Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review

2016 has been nothing but a sufficient year for JRPG’s, but over the past couple of months, the tide has slowed down a bit. The most notable titles were a variety of Windows ports, and not much else. (This could also be due to the summer drought) Nevertheless, Idea Factory is back, and with a remake of one of their PS3 hits. So, is the genre back with a vengeance?

Gameplay:

If you’ve played numerous JRPG’s this year, you’re guaranteed to the two basic points that need to be perfected in these titles. Combat, and of course exploration. However, Advent Dark Force does introduce some collecting aspects that make the whole process a lot less automated, this takes out the grind, but at the same time, doesn’t distract from the flaws the game has gameplay wise, especially in it’s second half.

In the first couple hours, Advent Dark Force’s combat is promising, and likely some of the best you’ll see out of a modern JRPG. However, when attacking higher level enemies, it’s exquisiteness starts to wear thin. This is especially the case when attacking higher-level enemies who tend to be a bit more spammy with their move-sets, sacrificing your characters in the process. For someone who’s grown to be familiar with the genre, this definitely hampers the rest of the combat’s strengths.

Story & Design:

Advent Dark Force has a very us vs. them story, and while the characters are fun and interesting, the story drags out far too long to develop any real stakes. I suppose that many JRPG’s struggle with this point, but if you were wondering otherwise, you’ll find out hours in that you’re proven wrong.

Advent Dark Force is a remaster, but in this case it fails with it’s identity. Besides a few graphical retouches and minor improvements, the game is mostly what players have experienced back in 2013. This makes me wonder who the audience is, as hardcore fans will have already played it, and it’s a bit too complex for a casual audience.

Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:

Visually, Advent Dark Force is a mixed bag. I do like some of the cutscene animations, but it’s vexing when they interrupt battles. On top of this, the game is still low-resolution for a Playstation 4 game, which is a bit strange to see. (The frame-rate is a bit better however)

The soundtrack isn’t awful, but is played too often to make a true impact. During my later play sessions, I would just mute to focus more on the gameplay. The voice acting is a bit better, but doesn’t reinvent or transform some rocky stereotypes.

Conclusion:

If Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force wasn’t a remaster, I would probably cut it some slack. However, there are some grievances that are too major to avoid. While it won’t kill the game for the dedicated JRPG players, I find it hard to believe that none of them have played this title, or ones similar to it before.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force gets a 6/10 (Limited Appeal)

We’d like to thank Idea Factory for giving us a code!

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