Compile heart are known for a few things, RPG’s, bad graphics and fan service, I do enjoy two of these things.
Surprisingly Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, (Further known as FFF) managed to almost break one of these trends! Now at this point, most people probably know Compile Heart from their neptunia series of RPG’s, which were very story driven games with a wacky story line that drew many people in.
FFF joins in on this background with some very noticeable character design and gameplay elements, story wise it isn’t as wacky, but it has a decent story that will draw you in if you like your Japanese style tropes regardless.
Okay it’s not THAT unique, you have your generic MC that looks a little too much like he came out of Sword art online, and some female protags that look like they are a little too similar to a few gods from another series compile heart owns but that’s fine.
So we have a RPG, now I don’t want to go through everything people already expect from one of these games. Where this game stands out is its combat system.
Each turn you can move within a circle and deal certain attacks in your range, then your enemies can also do the same. I really like combat systems like this, and remind me of games like Phantom Brave (Amazing game too) where using your environment to your advantage makes each of your fights really feel important.
The game starts you off easy with simple enemies slowly ramping up the difficulty, I wouldn’t say there becomes a point where it becomes very difficult, to the point where it’s all hinged on your strategy, but having a good strategy and planning out your attacks definitely help your more difficult fights.
Movement is easy, and I really do love special attacks in compile heart, they are nothing short of amazing, and it always makes me really excited to learn a new special move to see what it will do next. It is very satisfying to defeat your enemies. I thought the movement system would get boring after a while, and instead become a chore, however It is the kind of satisfying system that you can use repeatedly, I did enjoy it.
Story wise, you have a main guy, going around saving people, there is plenty of fan service and the obligatory bath scene, which I’m sure is tantalising for most, and something becoming a staple in their games. Whilst I say this, there are different routes to the story, which is a blessing and a curse, as you always want to make the best choice, and now I’m sitting here knowing I will end up replaying this game just to know if I did make the right choices or if there was an even better ending waiting for me that I missed.
Now I said at the start the compile heart is not known for the graphics of their games, and really they are not, their PS3 titles looked nothing short of a PS2 game, with awful muddy textures. Coming to PS4 it seems that…its similar again, games always seem to be a generation behind, FFF has some really great looking areas…for a PS3/360 game, I would expect more from a PS4 game when this is something that came out AFTER uncharted 4.
However, even when saying that this is easily their prettiest game to date, with some very expansive vistas and areas looking amazing. Textures in locations are still muddy and much lower than what you would expect, but character detail and monster detail is top notch. I would love to see a game by Compile Heart look as good as one of the Naruto or Dragon ball z games, but even still this is better than expected.
FFF is a game that doesn’t try to make itself stand out by crazy new features, but by being god damn good at what it does at its core, which is a solid gameplay experience, and a solid RPG too. Fun characters, fun story and fun combat makes any game worth playing, whilst there is the downside of graphics when playing, its not noticeable for the most part.
Add this to a game where you will probably end up playing through it multiple times and you get a game well worth its cost in the store, whilst I do not usually attempt a game the 2nd time, this might be one of the few I actually attempt that with to see what other endings I can get.
Overall FFF is a solid RPG experience, and worth a 8/10, only downsides I can find with this game is graphics and a slightly generic MC character, but with everything else being so solid, I can’t complain too hard.