Fairy Fencer F Idea Factory

Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord Review – Melody of Enchantment

Fairy Fencer F came out on PS3 in 2013, and it was an interesting game with a solid story for collecting characters. You are Fang, who learns he is a Fencer by befriending a fury named Eryn, who tells him she doesn’t have any memories of her life. They decide to try to awaken the Goddess by collecting all the furies they can find. In 2016 this game got a remaster called Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force. I was not expecting Fairy Fencer F to get a sequel, but I was excited once it got announced.

Game Name: Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord
Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC (Reviewed)
Publisher(s): Idea Factory International
Developer(s): Compile Heart, Sting
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
Price: $49.99

Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord starts more like a what-if than a full-on sequel. It takes place as Fang gets woken up in prison for stealing food. Eryn then comes to break him out, and they go back and meet two pairs of interesting people brand new to the game. They meet Fleur and Al who are trying to stop the other pair of people, Glace and a mysterious hooded man. Glace has been going to villages and brainwashing them with her music to find furies. Fleur wants to stop the brainwashing and uses her music to aid in supporting the people hurt by Glace. That is when we learn they are both muses who use special types of furies to increase their musical abilities.

Idea Factory Compile Heart Fairy Fencer F Refrain Chord

Gotta Catch Them All

The gameplay loop of Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord is rather simple. You get a main mission that is associated with the story,  then you are placed into a town and can access a variety of hubs, like a fountain, inn, pub, and other locations where you can talk to people. Sometimes you can get side quests that will give you money, furies, or experience. You can leave the town and go to the overworld, which allows you to select locations that have icons over them. Even if there is no side quest or main quest associated with the icon of the location, you can do free battles for experience and monster drops. If you are playing on a normal difficulty, I would recommend doing a lot of the side quests and even some of the free battles to gain enough experience to take on the main quests. If you are on easy, you can just do the main missions and skip a lot of the side content. If you are on hard, I would recommend doing everything you can to boost your character. The farther you get in the story, the more characters and side content you unlock.

Combat in Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord is the biggest departure from the main series this game gets. It is a tactical-based combat with control of two or more characters fighting a variety of enemies on the map. You will get to choose which fencers you have access to, but you can only bring Fluer as the Muse option. You control your characters, and the turn order is on the top right of the screen. You can use your fencers to attack, use skills, use items, or magical abilities they may have. Each fencer has their main fury equipped but is able to equip a sub-fairy you have caught. Fairies are furies not bonded to a fencer. Side content allows you to catch these fairies.

The big draw of this, which is different than other tactical combat games, is the Muse element. You can activate a Fairy Aria with Fleur that will make the character sing as well as add a layer of buffs to the field around her. The more sub-fairies you get for Fleur, the more songs she can learn that will add different buffs to your units. The first song you have access to increases your attack power slightly with physical attacks. You also can learn songs that buff other stats, give regeneration or healing to your units, or even buff the percentage of characters’ counterattacks in the song’s range. Each turn you get with Fleur, you can decide to increase the buff of the units inside the song’s range or increase the range of the units that can hear the song.

Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord Battle Harmonic Attack


The presentation of Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord is very stylized. The character models are chibi cell-shaded characters. The terrain is short and simple but also varied. This game feels like every choice in its presentation to its characters was decided based on the core gameplay mechanic of tactical combat, and it utilizes it very well. The game also is optimized quite well for Steam Deck with a perfect 720p/60fps performance. I played all of Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord on the Steam Deck, and it was a very enjoyable experience. I would recommend it that way, since I don’t want to do a bunch of tactical maps all at once; I preferred to do maps in smaller chunks of time to not burn myself out on strategy and frustration. The Steam Deck helped me with that. You could argue that it can be a negative that you don’t want to play this game in large gaps of time, but I think it is perfect for a game that has loads of side content and doesn’t necessarily try to rush you in the game itself. It also helped that I had a good chunk of time to finish the game.

Melodic Perfection

The absolute best part of Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord was the music. Not just the music we get in the game but how the soundtrack of battle stages mixes and melds with the Muses songs. Each song sounds different when you use Fleur, and all of them are fantastic. Every stage also has enemies with their muse of Glace. I wasn’t the biggest fan of having shadows of her in every stage since it doesn’t always make sense but once the singing happens, I could forget sense. Hearing a battle soundtrack that is largely instrumental get added vocals and another layer of music from one Muse was great, but getting it from two competing Muses makes it heaven to the ears. I am surprised that they made it so that when they are both singing and they have both songs being played on top of each other, and over the game’s attle’s soundtrack. It is something that should not work, but it does extremely well. The only negative thing is that there is no English Dub. I understand not wanting it to focus more on the song elements, but fans of the first game might be sad since both the main game and the remaster of the first Fairy Fencer F had an English cast.

Finding Balance 

Overall, Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord was an enjoyable game that may be simple, it what it brings to the table, it has a lot to offer. Tons of side content, a lot of furies to catch, and maps to unlock and complete. There is a lot to do in this game. Most of the story elements are in visual novel-type cinematics and explanations, with not a whole lot of actual CG artwork. The combat is fun and can be very relaxing if you are listening to the music. The game itself isn’t too difficult, and it may make some fanatics of the genre want to skip the game due to that, but it is still worth trying out.

Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord has been released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. It will release to Steam on May 23rd, 2023.

Review Disclosure Statement: Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord was provided to us by Idea Factory International for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.

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Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord is a sequel game to the original Fairy Fencer F but with a totally new combat system. It is a competent strategy Role Playing Game and not overly difficult. The music mechanics make it stand out and a joy to listen to. The relationship between characters is not really explored as heavily as the first game.


  • Easy to Learn and pick up.
  • Music is amazing with great Japanese Voice Acting.
  • Lots of side content to finish.


  • Due to how late the story takes place from the first game, characters from that game aren’t explored very well.
  • Doing a lot of content at once can feel like a slog and not enjoyable.
  • No English dub choice.