Tactical RPG Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord from Idea Factory International, Compile Heart, and STING is ready for you on PS5. Check out our Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord review!
Tactical RPG Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord from Idea Factory International, Compile Heart, and STING is ready for you on PlayStation 5. the_nmac and I previously got a chance to review Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, which was a new PlayStation 4 take on JRPG Fairy Fencer F, which was released on PlayStation 3 back in 2013. That one had a battle system that was similar to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. It’s now 2023, and I’m back for another go, thanks to this sequel on PlayStation 5.
Many moons ago, people were given vast knowledge by the Goddess, which made it possible for civilization to flourish. This allows them to exponentially grow their technology beyond their wildest dreams. Unfortunately, that civilization was destroyed after a violent conflict between the Goddess and the Vile God. Ages have passed since then, and it’s now your turn to follow Fang. He’s a young Fencer who has the skill to wield a special weapon imbued with a Fairy known as a Fury.
It’s up to you and your companions to make the most of your abilities so that you can find the rest of the furies and resurrect the Goddess. Why? Because if you manage to revive the Goddess, then you’ll be granted one wish. Fang will find a woman who can save people thanks to the might of her song, as well as another one who can sing to brainwash people! These women are known as Muses and will play key roles in Fang’s story.
Fang starts this new adventure while in jail, which is very similar to how his journey started in Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force. This time around, he had a bit of bad luck since he lost his wallet after arriving at a new location where he was set on finding a Fury. With no money, he decided to take on a special challenge: Finishing the XXL bowl of Swilvache Famous Ramen so that he didn’t have to pay for it! As expected, he got full and couldn’t finish the bowl. Since he had no money, he was sent to jail!
But before you learn about his predicament, as soon as the first cutscene is over, the game will throw you straight into a tutorial battle so that you can get a chance to learn the basics right away! Your units can move during their turn around the area highlighted in blue. Your units can either attack, use a skill, use an item, wait, or Fairize – more on that one in a bit. A square on the grid will be highlighted in orange if that unit can execute a regular attack over it. Regular attacks are what you’ll be using the most during your time with Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord. Using items is also important since they can help to heal your wounds, remove status effects, or even be used to attack enemies.
There’s also the possibility of using a skill as long as you have enough SP to activate it. Skills include for example, Fang’s S-Flight Edge, which is a sword tech that can deal damage directly in front of Fang. This one will deal decent damage, and it can even reach enemies that are slightly higher than you. Tiara will have access to Cure early on, which can be used to restore a small amount of HP to a single ally, as well as Maki, a glaive tech that deals damage to all enemies in range. That means that if she’s surrounded, she can use Maki to prepare for a huge comeback. After a unit is done for the turn, you will need to select the direction it will end up facing. This is very important because if an enemy attacks you from behind, you will take extra damage. This is also true for opponents, so always try to move behind them before attacking.
The turn order for each battle will be displayed on the upper right corner of the screen, and is a very important bit of information! Units will move on this section from right to left. Once a unit reaches the leftmost position, it will be its turn to act. Once you’ve selected an enemy to attack, the prediction screen will pop up. This will let you know about the accuracy and damage dealt so that you can decide if it’s the right action to take.
And then we have the Muses. Your Muse is known as Fleur, while the opponent’s Muse is Glace. Once your Muse’s Aria Gauge is full, the Fairy Aria command will become available. All allies within the Fairy Aria will receive the benefits of the song, so be sure to plan accordingly! You can see the benefit that each ally will receive by checking out the display on the upper right corner of the screen. Take, for example, the Notes of Faith song. This one will boost physical damage of all allies within its range, which could be crucial for one of your allies to deal a fatal blow before an enemy gets a chance to act. A song will last for a set number of turns. Once it’s your Muse’s turn, you have the option of increasing the song’s intensity, boosting its range, stopping singing or waiting.
Something you do need to keep in mind is that when both the allied and enemy Muses are singing, the area in which their voices blend will create an effect known as Dramatic Resonance. The effect of each Muse’s song will be considerably increased when the songs overlap, which is good for your units… but also good for enemy units! Will you risk creating a Resonance Area to boost your units while knowing this could spell doom for your group while your enemies are also boosted?
I guess it’s time to talk about Fairize! Once a character’s Fairize gauge has been filled up, the Fairize command will become available. While Fairized, a unit’s stats will considerably increase, and it will gain access to special attacks that can only be used while Fairized. Once the transformation is completed, the gauge will start to slowly decrease. Once the gauge is empty, then Fairize mode will end. Skills will fill up the Fairize gauge at a faster pace than regular attacks.
While exploring the world map, you’ll be able to control a cursor to choose what your next destination will be. By choosing the quest from a list, a series of story events and battles will take place. There will be quests marked with a red icon, which indicates it’s a main story quest. There are quests with yellow icons, which will let you know they’re sub-quests that you can work on completing. The last quest type will have a green icon and will be reserved for order quests.
When you get a new Fury, you’ll also receive the Sub-Fairy housed within said Fury. Having many Sub-Fairies join your party is very important since you can equip them to boost a unit’s stats, as well as gain access to the skills and abilities of that Sub-Fairy. You can improve a Sub-Fairy by spending the FP you obtain in battle. FP can be spent to unlock new skills and abilities for Sub-Fairies, which will, in turn, give the unit equipped with that Sub-Fairy a chance to use the newly unlocked skills and abilities.
You should make it a habit to talk with Sub-Fairies every now and then. Along with getting to know them better, you could be rewarded with some items to aid you on your quest. This can be done at any time from the Sub-Fairies menu. But if you want to talk to your party members, you’ll have to visit the Inn. While talking to them, you could deepen your relationship with your party members, so be sure to visit the Inn during each story chapter to see what’s new with them.
And now, let’s go over the Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord trophies! This is a retail release, which means that you can expect the game to have a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy at the end of your journey. The list includes 34 Bronze trophies, 9 Silver trophies, and 3 Gold trophies for you to work on. A big chunk of the trophies will pop as you progress through the game’s story and clear each of its chapters, so as long as you make it to the end of your adventure, you’ll have 25 new trophies for your collection!
As for the rest of the remaining trophies, you’ll get them for completing some miscellaneous objectives such as beating a hidden boss, completing a fight without using items, completing a fight without receiving any damage, getting over 200 types of items, slaying an enemy with a special skill while Fairized, slaying an enemy with a trap skill, dealing more than 3,000 damage to a single enemy with a single attack, or maxing out the Fairy Aria intensity or range before the battle is over.
Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord is a fun tactical RPG on PlayStation. As Fang and the gang try to locate all remaining Fury to try and revive the Goddess, you’ll get to know more about the colorful cast of characters that will be by your side. The more you chat with them – and with Sub-Fairies – the stronger your bonds will become. And once the Muses enter the equation, you’ll need to make sure that you make the most of the skills and abilities of your party members. Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord is out on PlayStation 5 with a $49.99 price tag. There’s also a PlayStation 4 version of the game available as a separate purchase for the same price.
This Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Idea Factory International.