Review: Fairy Fencer F Advent Dark Force (PlayStation 4)

Reviewed by Raven Wilk, posted Sep 6, 2016, last updated Sep 6, 2016
Compile Heart remakes have been decent, I was curious how the team would handle an enhanced port.
Sep 6, 2016
  • Release Date (NA): July 26, 2016
  • Release Date (EU): July 29, 2016
  • Release Date (JP): November 5, 2015
  • Publisher: Idea Factory
  • Developer: Compile Heart
  • Genres: RPG
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
An enhanced port of the PS3/Steam Fairy Fencer F. Enter Fang, an unlikely protagonist with a hungry stomach who learns that those who obtain a weapon known as a Fury will have their wish granted by the fairy residing within.
Raven Wilk

Metamophasize your heart unleash the hell inside

Only for the fairy to reveal that he needs to collect all 100 Furies scattered throughout the Zelwind region, much to the chagrin of Fang’s stomach. After satisfying his hunger through theft he finds himself imprisoned, and here we see the first major change to the original game as you’re thrust into a new dungeon with puzzle elements (sadly these new puzzles only come in only two flavours) as well as more character interaction making for some slight changes to character incentives. While there aren’t too many more of these changes in the first arc of the game they help to flesh out the environment and characters, of whom a few have been slightly rewritten.
But the main draw here is not just the upgrade to visuals and 60fps (as compared to PS3’s 30) but also the two new scenarios, either of which can take place instead of the game’s original second arc, with each new scenario adding about 12 hours to help flesh out characters. Which path you get depends purely on a gameplay mechanic. However once locked to a route, there’s no means of returning to where the story split. Instead you’re forced to redo the first arc of the game if you would like to try a different scenario, which is at least made somewhat tolerable in being able to skip all dialogue and cutscenes, and dungeons have a newly added dash mechanic which helps to reduce the tedium.

bat1t1.jpg bat1t2.jpg bat1t3.jpg bat1t4.jpg bat1t5.jpg

We will crack the dark as two thunders make full contact

Gameplay here is very similar to other Compile Heart turn based RPGs, you have your standard attacks, special attacks/magic, character specific skills and fairize.
Standard attacks are built up of combo strings you set, these allow you to fling enemies into the sky and chase them mid air for extra damage and also are used to break enemy shields depending on type. Breaking shields will trigger an avalanche attack where party members that have upcoming turns before an enemy join in with standard attacks. Special attacks/magic take up SP, but are the only means to target multiple enemies. It’s also where you trigger super powerful attacks in order to deliver a coup de grace. Character specific abilities vary from more damage output at the cost of SP, to shielding against enemy attacks, or analyzing enemies. And finally, Fairize, a transformation that can only be activated when your character’s tension is high enough. These offer stat increases, a cheesy music change, and access to a character’s most powerful skills. While the animation on all of these are cool at first they can get grating. Fortunately, all battle animations can be skipped.​
bat2t1.jpg bat2t2.jpg bat2t3.jpg bat2t4.jpg bat2t5.jpg
As opposed to the original’s limit of 3, battles can now have up to 6 party members participate. Contrary to what you might think, even normal encounters can actually be quite challenging this time around. Positioning your characters wisely can mean the difference between survival and death on normal, let alone harder difficulties. Depending on if you want the challenge or not, you can select 5 difficulties (two come from a free DLC). These can be changed at any time outside of battle.
As well as your standard RPG exp to get stronger, you’re also given WP which is used to unlock several of your weapon’s parameters, most notably weapon stats, new combos, and abilities.
Your ingame actions will also occasionally give you permanent stat increases.
Finally, the Furies you obtain ingame can be equipped for stats and passive abilities. That’s not a Fury’s sole purpose however, as these can also allow you to add attributes to dungeons such as extra exp gain, or to change a dungeon’s enemies, or inflict more damage. With two exceptions though, every positive effect comes with a drawback.​
bat3t1.jpg bat3t2.jpg bat3t3.jpg bat3t4.jpg bat3t5.jpg
Get up and go there is no stoppin’ now

Side quests add a few hours (and their timing has been altered to be less awkward/missable) but most of the meat will be from the three second arc routes, and each of those has multiple endings. It personally took me 50 hours to beat all three routes, whereas the original only took me 20. New Game Plus gives you options in what to carry over for next playthrough, but apart from that there’s Shukesoo's tower, which acts as a colloseum and is the only post game content.

End banner.jpg
+ Three different routes
+ Double the story of it’s original release
+ Story cutscenes and battle animations can be skipped
+ Characters have an interesting level of depth
- Dungeons are reused often
- Starting another 2nd arc route requires repeating the first arc
- Some minor glitching for side quests and optional dialogue in new arcs
7 Presentation
Compile Heart beautiful sprite work is great as always, and while not the most visually impressive game in terms of dungeons and battles, it runs at a solid 60fps. Story and character interaction is solid.
9 Gameplay
A bunch of quality of life improvements have been made, and a few things have been changed around to help make this the true definitive edition. Difficulty options alone allow for the gameplay to really shine here.
7 Lasting Appeal
Three different routes and multiple endings, offers customization for New Game Plus, Shukesoo’s tower (colosseum) is the only post game content.
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
A solid RPG well worth a look. The definitive way to experience Fairy Fencer F.

Chary likes this.