After months of waiting, Fairy Fencer F Advent Dark Force, the successor to the original Fairy Fencer F game, finally arrives on PC. Serving as an expansion to the original game, Advent Dark Force was a much needed and major improvement.
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Idea Factory International, Inc.
Developer: Compile Heart, Idea Factory
Steam describes the game:
Long ago, a war raged between two powerful deities. Each was sealed away, their weapons scattered throughout the world. Our hero in this RPG, Fang, happens upon one such weapon and now he alone must choose which deity will awaken again!
Fairy Fencer F Advent Dark Force is more or less an expanded version of Fairy Fencer F. While the original game was a fun experience with an eccentric band of characters in a turn-based JRPG, it still felt lacking, especially in terms of the depth of the story and its length. Advent Dark Force noticeably improved on these flaws. Players take on the role of Fang where he uses Furies to perform a Godly Revival in which he pulls swords out of sealed deities. The deities include the Goddess and the Vile God, however, preference of one over the other does not affect the story whatsoever in the original game. In fact, Fairy Fencer F had a linear storyline where actions do not change the course of the plot. Advent Dark Force greatly improved on that aspect where actions during the Godly Revival can affect the plot of the series, branching into three different routes: the Vile God route, the Evil Goddess route, and the Goddess route. The Goddess route served as the story of the original game, but Advent Dark Force slightly changed a few events and gave a larger focus on some characters.
Gameplay mechanics stayed the same with a turn-based focus in which characters can either attack, use magic, or use skills. Characters can also Fairize in which they transform and power up to battle against harder foes. As players level up, skills can be upgraded or learned, base stats increase, and longer combos can be made. Performing various tasks such as using a character for a certain amount of time or number of enemies killed can reward players with an increase in stats. Difficulty levels range from amateur to hell. For achievement hunters, completing the game in hard mode rewards players with an achievement. A major change from the original game is the party size in which it increased from three to now six. As such, there is an addition of harder enemies to accommodate the larger party size to give more challenges to players. Some characters present in the original game also now become playable.
Other aspects of gameplay include a shop to purchase, sell, and synthesize items. At the pub, quests can be accepted which can yield gold, equipment, or items as rewards. At the plaza, players can speak to Lola for information in discovering more Furies. At various parts of the town, Fang can interact with his party members or the residents. Most are quite funny to read which add on the light-hearted tone of the series at least in the beginning.
Advent Dark Force also had noticeable graphic upgrades, but may still not match up to the graphic qualities of other recent JRPGs. Dungeons are quite linear and mostly short, but can be spiced up by using a Fury to change the type of enemies that reside in the area. Nonetheless, the difficulty of enemies can range from really easy to extremely hard, with some dungeons having recommended characters levels to be in multiples of hundreds. The main stories can be completed easily below level 40, but challengers can grind to face these high-level enemies.
Fairy Fencer F Advent Dark Force is definitely a must buy for fans of the original game as it provides players with new experiences and improvements on existing features. Nonetheless, the game may feel stiff at times with nothing too ground-breaking. Overall, the game is a standard JRPG which can be fun enough for many players, but may not stand out to those looking for something unique. Nonetheless, I am hoping for a sequel as I did enjoy the story, especially with Fang’s interactions with Eryn.
This title was reviewed using a PC (Steam) review copy provided by Idea Factory International, Inc.