October 8th, 2012 | By Dominic Tarason
Fresh from the Steam release of their perspective-shifting shmup Ether Vapor, Japanese indie studio Edelweiss have something else for us. A playable demo of their soon-to-be-localized magical brawler Fairy Bloom Freesia. Probably closer in Smash Bros’ in style than a traditional fighting game, the story-focused demo pits you against wave after wave of expendable enemies, gaining experience points which can be spent on new moves and stat upgrades for the protagonist, Freesia.
It’s all very bright, colourful and innocent. It’s a rather Disney fairytale take on a magical forest, and the enemies aren’t exactly the most imposing lot. From what I’ve played of the demo so far, it does seem quite accessible to all ages, and even those without genre experience, thanks to a rather casual Easy mode. Controls are simple, with digital movement and just a few buttons used, and special moves being a simple matter of Direction + Button. A decent digital gamepad is recommended, but not required, and keyboard should do most players fine.
The game is for Windows PCs only, is being localized by Nyu Media, and will run on just about any machine you can throw it at. The full English version will be available next month. It seems entertaining enough so far, but without the broader range of moves that the full version will inevitably bring, it feels a little lightweight to me so far, especially in its central focus on arena fighting against waves of enemies, rather than full-blown opponents. Personally, I’m still excitedly waiting on Edelweiss’ upcoming shooter, Astebreed.