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Fae Tactics

In Fae Tactics, follow a young magic user named Peony on her journey across a vibrant world full of mystery and danger. Summon allies, cast spells, and befriend a motley crew of characters as you dive into the growing conflicts between man and magical beings known as fae. Long ago the world of magic was separated from the natural world by Elemental Gates. One day the seal on the gates was broken, flooding the natural world with magical fae creatures once thought to be myths. The worlds merging was imperfect and much of the land was torn apart. The devastation claimed the lives of most of the population of natural and fae creatures alike. Those that survived have forged new lives in the ruins of the old worlds, but growing tension between man and fae threaten to finish what began with the opening of the gates.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Ever since the Final Fantasy Tactics serie has gone away, fans of the tactical RPG genre have been starved of good games. While some series pretend to carry the mantle, they usually fall flat in one or more ways. Disgaea is more about grinding big numbers than tactics, Valkyria Chronicles is stuck with the infamous "scout rush" that make you play with only one unit, etc.
Well, despair no longer, because Fae Tactics is here! It's great, unique, and a true tactical RPG.
Rough beginnings
To be fair, the game's start is a bit rough. It tooks me several sessions to go through the tutorial region. Not because it is long, but because the missions are very limited. You have both very limited options but you're also drowing in various UI symbols and tutorial explanations that don't always make sense the first time around. But once you manage to push through this first region, you will get to play the full game and start seeing how great it is.
A normal battle of Fae Tactics gives you 3 "leader" units, and 3 "summoned" units that are summoned by the main character, Peony. The leader units are stronger than the summoned units, but if you lose your leaders, the game is lost, whereas summoned units can die without affecting the mission.
Already, the variety of Fae Tactics starts appearing. Not only do you get to pick your leader units among a list of people you acquire through the story, you also get to pick summoned units among the list of creatures your Peony will learn to summon. And thus, you will soon learn how sometimes it makes sense to tank with a big leader unit, and sometimes it's better to let a summoned one in front to avoid an early game over.
Many game systems to create a bounty of tactical options
But this is only one among many of the interesting game systems that Fae Tactics offers. While it would take too long to detail all of them, the two major ones are the ranged vs melee system, and the elements system.
First, the range system: ranged units obviously can more easily hit targets, and also more easily hide. But to compensate for this advantage, Fae Tactics has created a combo system. Whenever you attack an enemy, if you have a melee unit next to that enemy, that melee unit will also get a free attack on that enemy, whereas a ranged unit only attack on its turn. So you will have to figure out when it makes sense to use ranged units that are easily defended, and when it makes sense to send one or more melee units so they can attack several times in a single turn.
As for the elements system: each unit (be they friendly or not) is either a physical unit or an elemental unit. Physical units are rarer than elemental ones and function as a neutral type that has neither advantage nor disadvantage. However, elemental units gets assigned one element from the list of seven possible ones, and it has major implications on how the unit works.
Not only will your attack always do critical damage if you attack a weaker element (for example water over fire), but they will also be weaker on elements you're not good against (water on electricity). Moreover, it goes deeper as your element also affects the capabilities of the unit. For example, wind units can haste other units so they will move faster and farther on the battlefield.
Thanks to these 2 systems, and also several others game systems that mesh well together, Fae Tactics offer a wide variety of options to tackle the various missions of the campaign. Do you want to rush the enemy ? maybe you want to summon some wind units to hasten your units. But what if the enemy is mostly made of earth units ? maybe you will want to switch to fire units instead. Or maybe it would be better to use units that offer big healing or defensive buffs to tank ? The choice is yours, and it will often depend on what you face.
A campaign that will keep you on your toes
Because what you face will change a lot. The campaign is quite long (I'm about 30h in, though i'm taking my time), and it is very well made. While the AI isn't perfect (it will make mistakes from time to time), it's deep enough to offer a good challenge. More importantly, the missions you will face will vary often enough so you don't feel like you're doing the same thing over and over again, and also it will push you to try new strategies.
Some missions will have a neutral map, giving no advantage to either side. Others will start you on top of a mountain, for a massive damage advantage. Or it could be the reverse, and you will have to figure out how to climb without getting decimated.
Even more important than the terrain, the enemies teams will vary a lot. Sometimes you will have lots of canon fodder, other times it will be an epic boss battle. The elemental system will also affect the game in many ways: there is no single team that is the solution to all the missions, you will have to be smart enough to adapt to each challenge. And even when you think you've got the basics down, the campaign is well made and will offer many surprises along the way...
I think you get the idea: the game is rich, it offers plenty of varied challenges, it also pushes you to do well (there are various XP bonuses if you manage to not lose a unit, or if you finish the mission in a certain way, ...), and is also great at letting you experiment: You can always adjust or reset the stats and equipment of your leader units between each battle, so feel free to experiment to figure out what works best for you.
Some rough edges
I'm gushing about this game, because it very much deserves it, but I need to be fair and also acknowledge that it is not perfect. There are some minor issues that can sometimes impair you. I've already talked about the disappointing starting region. But this is luckily forgotten and forgiven once you're past it and the game gets going for real. But there are also some more long term issues.
Chief among them, is the lack of an in-game guide explaining the vocabulary. Sometimes the game will tell you that an item provides "+1 xxx", without telling you what the word xxx means. While you can often infers or test what they mean, the info is often spread out, and I've had to refers to an external guide a couple of times just to understand the exact meaning of the word or ability.
Another minor annoyance is the lack of more speed options. The game offers a x2 speed option, but I've been playing with it constantly on, and I've often wished for an even faster speed, especially when I'm just redoing the first turns of a battle I've already failed before.
Those issues are never enough to stop my enjoyment of the game, but I do wish a patch would fix some of them.
Conclusion
On the whole, Fae Tactics is a fantastic game. It is fun, it is varied, it succeeds in a genre that so many bigger studios have failed on, and I'm so happy I've picked it up on a whim.
It also avoids being frustrating by allowing you to pick which mission you want to go for next, so if you've been stuck on a specific mission, you can always back off to the map, and try something else, until you're stronger and/or comes up with a better plan for the mission you abandoned.
If you've been craving for a tactical RPG, you should definitely try Fae Tactics. Don't get put off by the so-so tutorial missions, and you will find a great game that will offer you dozens of hours of tight tactical gameplay.
Additional note: If you find the game too easy, i recommend trying to go for the "No units lost" end of round bonus on every single battle. I've played the game that way, and it made it tougher, and more interesting tactics-wise. Be prepared for a tough challenge and many restarts on some of the trickiest battles.

