Fans have been patiently waiting for the continuance story of Fairy Fencer F. They waited almost ten years. Even though Idea Factory released the remastered version of the Fairy Fencer F (Advent Dark Force) not long ago, people wondered when we would see more adventures with Fang and his crew. The wait is almost over, and Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord is about to drop. How much different is the sequel from its predecessor? Here is our review.
Refrain Chord is the official sequel of Fairy Fencer F. The duo of Fang and Eryn returns with their team to continue where they left off from the original game. In Fairy Fencer F’s world, two gods fought for a long time, sealing each other’s powers using magical weapons called Furies. They unleashed so many magical Furies to seal away their powers. The extra weapons were scattered across the world. When the Furies’ were spread out, each one of their magical powers was infused into all sorts of magical creatures, otherwise known as Fairies. The people who can wield the Furies’ power are known as Fencers. Thus, the symbiotic relationship between the Fencer and the Fairies was created.
In Refrain Chord, you once again play as the incredibly selfish and lazy Fang, the hero who only wants to eat and sleep. Fang is again in a predicament where he needs the help of his fairy, Eryn. Once they figure out how to get out of their minor issue, you get reintroduced to some memorable characters from the original game and go back to collecting the furies so they will be able to revive the goddess and make a wish. Suddenly, you come across a special kind of Fury you have never seen before. This is where Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord Truly starts.
Refrain Chord is made in a completely different style from its predecessor. Rather than the traditional Neptunia-Like RPG, Refrain Chord changed their style entirely into a Tactical RPG like Final Fantasy Tactics. When in battle, the grid system allows you to place your characters strategically to get the upper hand on your enemies. Some spells, abilities and more take advantage of the grid structure, adding more strategy to optimize beating your foes. I am glad that Idea Factory made the change for Refrain Chord to be a tactics game. Even though Fairy Fencer F was good, you could not help but give the similarities between the known Neptunia game series to this IP at the time. This change gives Refrain Chord an utterly different identity rather than following in the shadow of an established Neptunia franchise.
You would think it is enough with Fairies, Fencers, and Furies running worldwide. You would be dead wrong. Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord introduces a new class in its world called Muses. Muses are like Fencers in that they have special abilities. However, they do not get their powers from a Fury but rather from the music they sing. Muses are not good at attacking, but they are excellent at buffing up your team. One of my favorite parts of playing this game is when my and the enemy sides use the Muses’ power. In Refrain Chord, the Muses sing the songs you select to sing throughout the battle. If both sides sing the Muses’ songs, a harmonizing effect comes into play. A special remix of the two songs playing becomes a stunning remix until the buff effects of the songs are over. Also, the songs have a range on the grid field, and if the grids overlap with both sides’ songs, any player on that grid will benefit from both sides’ music buffs. I had an incredible time listening to the different remixes you can create in this game. They went above and beyond to implement this in a video game.
Since Refrain Chord is now a tactics-based game, the style differs entirely from the first. Initially, you could traverse the world as Fang in a third-person view. Refrain Chord is more of a graphic novel when you are outside the battlefield. The central hub is the main town where you select your side quests, item shops, and more. The base of operations is provided to you early in the game. The only problem with this storytelling style was that there was so much text to read. The main story is a great read; I had no trouble keeping up with what was happening. However, there are so many side quests, filler side stories about the other characters in your group, and so many side conversations that I got to a point where I started to either skip them or did not pay attention. The good news is that there is voiceover in Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord, but it is only in Japanese. This game would be better if it included an English Dub option to liven up all the reading you must do. Some parts of the side stories are needed to be done to unlock certain areas on the world map to explore fully. Thus, getting in a “bonus” chapter for 8 minutes of reading what it is all about can get a little frustrating.
Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord has a ton of things to do. With several side stories, bounties, and mini-quests, There are over 100 furies you will meet and collect. The furies you obtain will make you stronger by equipping them with your characters and leveling them by giving them points. This system also enables you to find and create new powerful moves in your arsenal. It’s a matter of testing it all out, which is surprisingly fun.
Overall, I enjoyed playing Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord. The battles were super fun, the music was terrific, and the remix songs the Muses did were incredible. The game’s story has a lot of depth in it. However, a player must be very patient in getting to the good parts of this game. So much meaningless dialogue takes away from the story that one could argue that it hurts the experience. Possibly, if there were some English Dubs to curb out many of the branch stories and the main story itself, I think it would benefit the player greatly. Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord took me about 40 hours to beat; within that time, I had blast exploring. The Fairy Fencer series has a fun future, and I look forward to seeing what more they will add to it.
Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord Review
The game has incredible music remixes, and the battle system is downright Fun. This Game would be better if they had English Dubs to curb the required reading.
Fun Battle System
Great Harmonizing Battle Music
No English Dubs
A lot of Extra Dialogue that does not lead anywhere