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Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is a highly successful and well done reboot of the original PlayStation 3 role playing game titled as Fairy Fencer F. The original and reboot of the game were both developed by Compile Heart who is best known for their colorful role playing games. While the original Fairy Fencer F was previously considered one of the developer’s most powerful and story driven games there were many aspects of the game that did not meet the expectations of fans. The original Fairy Fencer was localized to North America, Europe, and Australia in September of 2014 which was almost an entire year after it was released in Japan. While there was initially a lot of excitement over the localization of the game from fans of Compile Heart it was short lived, soon after the game was released many fans were disappointed that it ultimately failed to meet their expectations. The greatest disappointment to many of those who purchased the game was that it was too linear and had little in the way of side quests and character paths. Soon after Compile Heart began working on a reboot under the title Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force which would include new story paths and several other new features. Advent Dark Force was released for PlayStation 4 in Japan early November 2015 and was later localized for PlayStation 4 in North America late July 2016. Now Advent Dark Force is scheduled for a Steam release on Valentine’s Day 2017, the Steam release will include a set of Steam achievements and a set of collectible digital Steam trading cards which feature some of the game’s colorful character art.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review

The story and setting of Advent Dark Force remain the same as the story and settings were in the original Fairy Fencer F. The only major difference between the two games in regards to the story is the addition of three new story paths to Advent Dark Force. The events that take place in the game begin as a result of an ongoing struggle between the goddess and a vile God who began their battle in the distant past. As the two continued to battle it was discovered that they were equally matched in their own power and as a last result both the God and Goddess summoned forth powerful weapons containing Fairies. Using the power of the weapons the god and goddess managed to seal each other away but the weapons themselves remained in the world. The weapons later became known as furies and became an object of interest to many due to the large number of rumors including one that states that they can grant wishes. Those who have the power to wield the furies become known as fencers and are ultimately fated to battle each other in order to collect all of the weapons for themselves. The young hero known as Fang gets caught up in the struggle between the God and Goddess as well as becoming a target for other fencers after he ends up becoming a fencer during an attempt to save another fencer named Tiara. With the ability to choose from the three unique story paths you can decide which side Fang takes in the struggle between darkness and light and ultimately guide Fang and his friends on a path of peace or destruction. You will also be able to recruit new allies which were not previously playable in the original Fairy Fencer F. The ability to choose from three story paths and recruit other characters is the biggest highlight of Advent Dark Force. 

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review 

When compared to the original Fairy Fencer F the value of the gameplay is significantly higher and the individual aspects of gameplay are far more significant due to a number of improvements and additions. The entire battle system of the game has been revamped from the original in a way that makes it a more strategic and meaningful part of the gameplay. While the battle system is still at its core inspired by the battle systems from the Hyperdimension Neptunia series it now features enough unique new features to make it stand apart. One of the most exciting new features in Advent Dark Force is the ability to use as many as six party members in battles of increased difficulty. Unlike other recent games that attempted something similar the battles in this game are well balanced by increasing the strength of enemies just enough to balance the power between enemies and allies on the field. This game has been the very first game to pull of such large scale battles in a manageable way while many others fail to pull it off due to characters controlled by AI being unable to calculate the best actions in battle or being too imbalanced when it comes to stats. Aside from the feature of having up to six characters in battle there are also a number of other great new additions to battle which were not present in the original version of Fairy Fencer F. One of these additions is the inclusion of several new special abilities to each of the playable characters. While the most important revisions to the game involve the story their is no lack of powerful revisions to the gameplay as well.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review 

For those who have not played the original Fairy Fencer F or the PlayStation 4 release of Advent Dark Force I will go into a bit of detail on the characters themselves. First of all we have Fang who is a very  stereotypical accidental hero that through some lack of thought became a fencer and got caught up in the battle between the God and Goddess. Fang often thinks with his stomach and can’t help but protect girls who he considers cute which is exactly what gets him caught in the battle between the God and Goddess in the first place. He is one of the most cliche characters in the game since his personality is like that of over half role playing game heroes but he does have some strengths that develop through the game such as his ability to wield a sword without training and the fact that he has a more caring down to earth side at times. Meanwhile, while Fang is dense and doesn’t think things through much his fairy partner Eryn is straight to the point and tends to be more concerned with important tasks despite suffering with amnesia. Since Fang and Eryn are very different they tend to argue a lot and Eryn is quick to point out Fang’s glaring flaws but the two of them have a few similarities they both fail to recognize. Eryn is a very sassy character who acts as a voice of reason which seems to be a bit more rare of a personality type. Despite being a fairy partner to fang her role is just as important in determining the fate of the world as she tries to steer Fang towards the right path.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review

There is also the fencer Tiara who despite appearing as a stereotypical rich girl who thinks she is better than everyone else when she is angered has an odd and twisted masochistic tendency that sometimes makes her appear as though she might be a bit bipolar. This is probably one of the worst personalities in the game especially for a character who for whatever reason means so much not only to the hero but to another character as well. Personality aside Tiara does have plenty of use due to her special ability that comes from having a cursed blood line. Tiara does have many mysteries that surround her which could become a point of interest to figure out. Harley is probably another one of the game’s most stereotypical characters though unlike Tiara and Fang has plenty of redeeming qualities. She is a very confusing character due to her very chaotic mix of a serious mind and whimsical socially inappropriate behaviors. While she constantly fails to understand what is acceptable behavior in front of others she also has a brilliant mind when it comes to the understanding and research of fairies making her an asset to the party. While there are many other playable characters these are a few of the most important ones and some of the ones mentioned have been improved. 

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review 

When it comes to the graphics they are as bright and colorful as you would expect from a game developed by Compile Heart. There are times where it seemed the quality of the graphics didn’t hold up as well in the Steam version when compared to the PlayStation 4 version but it did not have a major impact on the artistic quality of the game as the graphics are beautiful either way. The character designs are unique enough that if you were to see any of the characters you would likely instantly be able to set them apart from characters of any other game. The animations hold up very well for the most part in the Steam version as there was no noticeable issues with lagging of freezing. Considering that the quality of the graphics and animations hold up incredibly well on Steam compared to those of most other games from the same developer this is one of Compile Heart’s best ports.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review 

While the original Fairy Fencer F failed to meet expectations Advent Dark Force has managed to show us that it had plenty of potential when given more paths and improving gameplay. Even if you greatly enjoyed the original you will very likely enjoy Advent Dark Force even more due to the many great improvements and new features. If you missed out on the PlayStation 4 release you now have a chance to grab a copy on Steam . If you enjoy the Neptunia series but want a more serious game with a more solid plot and a wider variety of characters I highly recommend Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force as it is undoubtedly the most powerful and story driven title from Compile Heart. If you are a fan of Compile Heart games be sure to add it to your Steam library with all of those other Compile Heart titles.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review 

PROS (+): Exciting Battle System, Six Character Battles, Colorful Graphics

CONS (-): Cliche Character Personalities, Overly Similar Backgrounds to Neptunia Titles

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review 

SCORE-8.5/10

This review is based on a digital copy of the game on Steam provided by Idea Factory Int.