Fairy Tail, for the manga and anime enthusiasts, this name immediately rings a bell. The series has been known in the Western world for several years and has even grown into one of the best and most famous anime series of all time. Nevertheless, we had to wait a long time in the West before we could get started with a game of this franchise. But after a long wait, the time has finally come, and although you would expect this to be another fighting game, Koei Tecmo has just presented an RPG for us.
The game takes us into the world of Earthland, where magic is the norm and wizard guilds are known to help anyone who pay them for their hard work in compensation. Fairy Tail is the guild of main characters Natsu, Lucy, Gray and Erza. However, the game does not start at the very beginning, but just at the end of the first great saga, where the characters just meet arch enemy Zeref, a dark and immortal wizard and with the dragon Acnology. Saved by the ghost of the guild founder, Mavis Vermillion, the protagonists remain trapped in a timeless dimension for seven years. Back in the real world, they will have to deal with the recent times when Fairy Tail fell as a guild in rank to the lowest spot when it was just one step away to reach the S level, the maximum to aim for . This is where Fairy Tail really kicks off in a video game version and it’s up to us to make Fairy Tail famous and stronger again, while facing new big enemies and dragons.
Fairy Tail is a very classic JRPG, in which you control Natsu (but with a button you can quickly switch to any member of the guild you want to use) and explore cities, wild areas and dungeons, collect objects and face the monsters that populate the areas, which are always visible on the screen and which, once touched, give rise to an old-fashioned turn-based battle. In which the order of the actions is determined by the statistics of the characters. As in most classic RPGs like Dragon Quest, the character is arranged in a straight line with the monsters on the other side, split up like a chessboard. In addition to attacks with normal punches and kicks, which is practically never done, from a special menu you can select the different magical techniques of the characters, which cause damage in precise quadrants of the arena and it is up to the player to understand how the different position spells to hit as many enemies as possible.
Spells have an elemental base, which affects the damage done to enemies. Fiery monsters cut a fireball’s damage in half, while ice monsters suffer twice as much as our attack hits. Stroke after stroke, a combo meter will also fill up. After which it is full, a large team attack can be used to launch a chain attack and do great damage. During this attack, you must press the right button at the right time to get the most out of your attack, usually resulting in an instant kill.
By selecting the correct attacks in succession, the possibility exists that the enemies will not even get a chance to attack you and will die by their turn. Of course, the strongest magic attacks also have a wide range, and the difference in mana is so low that you don’t have to worry about running out. This is a bit of a shame in the long sense, because it takes away the strategic aspect of what is otherwise an interesting combat.
The world of Earthland can be explored all the way, there are cities populated by NPCs who can sometimes even ask us for help with small requests for items (to be found in the chests, scattered around the scenario or to defeat monsters) or who you can just chat with. The city scenarios are pleasantly designed, going hand in hand with the manga / anime, while the barren lands, forests and various dungeons are less inspired, often these are simple mazes with monsters dotted around the map. Although these are quite easy to avoid given that the AI is not the smartest.
But in Fairy Tail you don’t fight alone. After all, the main goal of Natsu and friends is to revive the glory of their guild, in view of the coveted level S. In addition to the honor, the group must also pay the financial costs of paying for years of neglect of their workplace and literally renovating the building in which their guild operated. As the plot progresses, we must therefore accept any additional work possible to use money and items to enlarge the rooms, increase the merchandise of the shops that sell magic equipment and care items, improve the blacksmith shop to make the bricks with which you can modify characters to make them stronger.
Even the group’s morale needs to be kept high, making real-life replacements that tell us a little bit about the characters and strengthen the bonds between the team members, which will clearly pay off in the fights, especially by taking the damage done in the completed combos. increase by the most bound fighters. The individual characters outside of the normal level also have “star grades” to increase to gain more powerful skills and also new outfits (which are a huge fan service for fans of the series, especially bikinis!). As we renovate the place and complete the secondary tasks that can be selected from a specific bulletin board, the Fairy Tail guild is getting more and more points, allowing the group to complete the S level challenges.
So there are several things to do, which will also find fulfillment in the end game, which also reveals a full-fledged additional chapter. But the variety is certainly not spectacular, as almost every side mission can be solved in the same way, with the discovery of an object or a collision to save someone or simply defeat monsters that are harassing the population. Even the main plot does not offer a wide variety of situations, because between one cut scene and the next you only have to go from point A to point B, a factor that makes you put the game on autopilot, say and in. moving forward a straight line.
The game is certainly fun, but the impression is that everything stays a bit on the surface and that nothing gets deepened into the growth system of the characters, the guild or the magic. with 16 playable characters and so many stories that the anime characters have to tell, Koei could bring more emotion. Anyway, the game looks very good with nice and sometimes funny animations. In addition, the music and voices come from the series itself and you have something that especially fans of the series will be satisfied with. Although it may be with many question marks that some beginners will start with this game in the first hours.
Fairy Tail is a nice ode to the series with some interesting ideas, but unfortunately in some areas it lingers a bit to make this RPG a perfect game.