FAIRY TAIL, the highly anticipated JRPG based on the beloved manga adaptation from Gust, is finally here! After a short delay (thanks, COVID-19!) gamers can now follow channel their inner flame dragon and travel through Fiore with Natsu, Lucy, and the rest of the Fairy Tail crew.
Warning: There may be some minor spoilers in this review. If you have not watched season 4 or beyond of the anime, you may want to turn back now.
Fairy Tail Review – 7 Year Gap
Our adventure kicks off with the battle against Hades on Tenrou Island leading up to Fairy Tail’s members being trapped in the Fairy Sphere for seven years. Seven years after their altercation with Zeref and Acnologia, the guild returns to Magnolia only to discover they have gone bankrupt. Their gorgeous guild hall has been repossessed until they pay the back rent. Working out of a tiny abandoned hall, Makarov rallies the crew to rebuild their status and their strength
FAIRY TAIL follows Natsu’s main storyline beginning with the X791 arc and has little to no stops for the other character arcs. While we do touch upon certain ripple events such as Ultear’s fate after the Eclipse gate, Natsu is no doubt the star of this game. There are times when the plot separates Natsu from his friends but those never tend to be for too long.
Fairy Tail Review – Unbreakable Bonds
Rebuilding the guild’s status is more than filling the coffers. The Fairy Tail crew must train if they want to make the cut for the Grand Magic Games. Even in their tiny new digs, the request board offers both cash and renown rewards. There are other perks to running the requests. Some of these quests unlock new members of the guild to add to your questing rotation and feature fun scenes. You also earn Bond points from running requests. Each time you level up the bonds between characters, it offers a new battle bonus when both are active members in your team.
The guild may be stuck in a bit of a rough spot but your hard work quickly pays dividends. Thanks to Makarov’s planning, as you move up in the rankings you can upgrade Fairy Tail’s facilities. Building and upgrading your Request Board, Shop, and Laboratory comes first. Not only does this improve your guild’s status in Fiore, investing in your facilities grants bumps to your fighting prowess. Some of the bonuses you’ll see include extra experience earned by guild members not in the active team, as well as MP and HP increases.
Fairy Tail Review – Dragon Slayer Games
In all my years of playing Japanese role playing games, I never thought I’d have this much fun mowing down monsters and putting bosses in their place. FAIRY TAIL‘s battle system is fun! Packed with magic based attacks that level alongside you, using each character’s unique abilities and chaining them together when the time comes never becomes a slog. Especially when you can do some real devastation obliterating the enemy by pummeling their weak spot over and over. Gray and Juvia are (of course) a fantastic example of this. Hunting enemies with water weaknesses has never been this romantic.
Once your team has filled the gauge in the lower right corner of the screen, it’s time to get down to business. Using R1 to get started, your active party will do maximum damage as you chain together attack after attack until pulling off some epic finishers. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to have Makarov make an appearance! While I typically held onto my gauge for bigger fights, like mini-bosses and bigger bads, there are times when you are out adventuring when debris may be blocking the road. If you happen to battle an enemy by one of these spots an “Overdamage” alert will appear. Meet or exceed that number to clear away the debris and unlock new areas to explore.
Some people may be put off by the fact that there is no English dub. Since I prefer my anime subbed, this isn’t a deal breaker. The arcs selected to be part of the game may be a problem for others. If you haven’t watched or read these arcs, you are going to be spoiled and potentially lost. It may be best to binge on the series before picking up FAIRY TAIL.
The very best thing about FAIRY TAIL is just how much fun the game is. Absolutely nothing about this game feels like a chore. It’s a delightful romp through Fiore following Natsu’s story from X791 arc onward. Not having to grind for hours on end may be the most refreshing part of it all. My JRPG junkies know all too well how much time we tend to spend power leveling characters just so we can move the needle forward. Every aspect of Fairy Tail has been expertly crafted and balanced perfectly in this reviewer’s opinion.
Fairy Tail review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.