Farabel is a turn-based strategy role-playing game. This happens to be one of my favorite genres. I remember the first one I played being Final Fantasy Tactics and later Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced, which led to me wanting more games like this to play. I always jump at the option to play a game in this genre.
Farabel is unique because it starts you at the final battle. During the battle, the King of Farabel believes all is lost in the war against the orcs. Therefore, he orders his sorceress to cast a spell to go back in time. Since she hasn’t cast the spell in a long time, the sorceress tries to remember how to do so. She remembers the spell just as the king wins the battle, casting it before the king can order her to stop. This causes them to go back in time. The story continues along with this premise, with the king deciding to go back again and stop the war entirely. As you go travel through time, it is hard not to enjoy the light-hearted story along the way.
In most RPGs, you’re constantly leveling up and upgrading your skills and weapons. Farabel, on the other hand, starts at the end. So characters are already at their strongest and players must level down each character as you go back in time. Players must choose which stat to give up; as you progress or digress, skills and weapons are lost, essentially making the game gradually more difficult. It is an interesting feeling making your characters worse. Normally having to downgrade characters throughout the game would be something unheard of or even considered to be a cheap way to make it more difficult. Farabel, being a turned-based strategy game, doesn’t feel that way; rather, this change adds a bit of depth and makes it a more unique title.
The fast-paced combat never gives the feeling of being bored, it always feels fun. Combat also shines with tactical-based depth as battles still need to be won. It doesn’t seem unbalanced, like being stuck in an unwinnable battle, as I have felt in some non-indie turn-based strategy games.
My one and only complaint is each battle already had characters picked out. Although, since you are going back in time, it makes sense that the units would be selected. Having the units preselected just felt limited, almost like taking part of the strategy out of the game.
Farabel is a simple package graphically and isn’t anything too special, but it still looks good. Farabel runs smoothly in both docked and undocked modes, which is always a plus.
My time with Farabel was fun not only because of the twist on gameplay but also the lightheartedness of it all. Farabel tried a twist of gameplay and in this case, it worked out, something that isn’t always the case. Fans of turned-based strategy RPGs should certainly check this game out.
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