Normally, players feel a predilection for some type of video game especially, either because we started in the world with a title of that genre or because playing it marked us in a unique way. Some people love being able to create their own spaces where they can lead a quiet life dealing with turnips, other people find it cool to live their own fantasy of being the embodiment of a being capable of the greatest galactic genocide in order to fulfill their objectives, among other examples. There are tastes for all colors, well, nobody is excluded here. Precisely, Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition He bases his proposal on this nostalgia that some players may feel, as he tries to recreate what a JRPG was like in the days of the Super Nintendo, more specifically to Square Enix titles such as Dragon Quest or Chrono Trigger, being a heartfelt tribute towards these. Of course, it is not a 1: 1 tracing, but it includes certain improvements in some aspects that no longer make sense in these times. Let’s see how this extended version of the original Stegosoft Games title turned out!
I’ve had great teachers
The first thing that catches your eye in Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition is the wonderful pixel-art with which all the graphics of the title are made. Its world, with the same name as the title, is an archipelago of islands that float in the air with a multitude of climates in which it boasts a truly remarkable stage design, being all enjoyed by our eyes. But it is not only his world, the design of his enemies are not far behind, giving us perfectly recreated fantasy creatures with an excellent level of detail. A detail that has caught our attention is the profile of the characters each time they have a text box, showing images for each and every one of the inhabitants of the archipelago, although this causes designs to be repeated on some occasion but with a variation in its coloring, but which have enough variations to express with enough skill the expressiveness of most of its characters.
who is a good boy? Of course you do!
With such a well-designed world, the next thing to ask is whether the developers have been able to take advantage of it, and it is that it turns out that we have mixed feelings about the story it wants to tell us. To start, we must make the most obvious, his narrative tells us nothing that we have not already been told countless times. We have a medieval story where magic exists, in which our protagonist, Lita LeCotta, is seen in the eye of the hurricane that is the war between elves and vampires for seizing the power of an ancient artifact of immeasurable power that maintains Ara Fell in the air.
The problem with the story is not that it has already been told to us, but rather it is not interesting enough for us to want to know what happens next. This hurts especially after a prologue that really caught us, but that loses strength as the plot progresses. Nevertheless, There is a brightness to hold on to, being the relationship between Adrian and Lita the pillar that makes us want to keep moving forward, to know more about them. These are the moments in which the story focuses on the relationship between these two characters when our interest rises rapidly, thanks to the charisma that both members of our team emanate with their sarcastic comments, either between themselves or against any other character.
Everyone knows that there are two pillars that are responsible for supporting a JRPG: history and gameplay. The first we have already told you that it could have been better, now we have to talk about the second, which does not reinvent anything at all, but which has no weaknesses to throw at it. Tell you that there are four difficulties from which we can choose, where the health of our enemies in combat varies, as well as the pressure exerted by our team. We have completed it in difficult mode and in this way we have taken approximately 20 hours, fulfilling the secondary missions that were coming our way and that did not move us too far from the main plot. With this difficulty we have faced all the enemies we were encountering, in order to level up and be able to survive against the enemies we encountered throughout our journey. The truth is that it has become difficult for us to play like this, since history did not support all this fieldwork in the last bars, so if the same happens to you but you want to know how the plot ends you can always put the difficulty in Story mode, which enables an Instant Kill command to enjoy the story without having to worry about any enemy. This is completely optional and can be changed from the options again at any time.
This wear in the final stretch is due to a particularity of the battles: at the end of them we recover all our health and our magic points. And why is this so? Because in all the fights, I repeat, EVERYONE, you have to do your best. Any enemy of our level, however weak it may be, can do us a severe break if we neglect, so we did not get to relax too much against enemies that we have faced hundreds of times. The rest of the particularities of the combat do not have much mystery: we have four members in our team and each one plays a role, being very well balanced, although without departing from the typical canons of this type of proposal. In addition, we have a special bar that is filled as the turns pass and that allows us to trigger the final attack of one of our characters. Of course, it is spent whole, it does not matter that the meter indicates that we have double the necessary, so learning to use it with head is essential, especially against the huge final bosses.
I don’t believe you, you’re kidding. Wait … isn’t that a joke?
There is one aspect to Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition that has been empowered to rise above the JRPGs of the time it purports to emulate, and that is exploration. Moving around the map is so important that if you don’t like this type of mechanics, you can already abandon the idea of getting the game. It is not that this is bad, far from it, if you like that type of proposal here you will enjoy like a dwarf. Nor is it as open a world as it might feel at first, since the game through the position of the enemies guides us one way or the other; but because the map that we have to guide us has not finished being the definitive tool to guide us, having to make use of the posters scattered by Ara Fell to finish guiding us, which is not bad, and brings an extra realism to how we would have to orient ourselves without any kind of GPS, by excessively limiting the tele-return system, so that we practically do not use it except on a few occasions. In our case we only use it once.
Moving on to more technical terrain, we have to tell you what has been an unexpected surprise and a huge disappointment. Seeing all the audiovisual material that we have shared in this text, there should be no doubt that Nintendo Switch could move the title with the maximum possible resolution with little effort. Well, it seems that Stegosoft Games has not been able to make Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition look its best on the platform, at least in TV mode. In portable mode the resolution is the maximum and it looks great. Now, in television mode we do not know if it is because they have not known how to increase the resolution or rescale the image, but we have a black frame that wraps the entire screen and that has taken away all the desire to play on television if we could do without the dock . If they had at least put a theme frame or something, but no, It is a very seedy and ugly detail. It can also affect you the fan noise. It is not an exaggeration, in fact, there are other titles that make the platform hotter, but we were surprised that with the technical invoice that the title presents, the console makes so much noise.
Comparison between TV mode and portable mode in Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition
Last but not least, we would like to tell you about one of the best aspects of the title. It is about its soundtrack, which although it is not made up of too extensive a variety of themes, each and every one of the compositions we liked quite a bit, involving us in each exploration and in each combat, spreading a layer of magic over the entire Ara Fell archipelago. In the end, no matter how many ups and downs the story presents, the soundtrack always contributes its grain of sand to continue reading its plot, in perfect English or Japanese, as we choose, becoming Lita and Adrian’s best travel companion.
Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition – Reliving an ancient era
In the end, the main problem with Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition lies in its excessive attachment to the material it tries to honor. It does not contribute anything new to a genre that has evolved considerably since the time of the Super Nintendo, neither in history nor in gameplay. The fact that we entered here looking for precisely what it offered and still reached the final stretch somewhat exhausted, is not the best letter of presentation of the title. However, if you are aware of its strengths and weaknesses, and you like stories of this style and explore calmly and without haste the world that its developers have created, you will find a magical adventure that you will not regret traveling. If only for Lita and Adrian.
We have analyzed Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition thanks to a download code provided by DANGEN Entertainment. Version analyzed 1.0.1
Reliving an ancient time
Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition is a conservative role-playing adventure, too close to its referents to stand out on its own, that although it does not manage to reach too large an audience, those players who enter its proposal knowing what they are going to face and take it easy and patiently, you will enjoy as with those titles that are honored here.
The relationship between Lita and Adrian is superb, connecting with them practically instantly
The soundtrack surrounds you with a layer of magic that immerses you in its fantasy world
The Ara Fell archipelago and the people who inhabit it present a delicious pixel-art
Without Lita and Adrian, the story, in English, would hardly be of interest
We are forced to play with an ugly black frame if we want to do it from our television
The gameplay does not innovate at all, and presents the occasional slight peak of difficulty