I don’t have anything against remasters and remakes, but in the modern age they can get a little absurd. Take the PlayStation 4 edition of Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, for instance. It’s a remaster/update/whatever of the original Fairy Fencer F, which was released for the PS3 all of three years ago. That sort of thing is enough to put one off buying new games at all just in case a superior, updated version comes along. Despite the absurdity of releasing this sort of update so soon, however, Advent Dark Force adds enough to make coming back to Fairy Fencer F worthwhile.
As before, Fairy Fencer F follows Fang, a reluctant hero saddled with the duty of a Fencer along with a fairy sidekick named Eryn. Fencers explore the world searching for Furies, magic weapons powered by fairies that serve as the seals on both the world’s Goddess and the despicable Vile God. By collecting the Furies, Fencers work to break the seals…but which seals are broken is up to you, and in Advent Dark Force the choices you make matter just a bit more than previous versions.
If you’ve played the previous versions of Fairy Fencer F, then Advent Dark Force isn’t going to shake up your experience all that much. It certainly feels tighter and more polished, though, and it sprinkles new content throughout the game. Coming across several new dungeons early in the adventure was a nice treat, while later on you’re able to take the game’s story in some entirely new directions that weren’t explored in the original release. Combat has also been updated, allowing you to bring in up to six characters into battle at once; the original game’s difficulty has been tweaked a bit as well, and if you play on Hard you might even have to strategize a little.
Perhaps most importantly, the game’s visuals benefit from the transition to a more powerful system. Fairy Fencer F’s PS3 release was plagued with horrific slowdown and framerate drops; Advent Dark Force, meanwhile, maintains a buttery-smooth 60FPS much like the original game’s Steam release. It’s night and day, really.
Fans of the previous release are going to love the new content and improved gameplay in Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, to say nothing of the vastly more polished visuals and framerate. Meanwhile, if you’re new to the game, you’d do well to start here. Fans of Idea Factory’s trademark Hyperdimension Neptunia series in particular should check this one out, as these games owe a lot to one another and play very much alike.