Review: Fairy Tail
Anime fans know that games in this subgenre are often fighting games. The next title wants to move more towards turn-based combat, how does this work out?
Fairy Tail is a fairly well-known anime. Anime fans, as with many shonen, have a love-hate relationship with this series. Some don't like it at all and others praised it to heaven. An anime categorized with among others Naruto, One Piece, Gintama and so on. So it was only a matter of time for Bandai Namco to release a game about it. That time is now, because Fairy Tail can be found on the shelves from today. Is this game worth it?
The cinematics in Fairy Tail are sometimes terrible to watch, as the camera perspectives change more often than the fps. Some perspectives were also very oddly positioned. It often felt not organic because of this. If you switch shots after 1-2 seconds, you'll quickly lose my attention.
However, the storyline is kept alive by the strong characters and the good story from the anime itself. The characters each have a strong personality and a nice synergy with each other. I can never get enough of Happy's eye animations. You follow the Tenrou Island arc, so some knowledge about the anime is required. I personally found this odd, given that many anime choose to tell the whole story, accelerated or not.
Fans will always be happy to see Natsu on screen, now you can play him too. As well as other characters from the anime including Lucy, Erza and more!
However, many plot moments are mentioned in the game, through flashbacks and the possibility to see them in a kind of encyclopedia setting, which was very cool. The story keeps the game going at many moments, because Fairy Tail is a well-written story in my opinion.
Fairy Tail doesn't do much from the get-go and doesn't really make a great first impression either. This has to do with a number of factors, one of which is performance. The game ran weirdly bad on my PS4. Yes, I have the base PS4 and understand that the game runs better on the Pro. But, if a game like Ghost of Tsushima does run decently on the standard console, then a game like this is certainly allowed. This aspect bothered me regularly throughout the game. I should add that the game has received a pre-launch patch, which should smoothen the performance in many parts.
No fighting game?
Yes, no, you read that right: Fairy Tail is not a fighting game. There is certainly fighting and piew-piews with magic balls. However, the game opts for a turn-based style. This feels like a total relief for this genre. I'm not entirely convinced when it comes to the final execution, but it felt very refreshing not to be presented with an arena fighter for once.
The turn-based combat itself is quite therapeutic when it works. Characters have attacks based on their character in the actual series. Each attack is separate, with its own power level, range and animation. This is executed quite well. Fighting would be more fun with full-fledged animations, but you also notice that the budget for the game is not as high as in Naruto titles. Combo attacks are also pretty cool to see and perform. The combat is pretty cool, but unfortunately not as deep as in Persona, for example.
Quests therefore mainly consist of the same tasks. Kill this, collect that, find so-and-so. This quickly becomes repetitive. It's up to you to give your guild more in all areas. Your guild needs money, and fans. The missions are very boring in the beginning, but get a lot better later in the game. Expanding your guild also allows you to strengthen your characters. This way you can earn HP and MP.
The game doesn't run great, but it looks pretty good. Characters come to life well and areas don't look bad and repetitive. Looks like a lot of budget has gone into this aspect of the game. Unfortunately, graphics aren't everything. The game is okay, but it looks cool! Attacks are also easy to distinguish from each other and the humor among the characters is partly due to the graphics.
Fairy Tail falls short in every area, but lays ground for a better game in the future. This seems to be a trend with many anime titles, as if they want to taste the market. Also here is my verdict: If you are a fan of the series, then the game can turn out well for you. Have you never seen an episode of Fairy Tail? Then this is probably not your game. It's not an outrageously bad game, so don't get me wrong, but it's still a long way from where it should be.
However, Fairy Tail deserves my respect on one specific aspect, they try to bring something new to an otherwise very repetitive genre by introducing turn based combat. That made the game refreshing on a number of levels!
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