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Sword and Fairy: Together Forever Review (PS5) – A Mythical Tale

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Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is a game that flew under my radar when it was first announced, with a debut trailer that looked pretty but also gave the impression that it may not deliver on other core elements. Developed by Softstar Technology, the Sword and Fairy series has been going strong since 1995, providing a good series for Chinese-speaking audiences. But was my initial reaction to this series and its trailer spot on?

The journey of Yue and Xiu

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever starts players off in the shoes of the deity Xiu Wu as he is defeated by the demon lord and sent to the human realm, injured and alone. It is there that he is found and saved by Yue Qingshu, a young girl who is trying to rebuild her town and sect.

The two form a symbiosis, working together to solve the issues plaguing the human, demon, and deity realms. Along the way, they are joined by Yo Sang and Bai Moqing in their fight against the Heaven Demons and others. The story has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes and does a great job of giving you a lot of information without you feeling completely overloaded. Granted, there are some text-heavy sections that move at a snail’s pace, but for the most part, things move very smoothly.

S&F: Together Forever also delivers on the depth of its characters. Your main cast of four heroes play well off each other and you watch them grow as the story unfolds. The supporting characters also help provide more depth to the feel of the game and story, and there isn’t an annoying tag-along between the cast — though Yo sometimes threatens to become just that.

Sword and Fairy Together Forever Review

Swords, spirits, and salivating combat

The combat in Sword and Fairy is all about the action, as your team and enemies freely roam the battlefield, hacking and slashing each other to bits. In battle, players will have the standard main attack, heavy attack, and special ability moves.

Players can have up to 8 abilities mapped for use during combat, though I rarely found myself using all 8. In fact, there were a few abilities that felt a bit too similar to others. Your party consists of two ranged attackers in Yo and Bai, with Yue and Xiu both wielding swords. You are able to freely switch between the four characters during combat, allowing you to stick to a favorite or adjust as the situation calls for it. Battles can become a hectic mess at times with all the abilities going on.

Magic plays a big part in combat, too. This is where most of your damage is done, so making sure you set up and learn your spells is key, especially in boss battles. However, it’d be better if the names and pictures of each ability were a bit more straightforward, as it’s not always clear if you are using a buff, heal, or attack. I found myself getting annoyed enough at popping the wrong ability, especially when trying to do a healing spell.

It’s a big advantage to be able to go into each character’s details and study their abilities a bit more than you typically might in an action RPG. There are also link attacks that seem to randomly pop up in combat and awakenings that each player can perform. There really is a lot to like in each battle, no matter if you just want to hack ‘n’ slash or dive a bit more into the inner workings. However, there are also quite a few quick-time events in boss battles, so get ready to quick draw the prompted button.

The transition between a combo and magic attack felt a little rigid. I also found that at times, my AI teammates would get stuck in a loop of spamming regular attacks, leaving their magic abilities on the bench. Overall the combat is fun, simple, and effective, but it’s not perfect.

Sword and Fairy Together Forever Review

Mini-games and questing

Outside of the accomplished combat and story, Together Forever is a mixed bag. Along your travels, there are plenty of items to pick up all across the world. Usually, these are resources you can use when cooking meals or scrolls/books to expand the story. Cooking meals in the game gives you a temporary 30-minute increase to things such as attack power or experience gained. There are also a fair amount of side quests found in each town, usually simple things like defeating a certain enemy or going to find something.

The biggest issue here with the questing is the small font size used to track the quest. I just don’t understand developers making the quest font under the mini-map so darn small that not even Sherlock Holmes could discover it. Yes, I understand not wanting to take up too much screen, but it was just too hard to read. Thankfully questing isn’t complex at all, so you can finish them all without really having to read much.

Sword and Fairy also features two mini-games, though one is featured a whole lot more than the other. There’s a card battle game with a hand of five cards for each player; the cards fall into one of three elements and some have bonuses that heal you or do more damage to your opponent. Simply play your cards and try to end the game with more leaves than your counterpart. It’s simple but  fun to play here and there as you travel the different places of the world. The less common mini-game is a jumping one that I only found two places to do it. This one has you jumping on rotating leaves until you reach the end and gain a prize. I am really glad I didn’t see this game too often as the mechanics just don’t work here and are frustrating beyond belief.

The lack of extra stuff to do outside of story and combat never felt like too much of issue, given that the story progresses at a good rate, never lingering too long in a specific area and pushing you to the next bit of content. Sure, some extra things to do are usually nice, but the simplicity worked for me here.

Sword and Fairy Together Forever Review

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever Review: Final verdict

This game really snuck up and hit me with a massive combo that I wasn’t expecting, with a fully engaging story full of demons and deities, and magic and swordplay that was tons of fun.  Add in well-crafted characters, beautiful graphics, simple yet enjoyable combat, and a breezy 15 hours to complete the package.

Sure, it’s got a few hiccups in the translation and font size, the questing could have done with a bit more variety and the combat was missing just a little something extra. However, these are mostly minor gripes in an otherwise well-crafted experience. If you are in the market for an action RPG and don’t mind reading subtitles, this should definitely be something on your radar.

The post Sword and Fairy: Together Forever Review (PS5) – A Mythical Tale appeared first on PlayStation LifeStyle.


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