Developer: Enter Skies
Release Date: May 15th, 2014
Available On: Mobile, PC
Reviewer’s note: Okay so I played this game some time around the end of April/beginning of May and wrote the review around then. Three days ago (May 14th) the game launched on Mobile devices and overhauled some things, something I noticed when I went to grab screenshots. As such, this review may not be 100% accurate with the new version of the game. I have not gotten a chance to significantly play with the new build, but will edit this review if I find a significant amount of stuff has changed.
Fearless Fantasy is weird, and that goes without saying. Every monster has strange faces, the main villain is basically trying really hard to be the Joker, and in the middle of this battle my party has just broken out into the Gangam Style dance. Fearless Fantasy is indeed weird, but that doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to be a good game.
Fearless Fantasy is sort of light on its plot, and mostly plays everything for laughs. After bounty hunter/monster hunter Leon saves Princess Alice from being forcibly married to the insane King Xola, the two decide to save the land by killing the King or… whatever. Along the way they pick up Leon’s friend Vonn, and also discover Xola has some giant monster that he made. The characters are goofy, though some of their catch phrases get annoying fast (if I hear “Jimminy Biscuits” again I may scream). The jokes are good enough for the game, and there is some humor in watching a completely fantasy setting get ruined when a bored character takes out their iPhone. Some decent enough voice acting and animated cutscenes do a good enough job to get the story and humor across.
With no real world map or exploration of any kind, Fearless Fantasy is basically just a series of battles for me to select from. Combat plays like what I would expect for a jRPG. Characters wait for their turn, then can select to either attack, or use one of their abilities against an enemy. The big twist here is that any ability requires the use of a mouse gesture to determine how effective it will be. Ask Leon to preform a ranged attack on an enemy? Then I have to slide the mouse through a few arrows to ensure it will work. Each ability also has an “epic” mode if you time the arrows right. Alica’s love shock ability usually heals for about 40HP, but if I get the “epic” version with a well timed gesture then it’ll heal closer to 55HP and also remove any status elements on the character. I also had the ability to skip my turns by either trolling an enemy, which guaranteed that they would attack whoever trolled them, or by resting, which restored some energy.
Yet combat quickly became overwhelming as enemies seemed to have laundry lists of passive buffs on them. In a single battle I had enemies who were immune to ranged attacks, did more damage for every turn that passed, did less damage every time they were hit, and leeched HP with every attack. Enemies being immune to either melee or ranged are depressingly common, but even worse is enemies that do knockback damage. Since Alice only has ranged attacks, and Vonn only has melee attacks, I usually had one character be reduced to doing nothing more than spamming rest or troll the entire fight. Besides this, some of the gestures expected seemed to fall into the absurd realm. I was actually surprised to find that Fearless Fantasy is not a mobile port, but rather a straight up PC game. It feels like the combat system and the gesture system was made to go hand in hand with a touch screen.
The game also suffers from nothing to do outside of combat. After a fight is over I was awarded with gold and XP. All the characters share the same XP bar, so leveling up goes for a party rather than an individual character. Yet all I could really do upon leveling was either add a point to one of four stats, or upgrade one of my character’s five abilities. Characters don’t actually learn any new abilities, which means at the start of the game and two hours later when I was at the last boss I was still doing the same thing over and over. I could use the gold to buy equipment, but for some reason the game has a really weird system where it just buys for characters right down the line. Want to buy an item for Vonn? Well too bad, Leon’s name is first and he doesn’t have an item so the game will auto equip it to him first and wouldn’t let me move it. The weapon descriptions are so vague that I also couldn’t tell the difference between them: I had no clue what the game meant by something being a “defensive weapon” and how that would help me.
After finishing the game, which took about two hours, my only two options were either to repeat the story mode on harder difficulties to get more stars, or to enter the arena. The arena is just fourteen waves and once I beat it then there was no reason for me to go back.
Fearless Fantasy is weird, and that’s neat, and for a $7 game it at least felt like it had a few good ideas. Yet with a control scheme that was clearly made for mobile touch screens, and overload of game halting effects, and really very little to do, I couldn’t find much reason to recommend Fearless Fantasy. It’s okay to shoot for weird, but there should be more to back it up.