Sword and Fairy: Together Forever – Review
Follow Genre: Action roleplaying game
Developer: SOFTSTAR
Publisher: EastAsiaSoft
Platform: PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS4

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Great visuals, Fluid gameplay
Bad: Translation is lacking, Combat sometimes too easy
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The Legend of Sword and Fairy are a series of Taiwanese-developed roleplaying games that saw their first title released in 1995 and have been going strong ever since. Not unusual for these types of franchises, the original game spawned not only a myriad of sequels and spin-offs, but also an animated show, a stage play, and even a card game. On the international market, these games found limited success with their fun gameplay and intriguing look into Chinese mythology. The entry we’re looking at today is the ninth installment in the series, released as Sword and Fairy: Together Forever for PlayStation consoles in our regions.

Story

Thankfully for any newcomers to the series, Sword and Fairy: Together Forever does that thing where a major time-skip has happened since the events of the other games. While having played earlier games will allow you to understand some references or maybe catch a certain context, it’s not necessary for a fun experience. The plot is essentially stand-alone and told through long cutscenes (sometimes too long, but we’ll get into this later).

Our main character, Yue Qingshu, is a member of the Mingshu Sect, a group of humans who communicate with spirits and other nonhuman entities. This is important because, in Sword and Fairy, there is a constant war brewing between the different species that inhabit the living realm. Most notably the humans, demons, and deities are at odds with each other. Demons have been stirring up more and more trouble lately and after eating a mysterious glowing fruit, Yue channels the deity general Xiu Wu, who explains to her the ongoing war he’s having with these demons. The two decide to work together to fight them, finding other characters along the way. While pretty basic, the plot of Sword and Fairy is enjoyable enough thanks to its likable characters and interesting ties to Chinese mythology.

Graphics

There’s no reason to beat around the bush: Sword and Fairy: Together Forever blows players away with its pretty visuals. The game looks absolutely stunning, both in character design and the overall quality of graphics. Realism is not as important here, because this game instead likes to lean into the high fantasy trope of mystical locations and characters who look like they’re always picture-perfect with not a stray hair out of place. Even the combat sets itself apart from other RPGs with its smooth animations, which make your battles look almost as if they’re scripted. Speaking of scripted: the cutscenes keep up the same quality, which is important since there are quite a few of them.

Sound

The music in Sword and Fairy also isn’t anything to complain about. The same composer who did the soundtrack for the previous games is back to keep things in the same genre and style. You can tell a lot of their inspiration came from ancient China here too, making the music pretty distinct. There’s voice acting in Chinese for the entirety of the game, with no English dub. Subtitles are of course present to pick up the slack, though you might find them lacking. The translation is… rough to say the least. The voice acting itself is professional though.

Gameplay

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is a semi-open-world roleplaying game, allowing you some liberty in crafting your own path while playing. There are four player characters, each with their own unique fighting style. You’ll start off the game with Yue, and you’ll unlock new characters as you go. As you play, you unlock new techniques for your characters, as well as new special moves. Together you travel across the land and find yourself solving both story quests and a bunch of optional side quests that are great for expanding on world and character lore. The game has a lot of optional content, but it’s always engaging enough to keep things interesting.

The combat itself is pretty easy. You have the expected light and heavy attacks, as well as character-dependent special attacks. Another important skill is dodging. Overall fighting in this game plays out very fluidly, with each attack flowing into the next very naturally. While you can’t command other characters during combat, you can switch between characters at will. Practice this enough and you’ll find yourself doing it as part of the game’s natural rhythm. The main downside of the gameplay is that it’s very easy. Most enemies – even bosses – don’t take too much work to get rid of, plus there are always healing items in abundance.

As mentioned above, the cutscenes can be quite long. Combined with how short some combat sections actually are, you will find yourself staring at a screen with no interaction for significant portions of time. We should add that Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is a very long game overall, so you’re still getting a lot of bang for your buck despite this. That being said, we would have appreciated it if we had been able to sometimes play for longer stretches of time without having to put our controller down.

Conclusion

Sword and Fairy is known in the east as one of the most iconic RPG games from the Asian market. In the west, this series has largely flown under the radar, with the poor localization explaining why. Still, its amazing visuals and addictive, fluid gameplay are a treat for any gamer. Hopefully, this specific release will bring some much-deserved popularity to this enjoyable series. We do hope the rough translation gets improved upon making the title even more attractive.

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Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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