Review: Fairy Bloom Freesia

by

Developer: Edelweiss
Publisher: Nyu Media
Platform: PC(Steam)
Price: $7.99 USD
Release Date: October 17th, 2012

Story

The game’s plot centers around Freesia, a forest fairy. Unknown creatures are invading the area, and it’s up to you, the forest’s defensive fairy, to stop them.

Fairy Bloom Freesia’s story is as shallow as it gets. It’s just there for the sake of existing, it doesn’t influence anything about the gameplay, which fortunately is actually quite solid.

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Gameplay

The sole reason for playing this game is most certainly the gameplay. Each level has a set number of enemies, which will spawn on top of you as you defeat the previous wave of enemies. The controls are simple: Moving sideways, a button for jump, one for basic attacks, one for blocking, and one for special attacks.

The movement, the action, and the attacks are all excellently polished. A lot of playtesting went into this game in order to make sure it plays as smooth and intuitive as possible. It’s simple to pick-up and play at first, even for those who aren’t experienced with beat’em ups. After a couple of stages, the difficulty starts to steadily pick up, forcing the player to master attacking and blocking. The experience felt quite accomplishing, with the game steadily teaching you to play better, while forcing faster reactions, without trying to hold the player’s hand by making progression seem too easy.

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The most enjoyable aspect of the gameplay, however, was the customization. Enemies killed drop Mana Points, which can be used to purchase skills. By levelling up, the player unlocks more and better skills. In between levels, the player has the option to binding 4 active skills, and 2 passive skills, along with any number of basic-attack skills. Equipping and exploring different skills felt very rewarding, and drastically changes how the game plays. This feature grants the game a bit of replayability.

The game’s settings also allows quite a bit of control over the game. Better than most indie games, most certainly.

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Sound

Dialogue lines aren’t voiced, though in some cutscenes and in boss battles, there are a handful of Japanese-spoken lines for each character. The background music is mostly relaxing, fitting of the game’s warm atmosphere. While the music isn’t memorable in any way, it’s quite relaxing, creating quite an interesting game mood for beating enemy blobs with a short stick.

Graphics

Character are 3D models, quite simple, without too many polygons. The game also features fully animated 3D cutscenes that explain the story. Not too different from what you’d expect from the average Japanese doujin game. Dialogue segments have Visual Novel-style character portraits with average art quality.

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However, I must admit that I very much loved the backgrounds in this game. There were several layers of backgrounds placed on top of each other, giving it a very interesting parallax scrolling effect. The scenarios felt very rich, causing the game to become very immersive.

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Downsides

For all the effort and polishing that went into this game, it feels like the developers could have afforded making it a bit longer. It required me a little over 3 hours to finish it, from start to finish, despite the fact I died quite a few times. Far too short.

Furthermore, the game doesn’t have much replayability beyond trying different skill-sets.

Overall

Fairy Bloom Freesia’s proposal is a simple, short brawling game with customizable moves. It delivers on all the important gameplay aspects, even if the music and the art might seem a bit lacking. I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I expected at first. Certainly was a worthwhile gaming experience.

The only thing that annoyed me about Fairy Bloom Freesia was how the game is programmed to quit and close by pressing the ESC key, without even display a warning. More than once I accidentally closed the game and lost progress because I pressed ESC by mistake. It was my own fault every time, though.

Pros:
– Polished movement and animations
– Great customization, with lots of viable options
– Steady difficulty increase, without being too hard or too easy
– Awesome backgrounds

Cons:
– Not too much replayability
– Music and art are rather weak
– Remember NOT to press ESC

The Reviewer has given this game a Final Grade of 7/10.