you will have more desire to go through this epic quest then our protagonist!
Fairy Fencer F has at long last made its way to the PC and with its easily accessible graphics and a frame rate that did not make my five year old laptop explode, it’s a game that almost anyone can play, regardless of hardware although I was stuttering during most of the FMV sequences. Even so still I finished the game and not simply because I couldn’t leave it unfinished, I wanted to finish the game even expecting the hiccups and lags. While I expect these were issues that were due to my ailing computer, I can’t be sure others wouldn’t have them, bearing that in mind, I still had an amazing experience including the flaws. Bearing that in mind, there are good points and bad points to this game that I think is a prized catch in our ocean of JRPG’s.
We start off with Fang, one of the most unenthusiastic protagonists I have had the pleasure of playing as. Even the lightly dressed fairy, Eryn, had trouble getting him to move. (Beautiful Lady that turns into a beautiful sword, I can’t say there is much more you want from a divine being.) You are in prison for stealing food, your motivator throughout the game, and you are told about the epic quest you have been selected to undertake and have the details more or less explained to you and what is expected. If Fang had his way, this would have been the end of the story. I loved this about the game, many of the characters almost rebelled against the conventions and stereotypes of being in a video game by being almost normal. Fang didn’t wanted to go on an epic quest, your first PC interaction goes very differently to how most interactions with beautiful woman go (Not going to spoil but I was laughing.) and almost every character has a reason to defy the stereotypical RPG elements that they also seem so aware of and then equally seem to have an area where they fall into such elements with wild abandon. I enjoyed the characters and there are a few to keep you occupied, even if they don’t develop as well as they could. I feel like there should have been a bit more to it, this is a large criticism I have of the game because it could easily have been a five out of five if it was more polished in certain areas and it feels like they went for quantity over quality of characters. I enjoyed playing around with my configuration but I found that there was a group I tried to stick to, only vary that process when I was forced to pick others, with so many people to consider, it’s bound to happen but while I would (And will) replay the game, I feel like there would be even more re-playability If there was more development of the characters.
It is a confusing experience because even when you think you’ve seen it all, it surprises you. The story is told through sequences of 2D characters having conversations that we have come to know and love from Compile Heart & Idea Factory, they breathe and convincingly act as if they were alive, showing a lot of emotion, or none, as the situation calls for and there is the odd FMV event that I always looked forward to (Even at a stuttering pace). The twists and turns in the story had me staring at times because even though I was intrigued I thought I had the story figured out. I was mostly right but those times I was wrong made it a truly wonderful experience. You have to free one of two gods from a prison where they are kept by the fairies that pierce their bodies in the form of blades. There are forty fairies in total (Although I could have sworn there were supposed to be 100), half in the Vile god, half in the light goddess and it is your task to free the goddess. Suffice to say, you eventually want all of the fairies and the reasons for this are not simply completionist leanings. While I did enjoy the story, I felt like they could have done more with the overarching plot. With such a premise, it would have been nice to explore character changes if you went solely for fairies in the Vile God as opposed to the light goddess but these were lacking and in the age of easily accessible alignment systems and such, I felt this was a large missed opportunity even though there are great bonuses for completely releasing your chosen deity. I liked this portion though as it allows you to fully customise the characters to your liking. While there is an objectively better way to allocate the fairies, I am sure, I enjoyed being able to do so at my leisure and the game felt more rewarding as I had more of an input in my battle preparations.
Like most of the game, the combat was a mixed bag but the roster gave me much room for customisation which I appreciated but also left me wondering if I should use all my characters. Fairy Fencer has combat similar to the Hyper Dimension series, you collide or smack an enemy and you are warped to a battle screen (The battle arenas were generic, I will say I enjoyed the music throughout but the backgrounds were completely and utterly forgettable… which was a disappointment given the scope of the story.) to combat your enemies with your group of three. You have the choice of physical or magical attacks and sometimes, in certain cases, the ability to Fairize and deal great damage. My laptop did not lag throughout these sequences, for which I was grateful because they were very entertaining. I found at most points that I was very capable of beating whatever the game threw at me only to completely crumble before certain bosses. It was less a massive difficulty spike and more incompatible tactics, and a few adjustments and I was able to continue with my progress. Don’t get me wrong, there were some extremely difficult side-bosses but at times it felt as if most of the story enemies were there to stream you through so you could get to the end game content.