By William Haderlie / July 20th, 2016
The next party member is Pippin. I have no bloody idea what Pippin actually is, and neither does anything else. But pippin is that green cat-like thing with the sword stuck in its head. And he’s the actual Fencer in that picture, that human looking person behind him is his fairy Soji. In the original game he was mostly just there for comic relief. Despite his looks he’s apparently a very old man and he is intent on imparting all the wisdom of his years on these young people. If you’ve played other Compile Heart games, you’ve likely seen some part of him as bonus material and outfits for those games. Once again, the developers recognized him as a weak character, so they gave him a much better story with the new content. He ended up being an invaluable party member, not really for the story aspects, but because of his combat buff. For the really elite content I considered him indispensable for my lineup.
It may seem impossible for a number of hours, but the assassin Ethel will eventually join your party. Initially she is only able to communicate with the word “Kill”. She says that word in series and her fairy, Karin, translates it into normal sentences. They make a very cute, but deadly, team. Having her sent to kill you is bad enough, but when Fang opens his mouth and embarrasses her, there is no going back. Eventually you are able to get her to join your party, and with everyone’s help she starts to resemble the normal mannerisms of a girl her age, if always a bit shy.
In a running theme, Apollonius was also a former enemy that you were finally able to convince to join your party. He never really did seem to fit in with the crowd of bad guys, though. He has mostly been one of those wandering warrior types that only cares about their prowess in battle. There does seem to be a soft spot where his little sister is concerned, though. His fairy is as intimidating as the giant sword he carries around, the dragon Seguro. For the new content they went the opposite direction of the other two I mentioned. It seems that they thought he was a bit too cool before, so they brought him down to earth a bit with the new story (perhaps to make him feel a bit more relatable).
It’s a bit of a spoiler to even say that Lola eventually joins your crew, given that it takes until almost the very end of the first game for that to happen. Because she joins so late, there is very little to her story other than the surprise of who her fairy is (I won’t spoil that) and the fact that she loves nothing else but money. Thankfully on the new Evil Goddess arc she is one of the first ones to join, and as a result she ends up being far more fleshed out in this version (hence the crying above). She actually ends up being one of the focal points of that story, so the fan demand was apparently quite high. She is relentlessly adorable and has powerful magic, so she ended up being a constant companion in battle as well.
The last of the initial game (and Goddess arc) characters is Sherman. He is a bit of a… well, I’ll be nice. I’ll just say that he is the Yin to Fang’s Yang. He is not in your party for long (as a voiced character, you can play as him in New Game+ for the whole game if you want), but he leaves quite the impression. The fact that he is Fang’s opposite, no matter what major decisions the protagonist makes, was not very well told in the first game. But in the new story arcs it becomes apparent that regardless of what Fang does, he will do the opposite, kind of like the two main characters of the X anime. His Fairy is a robot named Ryushin, which is definitely fitting for his personality.
The first new party member to join your squad in the new Evil Goddess arc is the gorgeous Marianna. She is rather haughty (although not really as bad as Tiara herself, you can imagine how well those two don’t get along), and she seems to be a bit older than Fang or Tiara. Marianna is also acutely aware of how beautiful she is, and she uses this to her advantage. That being said, even though she works for an evil organization, she genuinely loves taking care of orphans. During the first game that company did not hesitate to use that perceived weakness against her. So thankfully this time you are able to help her break free of that yoke and become a genuinely better person even beyond her hobby. Her fairy is Khalara and she is the only multi-element caster in the game. Instead of only using one type of magic (for Fang it’s fire magic), she can actually use both wind and lightning magic. Given that she is also a great healer, she ends up being the premier magic user in the game and a wonderful party member to have.
The other new party member players of the first game will not even recognize. His name is Noie and he is one of the entirely new characters to the game (of which there are also several more). He’s a sniper assassin for the bad guys in the Evil Goddess arc (a different organization than the normal arc). Most of his life seems to involve finding someone who will give him his greatest wish. His greatest wish is to die in a significant way so he can be reincarnated as an insect. Yes…you read that last sentence correctly. This guy does have a few screws loose. With his fairy, I can’t spoil it, so you’ll just have to wait and see on that one. Unfortunately he still doesn’t get a lot of story in this version because of how late in the game he joins. But given his horrible personality, that’s not such a tragedy. He’s not a bad character, though, but Marianna is the better character and a much better party member.
That is quite the laundry list of characters, even before they added on two more. So it was quite a nice addition to the game to be able to fight with 6 party members instead of the original 3. True, the enemy health and number of enemies that can attack at once were rebalanced, but you get a lot more opportunity to fight with your favorite characters. Given how different they all behave in combat, especially with their different magic and different Fairize forms, it also caused the need for more strategy in who all you include. But I’ll get more into the combat system and it’s changes in the next review part. Obviously I did not cover any of the major villains here, and that was both a space concern and to avoid major spoilers. I will just say that the rogues’ gallery of villains has ballooned since the first release. And with all the new stories that I experienced with the new version, I could not wait to spend even more time with all these characters that I just told you about. I’m clamoring for a sequel, and I spent over 110 hours on this one before writing this review. But more on that in the next part, stay tuned!
Pages: 1 2Compile HeartFairy Fencer FFairy Fencer F: Advent Dark ForceIdea FactoryIdea Factory InternationalJRPGPlayStation 4