Fae Tactics

released on Jul 31, 2020

In Fae Tactics, follow a young magic user named Peony on her journey across a vibrant world full of mystery and danger. Summon allies, cast spells, and befriend a motley crew of characters as you dive into the growing conflicts between man and magical beings known as fae.

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What an interesting game. The worst Xbox port I’ve ever seen, in fact! Yet, this game cast a spell on me. This version (and just the game in general) is very flawed and glitched out, so much so that new game + doesn’t even work! Two achievements won’t pop no matter what you do. And this game is hyperspecific about some things and weirdly vague about others! But, despite its many, many flaws, many crashes and a broken game mode, I love it. The story is simple, sure, but the characters have so much charm. The art is incredible, and don’t even get me started on the music. This game hooked me like not many games have. It was so ingrained in me that I was dreaming about back attacks and combos! This game may be very, very flawed, but I love it nonetheless.

It resembles Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in the container, but not in the content. Anyone who has been drawn to this game thinking that it is just like the Square game has to be prepared for a disappointment.
⭐ Great sprite work, ideal for pixel Junkies.
⭐ Nice user interface and simplified controls. I think it's pretty intuitive and plenty of explanations for smooth combat.
⚠️ Little itemization and summoning progression. In FFTA and sequel you have at your disposal a mileage theorycrafting of races, jobs, skills and equipment. Objects are not simple stat buffs, they allow you to learn new skills and change jobs to get, for example, a paladin with thief or ninja skills and have a more balanced team. That offers a huge range of customization and is what I like the most about this game. In Fae Tactics you can have just three characters on the battlefield, each one with the same three actions (basic attack, assist and wait), scrolls that give stat buffs and you can only put one per character and summons that can't carry items and they're just to buff the three main chars. That's all.
⚠️ Combat takes too long. Not just story driven combats, simple trash mobs fights for grinding purpose take a fair amount of time because the boss is either summoning new minions or shielding itself non-stop, so most of combats end up being to knock down a wall.
⚠️ The plot is dull and you won't even remember it while you play. Combat is all that matters and is easy to burn out.

love the combat but wish it wasn't so glacial. 2x animation speed just isn't enough fellas I'm gonna need like 8x or 16x or 64x or something. do it like fallout and let me turn it into a benny hill yakety sax thing. I dunno why this keeps happening but I'm blaming larian and swen vincke
story has the same issue more or less. it's bog standard cereal munching chaos emerald stuff, which is fine, but not always worth the unskippable cutscenes that bookend most missions
thankfully everything else is great. super cute sprites, lovely music, and a lot more challenge than you'd expect from something so bubblegum
while none of the individual customizable elements are all that complex, the volume of them and the cohesion between them make both the prep work and battles compelling. you're given ample reason to experiment and switch up your approach depending on the scenario's objective, enemy types, map layout, weather and day of the week and zeroing in on an optimal setup is always satisfying, especially when you're running it back after a proper ass kicking
there are also big incentives for optimizing each mission. leaving enemy leaders subdued instead of killed and/or finishing a map without losing any units give massive xp bonuses. I've read a few reviews that suggest the difficulty curve is too sharp if you ignore these opportunities, but in my experience it isn't a gamebreaker. there's also (apparently?) level scaling of some sort, but again I can't say I noticed it being an issue. it's a tough game for sure, but if my dumb ass is able to manage it can't be all that bad
might not be the best tactical experience money can buy, but it's the one that most resembles the landstalker, digimon, and furby inspired comics I made in second grade

Little too challenging and time consuming to continue

This one was bit of a bummer, because there's a pretty nice SRPG core here, but the pacing just kind of kills it. I've gotten like 5 hours in, and a bunch of the battles end up feeling very samey (bar one escape map that was kind of neat).
This feels compounded on with how slow the battles are. Waiting for each enemy to cast their little buffs on the side and such gets old pretty quick. Especially in the case where the buffs are an apparently uncapped amount of an extra magic health bar to whittle away at.
This game's main strengths are mainly in its foundation. The combo system, where your melee units get to join in on attacking when someone else hits adjacent foes to them, is fun to pull off and helps give them an edge over the ranged units. There's plenty of skills and buffs to try and give to your allies as well, especially since you get access to most of the tricks of your enemies by summoning them. The element system was fun enough too.
I also think this game approaches worldbuilding well enough. It's got a bunch of fantasy species and locales, and it avoids the usual pitfalls of dumping fifty proper nouns for you to memorize. I think anchoring the different species with allies turned recruitable characters you fight alongside in some story sequences helps with that.
Overall, this was kind of fun, but the process of spending 50 minutes or so on one quest, with a large amount of that just being waiting for the enemies to get through their turn, got stale pretty quick. It's better in small doses, but it seems like there's a lot of content, so it feels like it's hard to get through it all that slowly. There's a game I like here, but it doesn't feel particularly worth it to play to that point.