Based on the famed anime and manga series, Fairy Tail takes fans into an exciting adventure that takes place during one of the most exciting story arcs in the series, the Tenrou Island arc and Avatar arc, and well, it goes from there. Here’s our review for Fairy Tail!
+Unimaginable team-ups that create an astonishing experience
+Superb voice acting from the Japanese cast
+Visuals really pop and bring the anime to life
+Stays true to its source material
-Some of the in-game tasks feel redundant
-Pacing can feel slightly off at times due to side quests
Editor’s Note: Due to spoiler heavy content, all screenshots used are from within the first six hours of gameplay.
More often than not, anime-inspired video games aren’t actually all that great. We’ve seen them flop more than we have seen them succeed. For Koei Tecmo, it’s been a hit and miss and while I love the things they’ve done in the past, it seems that their common go-to formula is that of the Musou or brawler genres.
When Fairy Tail was first announced, I began to find my interest getting picked at due to the fact this one would take a different angle, following into the steps of Gust’s previous titles, namely their Atelier franchise. Bringing together the two is actually something awesome, and to be honest: Unique.
Fairy Tail steps into the best arcs of the series, the Tenrou Island Arc and spans into the Avatar arc
If you are familiar with Fairy Tail, good. If you aren’t familiar with Fairy Tail, that’s okay too. Those of you who are familiar with it, you’ll find that the game takes place at the end of the Tenrou Island arc and willingly weaves itself into the end of the Avatar arc, filling in between 122, to around, 282.
For those wondering what I mean, that’s how many episodes it bounces between, giving fans a chance to visit familiar locales, see familiar faces, and allow their characters to work together as they retread old, but somehow, familiar ground. Those who haven’t watched the anime, don’t worry, you aren’t being left behind as Fairy Tail does a great job filling in the gaps using an in-game encylopedia.
The only big downside to this approach? you’ll end up skipping over the most emotional parts of the game, seeing each of the characters grow into their more experienced selves. The entire experience itself turns into a beautiful RPG experience, allowing familiar faces such as Lucy, Gray, Natsu, and Erza to become core members of your team.
Fairy Tails JRPG experience might feel rather familiar to fans of the Atelier franchise
Without jumping into story-driven spoilers, fans will fulfill their entire experience through the use of the guildhall of the Fairy Tail guild. You’ll take up requests, embark on journies, upgrade the clan hall itself, and even smack Gray and Natsu around when you aren’t raiding Lucy’s home to change your character’s outfits.
Fans of titles such as Atelier Ryza or Atelier Rorona might find themselves on familiar grounds. The game itself follows in the steps of Gust’s previous titles, allowing players to take on requests. These requests, instead of requiring crafting, will see you leave the guildhall with a team of your choosing, to wipe out specific enemies, finding missing items, or hunting down a piece of material in order to upgrade your faciliities.
You’ll als of ind that some of your story progression is haulted based on the rank of the Fairy Tail guild to ensure progression can be made. Combat also takes place in turn-based affairs, allowing you to choose between powerful spells of the members of the Fairy Tail guild. You can use Gray’s powerful ice hammer to knock enemies around, use the sky dragon slayer Wendy in order to unleash giant twisters.
Each powerful wizard comes with their own unique effects
As this is a game about magic, majestic creatures, and the experiences of the Fairy Tail world, you can also expect every character to play uniquely from the other. Gray is an amazing brute, using his ability to wield ice-based powers in order to stun, knock back, and buff his team.
Lucy can be used to heal, buff, and deal damage of almost every element with her use of each of her keys, summoning familiar faces such as Capricorn, Virgo, and so forth, to unleash their astonishing powers just as she would in the anime or the manga.
Awakening a character, especially in critical moments, is one of the most important things you can do, allowing you to get your team back up and running as quickly as you can. There’s also the importance of having your team ready to work together with one another the best they can, ensuring that you have each enemy resistance covered the best you can.
But don’t think just because you blast your way through the main campaign that you are done. You’re far from it and you have a crap ton left to do. Especially if you never worked in unlocking new content, ranked up all your characters, completed character quests, or even going back through the game to experience areas you might have missed earlier on in.
Fairy Tail does have a few minor shortcomings
Now, you might find that redundancy to kick in sooner or later if you cut through as many side quests as you can. Those side quests will grind in some standing that can be used to rank up your characters, progress your story, and even get a few items you might actually need to progress.
The downside here should be clear: It gets redundant. Yes, it does get very redundant as you will undertake quests, hunt down specific items that are scattered around the world and or from a specific creature. Some will require you to even grind that very specific creature, albeit maybe 3-4 times, but even them, you will do this quite a bit unless you are fortunate enough to get them through random counters along the world-based items that can be collected.
Whether or not you mind redundancy, you might find it to be a minor irritation. Regardless, Fairy Tail is an absolutely solid title. It’s one that stands equally among previous Gust and Koei Tecmo turn-based JRPGs. With smooth graphics, solid voice acting, and a true-to-source story, Fairy Tail will keep you busy and wanting to visit your friends at the guildhall.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release Date: Available Now
The experience will last you around fifty hours to complete if you try to do every little thing you can. While that sounds like a long experience, it’s not, and it’s one well-worth having as long as you can somehow break up the redundancy of side-quest grinding and only being able to take on one at a time.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook today.