Review from Steam

General Overview:
Fae Tactics has tons of care poured into it, but it’s certainly not for everyone. I had a great time with it, but I also don’t have a ton of experience with SPRGs. I can say that the game has a ton of fun and interesting elements, but it’s faults can’t be ignored. Oh, and for all things holy be sure to turn on 2x battle speed in the options.
Notable game mechanics:
Even by RPG standards, there’s a lot of different mechanics at play determined by RNG, especially outside of battles. Equipable items, loot drops needed for upgrades, the useable units themselves, and more are determined by what randomly happens to drop upon an enemy’s defeat. This can be somewhat mitigated via grinding for what you want, but even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a specific drop.
Speaking of grinding, it’s almost entirely optional here. Enemies tend to scale to your current level, making the only real purpose for grinding is farming the aforementioned drops. I was able to get through the whole game without going into a single free battle.
The enemy recruitment mechanic is another central mechanic. In any given battle, 33-50% of your units will be recruited enemies, with the other half consisting of story characters. The enemies you can recruit are based off of the ones you defeat, but there’s no guarantee that a defeated enemy will drop its recruitment card. This mechanic is fun, though it can be very easy to get comfortable with a few favorite units. The tradeoff for this mechanic is that there isn’t a lot of customizing individual units as a result. Each character (story and recruited enemy alike) is somewhat locked to a certain playstyle, especially early on in the game.
Things I liked:
The game’s difficulty is hard, but usually fair. You’ll quickly be up against enemies that have you beat in both numbers and stats. Even regular encounters can end in a loss if you’re not careful about allied unit placement and enemy weaknesses.
Like any game with RNG elements, you’ll occasionally lose a battle due to an unlucky roll of the dice. However, I always felt like such a loss could have been prevented had I done a better job of organizing my units (barring any level featuring teleporting totems). Additionally, many common pitfalls of SRPGs are thankfully absent. While there is a traditional “evasion” system, it can be mitigated by having units attack enemies from behind. Additionally, enemy reinforcements don’t attack the same turn they arrive, critical hits are based on type rather than RNG, and allied NPCs not named Marcus are surprising component. Overall, 95%+ of the game’s story levels are fun and fair to play. But fair warning; when Fae Tactics has a poorly designed level, it’s usually a REALLY poorly designed level. (Disclaimer: I played on the normal difficulty)
The branching path system is a really nice touch. If a particular mission looks daunting, you’ll often be able to go to another one and come back when you’re ready. There’s also a ton of secrets and collectibles to find, including secret missions, rare items, and even entire story characters.
The Story is fun. It’s does a good job of knowing when to keep things serious and when to be lighthearted. The plot twists aren’t blatantly obvious and there’s rarely a character that comes off as dull. Despite the “visit new area, do X, and leave for the next one” structure of the story, there’s a surprising amount of worldbuilding baked in as well.
The soundtrack is great. That’s that.
Things I disliked:
Probably my biggest gripe is that Fae Tactics will occasionally omit telling you critical information. The biggest offender is that I was never able to determine what an enemy’s “ultra” skill would do before they actually used it. There were a few other instances of this outside of this, but they weren’t super common.
The first few hours are rather rough. The game does a good job of explaining the core mechanics, but there’s so much to take in that some details can slip through the cracks. A glossary of keywords and mechanics would have been a godsend. (Though there is an easy-to-reference guide for unit weaknesses and resistances).
The graphics are fine, but nothing special. There’s a good amount of repetition in the enemies and assets, but it comes off more as a limited budget issue rather than a lack of creativity issue.
The cooking minigame gets old very quickly, but the stat upgrades it gives are significant enough that you won’t want to pass it up, meaning that you’ll end up doing it after every set of battles.
TLDR: Pick up Fae Tactics if you’re looking for something fresh with a lot of love put into it. Pass if you’re not ok with the occasional poorly design level or improperly explained mechanic.

