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 Review: Fairune (3DS eShop)

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Professor Clayton
Professor Clayton

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PostReview: Fairune (3DS eShop)

The Legend of Fetch Quests

Review: Fairune (3DS eShop) Ss0110

Lately, Circle Entertainment has been provider of some high quality titles on the 3DS eShop. 8 Bit inspired games like The Legend of Dark Witch and Demon King Box have been surprisingly enjoyable affairs, and Circle Entertainment hopes to continue the trend with Fairune's take on top down puzzle solving mixed with adventure RPG gameplay.

A young girl, in a land menaced by a mysterious being, is called to action in order to reseal the evil away before it is too late for her world. The plot is fairly straightforward for an RPG, and the game never takes it too seriously, seemingly joking about the fact that this monster must be sealed away every few hundred years.

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There is almost no time wasted before you dive into the gameplay, which has one of the simplest yet most enjoyable control schemes on the eShop. Your only controls are to move using the circle pad or d-pad, whichever you prefer, in order to do almost everything in the game. You'll also occasionally open up menus in order to use items, but besides this, you're limited to movement. This setup is oddly satisfying. Your heroine always points her sword valiantly in front of her, and walking into one of the many enemies defeats them in a single hit.

If that seems simple, don't worry, because depending on your character's level running into different enemies has a variety of different effects. Sometimes you'll simply kill them, and usually you'll do so and earn one experience point. Other times you might be underleveled and take a point of damage, but still defeat the enemy. If you're too weak, you'll take a huge amount of damage and deal none.

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This creative attack system creates a fun dynamic between leveling up and attempting to avoid enemies, as gaining experience often kills you due to taking damage along with it. Healing is limited to one of a very few spots on the map, and as such you need to be careful as to how far you stray from safety. Leveling up eventually lets you simply walk right through weaker enemies as well, making retreading through familiar ground quick and effortless.

As you adventure around, searching for the three statues required to seal away the evil being, you'll run into a large collection of puzzles scattered about. Some are fairly simple- a hatchet will cut down a dead tree, for instance. However, some puzzles are fiendishly tricky to even spot, requiring you to constantly be on the lookout for a possible hidden passageway or suspicious spot.

While most of the puzzles are fun, some can be a bit too challenging at times, and leave you scratching your head wondering about what to do next. It is even possible to completely miss picking up an item you'll need much later on, and have to recheck the whole map, including dungeons, until you find it nestled in some remote corner. It is a bit of an annoyance that there isn't any help offered in game at all, but it does remind us of the classic Legend of Zelda in this way; odds are if you liked the puzzles in Zelda you'll be right at home in Fairune.

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The game is set in a typical RPG world, all created in nicely drawn 8 Bit graphics, and with a varitey of enemies and obstacles to keep everything looking fresh throughout the whole adventure. Beyond the graphics, there is a selection of around a dozen different songs playing in the various locales, all of which manage to set the mood well enough but none of which are particularly memorable.

Fairune is a fairly short game, and your playthrough will likely end after 2-4 hours, depending on your puzzle solving skills and ability level. However, none of this time is spent in waste- besides searching for missing items everything is solid gameplay from start to finish. There are also loads of achievements to go after in replays and even hidden enemies and items to locate for the completionists out there.

Despite its simplicity, Fairune manages to truly form its own niche on the 3DS eShop, taking the combat ideas from another Circle Entertainment release, Witch & Hero, and vastly improving on them as well as the rest of the gameplay. The puzzles are tricky yet enjoyable, the combat is addicting and the presentation is solid in Fairune, and for only three dollars, Circle Entertainment has another winner on their hands.


Review copy provided by Circle Entertainment.
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