The wonderfully titled Fairy Bloom Freesia is an indie game developed in Japan. It is a fast paced combo action game, with RPG elements, with the ability to customise your fighting skills, styles, and attributes. You play as the fairy guardian Freesia, fighting against monsters invading her forest, and defending the Junon tree from those pesky humans.
With similarities to the gameplay of many fighter-games, it is recommend that you use a controller instead of a keyboard while playing this game, as it will allow you to perform combos much easier. And you need as much help as you can get, especially if you are unfamiliar with fighting games, as the ‘Normal’ difficulty can be surprisingly challenging. Thankfully there is an ‘Easy’ option that allows you to play the game without redoing levels so many times.
The game progresses through days, in which you have to battle monsters in an arena-style area. After defeating monsters, you gain mana and experience, gaining more experience for not getting hurt and performing multiple combos. After a battle is over, you enter an intermission, which allows you to spend your collected mana to buy and upgrade your skills. I decided to play through as a magic-damage dealing fairy, which may have induced the harder difficulty in the beginning, as there were not many unlockable magical skills, and the ones that I did have quickly drained my magic pool.
The gameplay is very fun. Knocking enemies into each other, dealing massive damage, and sending them flying lends itself to a very enjoyable experience. You can perform dodges and dashes, which allow you to avoid incoming damage, combos, which you can unlock by spending mana, and special abilities, also unlocked by mana, but which drain your ‘magic pool’ upon using. You can also buy passive abilities, which increase you health, or damage, or other things, but you can only have two equipped at a time.
In some of the battles, you will have to protect an orb, which represents the forest. Enemies attack the orb, and if it runs out of HP, you fail the level. However, when Freesia is in the orb’s aura, she restores health (and can gain other buffs, based on your passives!), which stops you from being completely overwhelmed. As the final battle in an arena, you have to fight a boss battle. This is where the difficulty really spikes. Their attacks quickly deplete your ability to defend, which means you have to have timing to dodge their attacks, while finding openings to take down their high amounts of health. These battles are very fun and challenging, although can become quite frustrating if you have to keep retrying.
The story is very basic, so do not expect a very in depth and gripping plot full of unique characters. Unfortunately, the dialogue scenes do not contain any voice overs, which while allowing for a small download size, is quite a shame, as it would really suit and add to the animé feel of the game. The settings of the arenas look fabulous, from the forests, to the lake to the snow-lands. The 3D characters look and animate superbly, although I would prefer more enemy types, and more interesting designs for them. The music and sound effects go in well with the game, leading to a fun and fast atmosphere.
Overall, Fairy Bloom Freesia is a fun fast-paced action game. You are able to customise Freesia in a number of ways, which allows you to playthrough the game again in various ways, while also allowing ‘no upgrade’ challenges for the hardcore fighters. While the story isn’t anything exciting, it is not bad, and besides, the main appeal of the game is the ability to kick monster but in a dynamic, fluid way – and Fairy Bloom Freesia achieves this.
+ Cute looking graphics, with superb animation.
+ Lots of options to customise Freesia’s playstyle.
+ Fun and fast action gameplay with incredible combat system.
- Occasional difficulty spikes.
- Dialogue cutscenes missing voice acting.