For the last several weeks, I’ve been reviewing Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, which is sort of an enhanced edition of the original game that released on PlayStation 3. I really enjoyed the first half of the game, and the story overall was pretty darn entertaining, but when you reach the second half, the prerequisite of the grind creeps in. And it’s not welcome. I’m not sure the grind ever really is.
Enjoyment turned to pure annoyance. If there were interesting side quests to undertake to help with the grind, perhaps I would have enjoyed it a little more. The sub-events are okay for grinding, but they’re also extremely short. The actual side quests are the absolute worst. They’re a series of fetch or kill quests that can only be completed during certain parts of the game, when different enemies appear. I’m used to most RPGs requiring fetch quests as side quests, but they’re often mixed in with other pieces for character development or other story elaboration. This had none of those things, leaving me with little desire to do any of these quests.
As a result, I was grossly underpowered to continue with the story missions, forcing me to replay areas repeatedly in the name of the grind. I finally bumped the game down to Easy because I loathed the grind so much. Maybe back in the day we found the grind charming, but it’s the principle reason why I haven’t finished so many JRPGs, especially the older games. RPGs need to find a way now to either eliminate the need for the grind or come up with more satisfactory ways to grind than fetch quests that don’t add a single thing to overall story. My patience, as well as my time, is wearing thin for this sort of thing.
That’s one reason why LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been such a lovely distraction. There’s no grind, just silly fun with LEGOs and Star Wars jokes.