Review from Steam

If Final Fantasy Tactics and Legend of Mana got together, had an unforgettable night of passion, and conceived a child, Fae Tactics would be that child. Legend of Mana's art style, music, sidekicks, and elemental affinities inside of FFT's grid based strategy. As a veteran of so many FFT inspired games, I'm thrilled I keep losing, because it makes you rethink everything. Party, Summons, Scrolls. In a universe where games offer you either no challenge(XCOM) or are designed to destroy you over and over (Othercide, The Last Spell), Fae Tactics lives in that beautiful place in between. A rewarding challenge.
Really makes you wonder what other PS1 era love children the world is missing. A Valkyrie Profile with Spyro the Dragon's gameplay? A Bushido Blade Vagrant Story? A PaRappa the Rapper Parasite Eve? So many possibilities!

Review from Steam

If you enjoy Final Fantasy Tactics and similar games, specially Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, it's a pretty good bet that you'll enjoy Fae Tactics as well. The unit building may seem shallow at first, doing away with the typical skills/equipment adopted in similar games in the genre, but eventually you unlock a big enough number of options for outfitting your Leaders, as well as selecting accompanying Fae to summon into battle, that the preparations screen be enjoyable by itself. You get a look at the battlefield before putting your team together, and checking on your opponents and building a counter team often feel like a puzzle.
The storyline is quite different from your FFTs and Tactics Ogres, however, moving away from grand war stages, towards fairytale inspired monsters and races. It's all pretty whimsical, much like FFTA was at times, which can be hit or miss depending on the player. The setting is interesting enough, but the plot might be a bit too open-ended for it's own good. You can progress the plot missions in pretty much any order after the first set of missions, which is cool, as taking a different route changes the order of acquisition for the steady stream of unlockable units/weapons the game throws your way, but the narrative looses a bit of cohesion, and a lot of momentum. The characters in your party are pretty cool, tho, and Peony is a pretty adorable protagonist.
My biggest gripe with the game was that the first few hours, before I had enough units or more varied weapons to make meaningful decisions, team-building choices felt very shallow, making the battles feel samey. This is definitely not the case, and different team combinations get very unique eventually, but it did make me almost drop the game.
This is a big recommendation on my part! Will definitely keep an eye on Endlessfluff Games going forward =)

Review from Steam

I only played similar games to this called Final Fantasy Tactics on GBA and Ps1 long time ago. Fae Tactics surpass those titles on every possible level. I highly reccomend it.

Review from Steam

Great artstyle, generally solid combat encounters, and the overall base game design is really solid. Story is kinda generic, but I really like the characters so it's certainly good enough. Takes the very typical isometric TBT gameplay and simplifies some portions while adding a couple of new mechanics for an experience that overall feels like it really hits the mark in terms of trimming fat while still maintaining complexity where it's needed.

Review from Steam

fae tactics puts the player in the position of the perpetually pogging protagonist, peony.
...and when you realize that's all her portrait expression is, the game is utterly and unshakably cursed. but on the other hand, how silly it is kind of adds a bit of charm to it?
this about sums up the game in a nutshell, but for some reason, i will continue typing.
as a trpg veteran, in terms of mechanics and core gameplay alone, this is absolutely the best iso-trpg i've played.
-the element system is clear and powerful.
-every unit generally has multiple actions worth considering the trade ofs of doing each turn.
-on normal mode, i cut through most battles on the first try but consistently felt pressured and satisfied by the difficulty.
-many iso-trpgs are suffocatingly slow, but this has a speed-up option; 2x felt great.
-inventory management is minimal yet meaningful
-rotating different units and characters in and out felt cool
-the monster-catching felt meaningful and very well integrated
-there is a lot of freedom/non-linearity with all the side missions
-also wow this is a whole-ass 40+ hour game even on speed up
-changing pogony's element is pretty neat
-it's hard to overstate how good the sound effects are making things feel very rewarding. this doesn't fit in this paragraph but it needs to be said.
in sum, the core of the gameplay is amazing and feels great.
it is lacking some polish.
most of it is lacked in inconsequential places. if time and resources were a factor, they prioritized them well. but it is noticeable.
most notably, the writing is particularly unartful. i still enjoyed the story. i actually liked most of the characters, and more than i expected to. the perennially empoggened protag (pogtag, if you will?) had about two braincells, but she rocked them hard. the writing is predictable, but not boring. the dialogue, however, was occasionally distractingly bland (or un-edited). this is definitely the weakest part of the game, but it is not a deal breaker. cohesive world-building and likable characters shore it up well enough.
all in all, the game is pretty poggers.