REVIEW: Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force – Part 2

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

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Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force | Pitiful

Even this group struggled to survive.

Here I should put in a warning. If you are going to go Evil Goddess arc, prepare for some brutal fights. The group that you see above is how I completed that route, but it was not easy even at those levels (and yes, it does say 110 hours). However, I also wanted to test out its real challenge for our audience. So I decided to complete that entire arc on Hard difficulty level to get the absolute most challenge out of the game. This ended up being quite fun, even if it was definitely challenging. I could have knocked off at least 20-40 levels from my party and still beat that arc if I was on Normal or Easy, but it still would have been challenging. The normal enemies in the final dungeons for that route are level 100. For the main game those normal final level enemies were about 35-40. One of the few complaints I have about the new content is that I didn’t realize that I had unlocked the flag for Evil Goddess already or how difficult it would be. So I ended up being quite underleveled initially for it. You can only enter it after New Game+, but I would strongly recommend you do both Goddess arc and Vile God routes before you attempt Evil Goddess. I was still able to do so, but it required a lot of grinding.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force | Grinding

If you are going to grind some levels, World Shape like a madman.

Thankfully the new enemies in this route, even if they are pallet swapped and have the same names, give you a lot more experience and WP than the original ones did. So with my World Shaping set up like above I was able to earn levels and WP like gangbusters. You just have to really be careful and know what you are doing, and get very good at symbol attacks so you can kill them before they can touch you. But with the above configuration and dungeon, I was able to earn about 2 million xp and 2000 WP every time I went through that dungeon. Rinse and repeat and you’ll be over level 100 in no time. And you’ll still earn quite a bit of xp even in the 150-170 range. You don’t gain a ton of power per level after that point, but you do gain more power than you did in the Neptunia games. Also, unlike previous titles, you can definitely go above level 99 without any additional DLC. It was very obvious that with the Evil Goddess arc they meant for you to quickly eclipse that level.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force | Massive

This one zone is almost as far as you can see here.

But stronger enemies with new abilities are not the only changes to the zones in the new arc. There are also several entirely new dungeons. One of the new dungeon types is the jail type. You get a brief preview of this type at the beginning of the game now, which made for a drastic change from the original story. But that jail motif dungeon is rather small, it just gets you used to the concept of finding different colored keys for different doors. There is a much more massive version early on in the Evil Goddess arc that is much more difficult and much more of a maze. But that is a rather new concept for Compile Heart/Idea Factory games, to have real dungeon puzzles. The final dungeon of that arc is also a puzzle dungeon, but doesn’t use keys or have jail cells. There are a couple other new types that I won’t spoil, but then there is the one dungeon that you can see above. As a first for this company they truly created a massive zone. There have been some long dungeons (especially in Omega Quintet), but they have tended to be long corridors. The zone that you see above is a different kind of large. This has more in common with an MMO zone that will take a long period to travel across by foot. And because of this they also give you a new ability to travel quickly across this zone. But the sheer size and beauty of this zone is quite stunning, and it has me very excited to see what this developer is going to do next.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force | Beautiful

So beautiful it will bring a tear to your eye.

One other aspect that adds to the beauty of that zone is its music. It has probably my favorite zone music of any IF/CH game, although the Ice Cave music in this game is also a strong contender. Overall the music for this game is extremely strong. In the Neptunia games they have shown how good they are, but I might actually like this soundtrack even more than Megadimension Neptunia V-II. And that is shocking, even to me. The sound seems to be much more crisp in the new dungeons as well, but that may be due to the PS4 having a better sound card than the PS3 had. Unfortunately most of the in-engine graphics are still very PlayStation 3 looking. And since they were using the same assets, that makes it over into the new dungeons. But the CG scenes are quite a bit more crisp and colorful than they were in the original game. There are also a ton more of them in this game to see, especially since you’ve only ever seen 1 of the 3 story arcs that are included in this version. While there is some of the influence of the famous Yoshitaka Amano still to be seen here, most of the really fantastic character design is much more reminiscent of Tsunako’s work, which is not a bad thing at all. She can draw a waifu like no one else in the business.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force | Final

Both dangerous, and dangerously adorable.

There were really only a couple complaints that I have, and none of them are about the translation, which is very spot on. But you have to figure that the team has been getting better and better with all their translations over the past few years. My first complaint was valid in the first version of the game as well, and that’s the fact that a couple things are not explained very well. One of the primary examples is the Shukesoo’s Tower. Not only do they not adequately explain how it works, but they also don’t tell you that there are 5 more Furies to be earned by completing it. You don’t learn that until you finish up to a certain level and earn your first trophy. The other complaint has to do with this specific version. There seems to be at least 2 quests that I could not complete. One of them in the Evil Goddess Arc seems to not have that part available at all (and likewise I can’t craft 2 very powerful items because of this). And the other one is a quest from the normal Goddess arc that cannot be completed now because that enemy does not have that part on it’s loot list. There was only one enemy that dropped that part, and now that the Hard Difficulty ring loot is there, it does not have that loot part any more.

So hopefully they will do a patch to fix those things. Especially if it’s going to stop me and others from the Platinum trophy. More than likely there are going to be many people that will want to get that Platinum, because this is a really great game. I don’t mind paying a full $59.99 for this game because it is no longer even remotely a short game. Go through that Goddess arc, and enjoy the first story, but after that be prepared for a fun and challenging experience with the two new arcs, and potentially over a hundred hours worth of JRPG goodness. I liked the game before, it was flawed but had some good ideas. I love this version though.

Review Score

Review Copy Provided By Publisher

About William Haderlie

Born in the 1970's, I've been an avid participant for much of video game history. A lifetime of being the sort of supergeek entrenched in the sciences and mathematics has not curbed my appreciation for the artistry of video games, cinema, and especially literature.

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