Title: Fairy Bloom Freesia
Release Date: October 17, 2012
Publisher (Developer): Nyu Media (Edelweiss)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes
Pros: Can easily use joystick or keyboard controls, multiple difficulty levels, various story/challenge/gallery modes, easy to build combos, mild RPG elements since you earn experience points and can unlock extra special attacks. There’s also a New Game+ option
Cons: Basic enemy designs are uninspired. Daily challenges and training are incredibly repetitive. Bosses can provide a stark shock considering how much more difficult they are compared to the basic “daily” challenges.
Overall Score: One thumb up and one thumb down, 79/100, C+, * * 1/2 out of 5
Nyu Media is doing a lot of good in the gaming world, which is remarkable since they’re such a new company. They’re providing people around the world the opportunity to play doujin games that would otherwise have never left Japan. Its something to commend the company for, especially since most of the games picked so far have been decent to awesome in terms of quality. The latest release is Fairy Bloom Freesia a beat’em up game that tasks players with helping a fighting fairy defend her forest. It’s not the best doujin game Nyu Media’s brought us so far, but it’s still slightly above average and worth a second or third look.
She is Freesia and she speaks for the Jomon Tree
Freesia is a fairy, even if she looks more like an ordinary child. Every forest has one, and for good reason. They’re constantly threatened by outside forces that find they want or need some precious resource from within.
That’s what’s happening to Freesia’s forest. She’s learning from the Jomon Tree, a gigantic, sentient tree that lives in the center of the forest and could be considered the whole reason it thrives. It’s kept alive by the Amal Stone, which is both good and bad. Good, because the Jomon Tree and Lita Forest are happy, peaceful places because of it and bad because the humans have decided they want it.
As a result, golems have been created and sent into the woods to attack, search for and acquire the Amal Stone. They’re causing lots of collatoral damage and Freesia heads out to not only destroy the golems, but also deter the humans coming in from taking something that doesn’t belong to them.
Fairy Bloom Freesia‘s story is incredibly cute and ends up offering a lot more depth and even a bit of a twist that was better than I expected. It’s also delivered in an anime series format, since each level is considered a Day and after a certain number of Days a boss appears and the story moves forward.
Fairy Bloom Freesia lulls you into a repetitive rhythm, then chucks a crazy boss fight at you.
Fairy Bloom Freesia is a rather simple beat’em up. By pressing the either of the two attack buttons, either alone in rapid succession or with various presses on the directional buttons, Freesia chains together massive attacks to completely decimate whatever enemies happen to be in her way. How huge are these chains? If someone playing Fairy Bloom Freesia doesn’t put together a 100 hit combo without even trying, then he or she is doing it wrong. It’s absolutely effortless, which makes you feel fantastic once Freesia starts hitting and blasting enemies across the screen like pinballs, damaging any other enemies they happen to slam into on the way. Moreover, the ease with which all attacks can be pulled off and combined together makes it easy for players to learn more advanced moves and techniques.
They’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn and use these extra skills. Fairy Bloom Freesia has some mild RPG elements. After each level an Intermission period begins. Here’s where players can use points earned from beating enemies to purchase new attacks, passive abilities and stat upgrades. Once acquired, these must be equipped to have any effect on Freesia during play. This segment also allows people to save or take part in Training matches. Training matches are essentially more-of-the-same bouts against the same bland, generic enemies to earn more points to put towards the various special attacks and bonuses. It’s a handy stopping place to have and the Training is a helpful bonus, but it’s not something people playing on the easiest difficulty level will use. Training is needed most for grinding purposes once people have reached that halfway point.
The thing is, Fairy Bloom Freesia is surprisingly devious. The “daily” typical fights aren’t terribly challenging. The only really trying part of those is the sheer number of generic enemies players will face. As long as you keep moving and attacking during these levels, Freesia will usually prevail. It’s the boss levels, especially the later ones, that will trip players up. The AI is far better for these match-ups and even on the easiest difficulty these opponents can prove quite a challenge. This is when the Intermission segments with the additional training opportunities will prove invaluable.
As nice as the extra challenge is, Fairy Bloom Freesia can get incredibly repetitive. Though the background may change after a number of Days and bosses can look unique, the standard enemies offer little to no diversity. This is one of those cases where I’d actually say shortness of the game works in Fairy Bloom Freesia‘s favor. It moves so quickly that I found I was able to forgive the common minions because I knew within 10 or 15 minutes I’d be facing a more unique boss. It moves so quickly that you instead focus on how fun it is to chain together these vibrant attacks to decimate anything in your way.
Simple and short, but also mindless fun
Fairy Bloom Freesia isn’t some triumph of the beat’em up genre. It’s a cute, fun little game that has more in common with an anime series OVA than something like Streets of Rage. It’s more like beat’em up fluff. It’s not bad, but it’s not as substantial as other games in the genre. That said, it is definitely well worth the $8 entry fee, especially with the New Game+ option that lets you build upon the foundation you’ve prepared in your first playthrough so you’re better equipped to handle a speedrun or greater challenges. If you’re into the whole doujin game scene and want a game you don’t really have to think too hard about on the easiest difficulty level and will substantially challenge you on the hardest difficulty level, then you should definitely look into Fairy Bloom Freesia.