I was all fired up to play the Fairy Tail game, packaging a game based on one of my favourite anime’s into a turn based JRPG had me incredibly excited. However, I have been stung before by these sorts of games and how they just do not live up to the potential given to them from such a rich tapestry of episodes – see: every anime fighting game ever (Sorry Will but I don’t like Xenoverse 2).
I was willing to give Fairy Tail the benefit of the doubt though as it just so happens to be one of my all time favourite anime series and features some of my favourite characters to ever be drawn onto my screen.
As soon as I loaded the game though I was filled with a powerful sense of dread as this weird menu opened up and I was prompted the opportunity to play the game on easy before I had even seen the opening cutscene, this was backed up this weird version of the main Fairy Tail theme which bugged me…
One of my favourite things about Fairy Tail is the main theme kicking in whenever Natsu and the Gang are up against the odds – the omission of this, or rather the slight change/cover of it, feels a little weird and I can’t help but feel like it detracts just a small amount of the charm that I adore in the Anime.
Turns out… I was able to leave all my negativity at the door however as the game instantly threw me into a battle against Grimoire Hearts master: Hades. It was here that I started to get a real taste of how the combat would play out, as a standard turn based JRPG and I was hooked!
This is where I feel that Fairy Tail really shines though, using the different guild members magic types to combine and make a team to tackle every scenario is just really quite satisfying. You also get a Final Fantasy type limit break gauge that fills as you fight the games various monsters allowing you to combine attacks and do massive damage when up against the wall, this can be further amplified by the occasional use of “Extreme Magic” that allows you to add on one of the signature attacks to the chain and deal MASSIVE levels of damage.
Fairy Tail, both the game and the anime, is also just so incredibly charming. The characters are all funny, everyone actually brings something different to the table and the writing never really grates on me or becomes annoying. The story of the game is also pretty much beat for beat with the Grand Magic Games arc so if you are a fan of this then you will have a lot to love in the game.
The game really starts at the end of the 7 year timeskip and the Fairy Tail guild has fallen into a state of disarray, becoming one of the lowest ranked guilds in all of Fiore. This is where the game steps up from the Anime though as you are tasked with taking on requests from the townspeople in order to gain reputation for the guild. Whilst doing this you can also rank up the guild building by upgrading rooms or adding new ones as well as ranking up your team of guild members that you constantly add to throughout the game.
I really enjoyed doing this and whilst 90% of the requests were “deliver this” or “go here and kill this” I really didn’t mind as (and here’s the real twist) I LOVE fetch quests (see my Death Stranding review for more on this!).
There isn’t a great deal in variation of the maps but the guild quests tend to be over so quickly that none of the maps ever get a chance to get tiresome.
On one of my final notes – give the person who came up with the idea of dueling other Fairy Tail guild members a promotion. This is a stroke of genius and allows me to really fulfil my fantasy of Natsu vs EVERY GUILD MEMBER IN EXISTENCE.
At the end of the day, Fairy Tail is a loveletter to fans of the Anime, throwing you deep into (around the halfway mark!) the animes overall 300 odd episode run is going to turn off casual fans of the anime. This being said however, the game isn’t aimed at people who are casual fans of the franchise – this game is aimed directly at me and I am a HUGE fan of Fairy Tail and everything it has to offer.
Packaging this into a simple, yet effective turn based JRPG has Luke from Respawning written all over it and I have been having an absolute blast with the game. For me Fairy Tail is potentially the best game I have ever played based on an anime and this is the hill I will die on.
So for that, I give Fairy Tail an 9/10
Also, as per the anime… there’s loads of talking cats so extra point from me.