A fairy satirical adventure
Fairy Fencer F follows Fang, a good for nothing teenager with a hunger problem, who stumbles upon the fairy Eryn and is given the job of resurrecting a goddess who will protect the world from darkness. Along the way Fang meets many other groups of fairies and those who wield their power (known as Fencers), and it’s not long before Fang is forced into a large scale conflict that will change his life forever.
The story is highly unimaginable, using nearly every JRPG cliché in the book and never daring to stray from the formulaic design. The thing is, this is all done on purpose for the sake of satirical comedy.
The game’s bland story and one dimensional characters are all such poor copy-and-paste affairs from other RPGs that it’s laughable, but I can’t help feeling this was the games intention. Everything is done to mock the genre.
Take the lead protagonist as an example. Fang is the least likable protagonist in recent memory, being rude and blunt with everyone, often telling them to go away or outright not caring about what happens to them.
Yet, even though he’s a narcissistic oaf, everyone longs to be his friend and will sacrifice themselves for his sake within moments of meeting him. Fang even comments that he finds it weird that people flock to him, and even comments that he should get everyone else to fight on his behalf.
The game plays it that Fang is the one character who isn’t blind to the tropes to the genre. When everyone reacts to something typical to RPGs (such as a villain becoming a hero) they do it in a very stereotypical manner, but Fang just sighs and points out how obvious it was.
While this is funny the first few times, having a character rarely react to situations leaves a disconnect between the character and player, making him seem less like a relatable hero and more of an emotionless plank of wood.
The irony of much of this satire is that, while Fang may sign and complain that he has to fight the same boss for the third time in a row, you still actually have to fight the boss three times in a row.
It’s annoying when the game points out that what’s going on is boring, but then still expects you to do it regardless. It’s almost an insult to the player, as if saying “the games you like are stupid, now play it anyway.”
The game also takes the mick when it comes to how challenges work. The player will be rewarded a health increase just for jumping three times, or will get an attack boost for not dying in more than ten fights.
These challenges are silly and give off a little chuckle, but much like the self-aware dialogue it stops being funny when you realise you still have to do the required tasks to gain these boosts.
Mocking the player is funny once, amusing twice, and just rude a third time.
Sadly, apart from the self-aware dialogue, Fairy Fencer F’s gameplay is hardly something to mention. The gameplay is similar to that of the Hyper Dimension Neptunia series, having the player roam a small area in a battle arena to attack enemies. Unlike Neptunia, the majority of enemies are bland fantasy monsters that don’t do much to make the repetitive battle system any more engaging.
The combat is unimaginative and unfulfilling to the point it becomes a chore.
Fairy Fencer F attempts to break the JRPG formula by sticking so close to it that it becomes a mockery. However somewhere along the line it forgot how to be fun, and became a bland and sluggish mess that fails to capture any of the fun that the genre proudly exudes. Some may find a few laughs here and there, but most will find the tiresome combat and uninspired story reason enough to leave this game alone.
Should you play Fairy Fencer F?
Thanks to NIS America for supplying a review copy