Game: Fairy Tail
Genre: Roleplaying Game
System: Nintendo Switch (Also available on PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam)
Developer | Publisher: Gust| Koei Tecmo Europe, Koei Tecmo America
Age Rating: US T | EU 12+
Price: USD $59.99 | CAD $79.37 | AUS $105.00| UK £54.99 | EU €69,99
Release Date: July 30th (EU), July 31st (US)
Review code provided by Koei Tecmo Europe!
Fairy Tail is a JRPG developed by Gust and published by Koei Tecmo, based on the manga and anime of the same name which is written by Hiro Mashima (who also wrote RAVE/Rave Master). Is this game a worthy treat for fans of the series and newcomers? Let’s find out!
Fairy Tail’s visuals look pretty nice even if a bit rough around the edges on the Nintendo Switch version with the character models looking really good and the CGI Cutscenes of the game also being well-made. Performance-wise this game is really well optimized aiming for 1080p 30FPS in Docked mode and 720p 30FPS in Handheld mode. On the Switch Lite though I will say that there are a few dips here or there but overall it’s well optimized. The Original Soundtrack is also really well done, sounding very similar to the anime’s soundtrack which is a mix of Rock and Celtic inspired music. The Japanese voice acting is also really well done.
Straight into the action
(Spoilers inbound for the anime and manga)
Fairy Tail’s story starts by throwing you straight into the final moments of the Tenrou Island Arc where the Fairy Tail guild confront and defeat Hades, the master of the Dark Guild and Grimoire Heart who was planning to awaken a powerful and legendary black mage known as Zeref. Also they have to find the Grand Magic World within the Abyss of Sorcery to obtain the Primordial Magic.
Hades meets his end at the hand of the Legendary Black Mage’s hand who mentions that Hades has called upon the Dragon known as Acnologia who marks the end of an era according to Zeref. Fairy Tail manages to hold back the dragon by using a very powerful protective spell that sealed the guild away for seven years upon its use.
Upon returning back to Magnolia they find out that the once well-known, famous (and admittedly infamous) Fairy Tail guild has everything seized from them as the guild amassed a huge amount of debt over the seven years that they had been sealed as well as having fallen down into the lowest rank of Guilds in the world of Fiore.
It’s now up to the members of Fairy Tail to repay their debt and get back to being one of the number one guilds in a lengthy and fun adventure that lasts several arcs after the time-skip!
I will say that the writing is entertaining and really spot-on as an adaptation of the popular manga and anime. However, I will also admit that in a way starting the story in the middle of the source material before a seven-year time-skip can leave newcomers confused. I didn’t have much issue getting into the story considering I have watched a good bit of the anime and the game does make references to prior arcs in the story but it’s still a point to be made.
Next to the main plot you also have several side-stories that follow the many members of the Fairy Tail guild and their bonds. These events can rank up Character Ranks and increase Bond levels with the various members of the cast to represent the theme of friendship that may be a love it or hate it thing for fans of the source material. There is a lot of fanservice for fans of the manga and anime here and I like that.
Fun and fitting Gameplay
Instead of following the usual genres for console anime games, Fairy Tail is a turn-based JRPG which has you travelling the various locations that the world of Fairy Tail has to offer. You are completing requests that either move the story along or act as side-quests with most of the fetch quests being relegated to “Community Service” requests. There are a lot of similar elements that the game shares with Gust’s Atelier series. Like crafting Lacrima that you can equip to your characters out of the items you collect as well as upgrading the Guilds facilities and completing tasks which have no deadline so you can take things as slow and easy as you like.
The Battle system is really fun to play around with. You can take up to 5 characters in your party (however you are limited to 3 at the start of the game) each with their own strengths, weaknesses and Magic skills to use. It really reminded me of earlier games in the Atelier series. Fighting the enemies fills up the Fairy Gauge and when maxed out allows you to perform a Chain attack. This allows Party members to chain their attacks and finish off the enemies with high damage which also can destroy any sort of rubble and obstacles in the way, opening up closed routes that require a certain amount of damage to be done to enemies.
It may not be the deepest RPG experience but I will say that the gameplay is really fun and it fits the source material pretty well. The fact that Gust and Koei Tecmo are trying something else rather than a Warriors game or an arena fighter is a cool thing in my book too!
Fairy Tail is a very fun and enjoyable game even if it’s not the deepest experience. The game is a decent adaptation of the source material that even adapts the theme of friendship and bonds that is readily present in the source material into the various side-story content to strengthen your characters. It’s a game that fans can enjoy.
However, if you are a newcomer I recommend you either read the manga or watch the anime first before diving into the game to get yourself up to speed.
Final Verdict: I like it a lot!