Fairy Tail Review
Fairy Tail is a long-running, Japanese franchise that spans its manga, anime, figurines, and more. After a number of delays leading up to its release, the game is finally releasing worldwide. For the uninitiated, Fairy Tail revolves around a guild of mages, telling the members’ individual stories as well as a much larger narrative. As someone who kept up with the manga’s original release, it was definitely exciting to see a proper console game released.
As mentioned, Fairy Tail is a mages guild that includes protagonists Natsu Dragneel, Gray Fullbuster, Lucy Heartfilia, and many more. Fairy Tail takes place just at the end of the Tenrou Island arc, which is an interesting starting point for the game. Essentially, this is roughly halfway through the source material. While this is an ideal starting point for the game in that it makes some sense to start the characters at a lower level, there are some vital story points and character development that is skipped over. The game does have a brief recap of the preceding arcs, they are extremely generalized and do not offer much. While the game does seem to depend on the player to have prior knowledge of the series, players new to the franchise shouldn’t have much of an issue playing through the game, but may not understand some character interactions.
Although typical manga/anime adaptations to video games are usually developed as musou or fighting games, Fairy Tail takes on a turn-based JRPG form, which is a nice change of pace. Specifically, battles operate within a turn-based system, but also feature a grid in combat in which enemies are placed and can be interacted with by manoeuvring. For example, you can push an enemy back, so that your next attack will affect multiple enemies. Only enemies are placed on this grid, and character attacks may affect multiple spots on the grid, with certain spots receiving greater damage. In addition to this, a chain attack system is in place to do a great amount of damage.
Choose Your Wizard(s)
There are 16 playable characters, ranging from the main characters to prominent side characters. Each character has their own unique fighting style and magic, which affect enemy weaknesses differently. Ranking up characters is vital to their development in combat, and upgrading/ranking up plays an important role outside of battle as well, affecting both the guild itself and character relationships.
Outside of combat situations, players can advance the main story, complete character stories, find side quests, improve the guild headquarters, and more. Players have access to roam the town that the guild is located in, Magnolia Town, letting players interact with NPCs and guild mates alike.
Visually, Fairy Tail does a solid job in replicating the look and feel of the anime material. While artistically the game appears well done, the game does not run as technically sound as it might appear, especially outside of battle. However, battle sequences are smooth and flashy, and relatively reminiscent of the show.
For its sound quality, the game features music seemingly directly from the show, as well as background music that at the very least feels authentic. However authentic it is though, the high-energy, upbeat songs playing at regular moments can get a bit much. The game only features Japanese voice acting, but after some quick research, it appears that most (if not all) of the characters are voiced by their actual voice actors, which is a nice touch.
Overall, it feels as though Fairy Tail is targeted toward players who have knowledge or experience of the franchise already. As someone who knows Fairy Tail, it was very easy for me to understand and enjoy the game. While it starts at a point that makes sense for the purpose of the game, it does seem like it may alienate some who are hopping in for the first time. Despite this, Fairy Tail’s premise should still allow for newcomers to enjoy the experience, and perhaps lead them toward the source material as well. While Fairy Tail doesn’t do anything new, it does a lot of the common RPG elements well enough, and ties in the source material effectively as well. For fans of the series, this game is a no-brainer, for everyone else, it could be worth a try.
*** A PC code was provided by the publisher ***
- Lots of playable characters
- Original voice actors
- Battles look great
- Solid RPG
- Lack of good introduction/world building
- Graphics could use some touch ups
- Music gets repetitive