Well this was a bit different. As a reward for completing the three other Fairune games in the collection, this little shoot em up is unlocked.
Taking its cue from the bosses at the end of the first two games, this is a full-on Pop’n TwinBee style vertical shooter, featuring enemies from the main series in formations, and miniature versions of the bosses as, er, bosses.
It’s fun, but very short and easy. I mean, sure, it is only a bonus game but when I started playing I was hoping for more levels and stuff.
I’m guessing here, but I think Fairune Origin is the original idea for a game that eventually became Fairune. It’s a very short, similar game with just 12 screens and a few puzzles which are vaguely recognisable as those in the “proper” Fairune.
Your girl is taller and thinner, the baddies don’t seem to require you to level up to beat them, and it’s all over pretty quickly. It definitely feels like a working prototype, and, I suppose, if you see how much improved Fairune 2 is over Fairune 1 then work backwards from 1 to this with the same leap it makes sense.
Perhaps the easiest way of describing Fairune 2 is “Fairune only more”. More enemies, more puzzles, more areas, bigger maps, more items, more on-screen, more lore, more everything. It’s a lot longer too, as it took me six and a half hours to complete – compare that to two and a half for the first game.
That all said, it’s pretty much the same idea. Bump into enemies to kill them, find items to open up areas of the map, look out for hidden paths and secrets, and Save Keys to Open Doors. There’s just, as I said, more of it.
I enjoyed it more too. Certainly, I spent even longer wandering the map(s) trying to reach areas I’d not been, but once you’ve levelled up enough there’s very little to kill you while you do this. In each of the three main worlds there’s a ring you can obtain which lets you walk on sand, water or ice, and as a result these create shortcuts and new routes. You even have to return to earlier areas with your new abilities. Metroidvania? Er, sort of. Maybe.
There are some really clever hidden-in-plain-sight puzzles (clue: keep an eye on the map!), and some really nasty hidden-a-bit-too-well areas. You absolutely have to keep your eyes open constantly – pillar or light layouts aren’t necessarily just incidental, they might be the solution to a puzzle. Examine every wall for unusual shadows or markings – it could be a secret path. Floor a slightly different colour or a tree trunk a different shade of grey? Might be a secret!
Great as these “secrets” are, unfortunately they’re not optional. You must find them all in order to progress, and it’s here the game falls down a little – especially in the final world where they’re even less obvious.
Still, Fairune 2 is a lovely little game and an absolute bargain in this collection on the Switch.
A few years ago, I picked this up cheaply on the 3DS and quite enjoyed it. This week, Fairune Collection, which included Fairune, it’s sequel, and two other Fairune related games, came out on the Switch. Since I’d passed up on Fairune 2 elsewhere (mainly through Too Many Games) I jumped at the chance. And decided to played the first game again.
It looks a little silly on the Switch screen, with a huge amount of the area showing the map and inventory, but it plays exactly as it did before. Sufficient time had passed since last time I played it that I’d forgotten everything bar the premise (and that I needed to remember a screen had disappearing floor tiles), which probably explains why I still spent a lot time wandering almost aimlessly.
Still, I enjoyed it (again). Time to move onto the next game!
Although I didn’t expect to, mainly because of the quirky fighting mechanic, I enjoyed the demo of Fairune. The full game was on sale this week and because of this, and that you can transfer your progress from the demo, I picked it up.
The fighting mechanic is this: you walk into enemies to fight them. If they’re a lower level than you, they die. If they’re one level higher, they die, give you XP, but also damage you. If they’re two levels higher, they die, give you more XP, but also damage you more. Any higher than that and they’re indestructible. The upshot is, in Fairune you will always lose energy and will need to heal.
Once your head copes with Fairune’s odd way of doing things, the rest of the game is pretty standard in terms of how to play. You collect items that open new areas and they provide access to harder baddies and further items to open more areas and so on. There are a few Zelda-esque puzzles to solve, the odd hidden area, and a final boss who not only suffers from Irritating and Unnecessary Gaming Cliché #3, but also plays out completely differently to the whole of the rest of the game – it’s a shoot ’em up. There is a secret room with Space Invaders in it though, perhaps that’s a clue.
This final boss is actually the only place in the entire game I died, and I died twice there. Still, he’s not too hard when you know his patterns. None of Fairune is hard, come to think of it. Excepting that I forgot to pick up a particular item having used it – it’s the only one in the game you need to do this with, so I didn’t realise you could, let alone had to. This was a pain that sidetracked me for a bit, and I even thought one of the puzzles was bugged as a result, but no.
Overall, a fun, unusual RPG-lite with some pretty pixel graphics and nice music that cost me under £2 and entertained me for two and a half hours. I’m not going to complain at that.
I think this might be in my top three most played 3DS games now, and I’ve not even touched the Mario themed option. I got stuck on a boss, then powered through a few more levels, then got stuck on the previous boss again when she cropped up later with another monster at her side. Too hard. I’ve been trying lots of dragon combinations and came close once to besting them, but then one of the two baddies almost completely healed both of them and that was it. Maybe some grinding is in order. Or some different dragons again.
Lego The Hobbit (Wii U)
We completed it, but since then we’ve been mopping up stuff. It’s pretty slow going though, and we haven’t even revisited any of the levels yet. Daddy Pig seems to voice half the characters in this, which is slightly absurd. Especially the blacksmith’s wife. With her beard. Hmm.
Ninja Usagimaru: The Gem of Blessings Demo (3DS)
A not very good puzzle game. I got bored before the demo even finished, to be honest.
Fairune Demo (3DS)
There’s a game called Witch & Hero on the 3DS which is the most ridiculous concept ever. You walk into baddies to kill them, but when you do, you take damage – meaning you’re inevitably going to die. It was rubbish.
Fairune seems to be by the same people and has the same mechanic, only instead of protecting a static character on a single screen, it’s a flip-screen RPG of sorts. And somehow, I’ve gotten a bit hooked on it. I’ve finished the demo and now will almost certainly buy the full game. This surprised me.
Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash Demo (3DS)
Everyone loves Chibi-Robo, right? And taking pictures of real things to include in the game and collecting junk just to tidy up because he’s a cute robot that does that? Awesome, right? Then why is this a slightly crap platformer instead of any of that? How disappointing.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes Demo (3DS)
Well, I tried to play it. But it said no. I was in some sort of lobby and there were a couple of people to talk to and I found if I ran into a wall a ball fell from the sky and I could play keepy-uppies with it for a while but then that was it. I assume I needed some friends online to play with.
Badge Arcade (3DS)
No way am I giving money to this, but so far, I’ve not needed to. I’ve done well enough in the practise crane games to rack up a few free plays, and so far I’ve bagged about 12 badges. Not that I can use the badges because I’ve barely any space left on my home screen. I was hoping it would expand again, as it does when you hit about 80% full, but not this time. Boo.