Fairy Fencer F: PS3, Review

WHEN IT COMES to Japanese role playing games, no console has led the charge quite like the PlayStation 3. Everything from Ni No Kuni and Valkyria Chronicles to Dragon’s Crown and Disgaea… they’re all unforgettable doses of quirky awesomeness. And yet, for every JRPG that fuses a compelling battle system with a captivating setting, there are those that feel like an uninspired knock off. This could be down to a bland cast of characters or a severe lack of originality, but when a game’s only noteworthy accomplishment is that it fits its genre perfectly, it’s hard to view it with anything other than apathy. Unfortunately, this sums up Fairy Fencer F fairly well.

Coming from the same studio that brought us the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, it’s no surprise that Fairy Fencer F has a lot in common with its anime inspired stablemate.The game begins with a sword in the stone moment that introduces the player to Fang alayabout whose main interestsinclude eating and sleeping.After pulling said sword from its resting place, Fang awakens a fairy named
Eryn and gets wrapped up in a journey to revive a dormant goddess. It’s hard to feel much of anything to wards Fang when he comes across as so fundamentally unlikeable, and much like the supporting party members that accompany him, Fang has all the depth of a teaspoon.

Tiara is the first companion you'll meet on your travels. She looks like a Hatsune Miku wannabe in a Lolita outfit, but despite having a bossy personality, she goes weak at the knees whenever Fang insults her.The well endowed Harley also suffers from an acute case of fan service. She acts as the party’s main gunner when the battle music starts to play but you’ll probably remember her more as the fairy researcher who’s completely oblivious to her sexuality.There’s one scene early on in the game where she strips completely naked after complaining about the humidity.You don’t see anything too risqué, of course, but it’s clear that this game was made with a particular audience in mind.
“MUCH LIKE THE SUPPORTING PARTY MEMBERS THAT ACCOMPANY HIM, FANG HAS ALL THE DEPTH OF A TEASPOON”
 The evidence also suggests that this game was built on a wafer thin budget. Most of the world is portrayed with 2D backdrops and rigid animations, and even when you make your way into one of the generic dungeons to complete one of the simple side quests, the 3D character models and enemies that greet you are inoffensive at best and placeholder at worst.And we're not lambasting this game
just because it could probably run on a PlayStation 2.We just expect more polish and at least some ambition from a JRPG of this price.

Thankfully, the battle system is the one area where Fairy Fencer F saves some face. It’s not going to redefine how you think about turn based mechanics but at least it’s not lacking in depth.You start off with a couple of characters and a limited selection of techniques, but as you find more fairies and level them up alongside your new party members, you’ll unlock a growing repertoire of attacks that deal in bigger numbers and wider areas.The game also makes a big song and dance over the Fairize transformations.These temporarily merge a character with their guardian fairy and unlock some of the
game’s more potent abilities.

Coming in at around 25 hours long for those who wish to endure it,Fairy Fencer F does at least get a little better once you break past the halfway point.The combat becomes lessmindless, the story starts to pick up pace and you may even be marginally intrigued by some of the later characters. But when you’re forced to play through a tiresome first half to get to an average second, there’s just no way we
can recommend this game unless you’re a hardcore Compile Heart fan that’s lapped up everything the studio has made so far. There are just too many other JRPGs that try far harder.

5/10

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