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Welcome Time Wasters!
Being the lover of all things Indie here at GiN, I'm use to coming across some weird games when I look for potential Time Wasters. It's not often though that one of these weird games is brought to me by another member of GiN. To my surprise John throws me a code for an indie game titled Fairy Bloom Freesia, a cute beat'em up game straight from Japan. My very first thought was something along the lines of 'I'm never going to hear the end of it when my friends on Steam see me playing this', and not wanting to disappoint my expectations I had a friend immediately start making fun of me (yay for friends). Not to be discouraged by the wisecracks from my friends, I stuck with Fairy Bloom Freesia and you know what? It wasn't half bad.
The beat'em action promised in the game description is definitely there. With a wide array of moves to choose from and multiple skills and combos to unlock and master in combat, Fairy Bloom Freesia can easily boast that is has a deep fighting system. Also included is an RPG element to the game where our heroine, Freesia, will level up through battle gaining increased stats to help beat back enemies. This combined with spot on controls and wonderfully accurate hit boxes means you won't be disappointed by Fairy Bloom Freesia's game play.
Two small notes that I would like to make, first is that I played Fairy Bloom Freesia with an Xbox 360 controller instead of the keyboard. I'm not going to say the controls with a keyboard are bad, but when it has anything to do with fighting and button combos I feel much more at home having a D-Pad available to me rather than arrow keys. Second is that Fairy Bloom Freesia is a hard game. Don't let the overly cute graphics fool you, this game isn't meant for casual players and really only has a target audience in those who love beat'em up games.
Let's talk about the one negative of Fairy Bloom Freesia: the monsters. Sadly Fairy Bloom Freesia suffers from a problem that plagued a whole generation of games and sadly is still found in games today. That timeless act of laziness: palette swaps. Yup that's right, when moving from one level of the game to the next you'll notice that the creatures look exactly the same except now they're red instead of black. I know most games suffer from the old palette swap problem (Call of Duty for example' it's a joke fanboys don't get your headsets all in a bundle), but it still saddens me to see it in games and in Fairy Bloom Freesia it really stuck out.
Now we move on to the one really surprising part of the review, the graphics. As I stated before Fairy Bloom Freesia is a very cute game. In fact it's so cute that viewing it as a beat'em up is really hard to do. So while the graphics aren't horrible it just feels weird to be kicking so much butt and looking child friendly at the same time. I'm of course not taking off points for this, it's just something I wanted to point out. What I will have to take points off for are the shapeless blobs of enemies and the palette swaps mentioned above. Granted there are a few instances of jagged textures, but amidst all flashy combat it will go by mostly unnoticed.
At the end of the day Fairy Bloom Freesia is a deep and complex beat'em up game hidden under an overly cute and cuddly exterior. Sadly it does suffer from an overzealous use of palette swapping and generally bland enemies. Any fans of the genre should definitely check it out but others will want to steer clear due to its high difficulty level.
Fairy Bloom Freesia fights its way to 3.5 GiN Gems out of 5!
Billy loves nothing more than leveling and grinding through a good RPG. And he knows that Time Waster is not a negative term when it comes to games. : email@example.com.