Also on: PC, PS4
Developer: soft star
Medium: Digital, Disc
There are a lot of similarities between Sword and Fairy: Together Forever and last year’s ,Xuan Yuan Sword 7. Not only do they have the same developer and publisher, both are the latest games in long-running Chinese RPG series that date back to the ’90s. In Sword and Fairy’s case, it’s the localization of Sword and Fairy 7 – which, confusingly, is actually the 9th mainline game in the series, and the twentieth overall if you factor in its various spinoffs.
But the similarities go beyond just the circumstances of both games. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is basically a carbon copy of Xuan Yuan Sword 7 as far as gameplay goes. It’s lots of hacking and slashing and Quick time Events, with the occasional boss fight thrown in to break up the monotony. It’s also fairly linear, never really allowing you to explore much of its world, no matter how vast it occasionally looks. And, like Xuan Yuan Sword 7, it features a lot of cutscenes, which are triggered at fairly regular intervals – and that’s not even counting the lengthy dialogue sequences that happen during the game, outside of the cutscenes.
That said, Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is clearly more than just a reskinned Xuan Yuan Sword 7. While the story is linear, it features lots and lots of sidequests, which at the very least make it so that you’re not simply going from village to village. Similarly, the villagers mostly acknowledge your existence, which is more than could be said about the villagers in that other game – though they only repeat the same few lines over and over again. And, of course, there’s the fact that Sword and Fairy: Together Forever allows you to manage a party, so you’re not just following one character through a lengthy story, you’re following several of them.
Of course, none of these differences are inherently for the better. And when you get down to it, it’s still a lot of basic hack and slash fights broken up by lots of endless cutscenes, with extra side quests there to pad out the length even further. I don’t foresee Sword and Fairy: Together Forever garnishing the kind of following here in the west that it has in China, but if you just want to kill lots of monsters and watch lots of dialogue, it may be worth your time.
Eastasiasoft provided us with a Sword and Fairy: Together Forever PS5 code for review purposes.