Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition is a difficult game to wholeheartedly recommend. JRPG veterans will likely fall into one of two camps – scornful of the game's simplistic mechanics, or appreciative of its polished take on very familiar genre tropes.
Ultimately, Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition quenched my thirst for a retro, Chrono Trigger-like experience. With rock-solid presentation, smart writing, and a battle system that gets the job done, Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition should be a part of any classic RPG fan's collection.
Its 10-12 hour runtime can provide some tense moments against challenging bosses, and four difficulty modes allow you to customize the experience to your liking. If you're looking for the next gripping narrative or memorable character moments, this is where Ara Fell trips up. If you just want a simple and recognizable JRPG experience to add to your Switch library, you could certainly do worse.
Honestly the biggest negative for me is that Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition ends at all. I really got lost in this wonderful RPG world, and was sad to see it end. I know I love a game when I even enjoy the puzzles in it. Thankfully there’s an epilogue after the credits roll, which does a decent job of tying up plot threads while still leaving room for a potential sequel. Suffice to say, I really hope Stegosoft Games has a sequel in the works, cause I desperately want to return to this fascinating world. If you love classic RPGs and want something you can get lost in for only $14.99, look no further. It’s easily one of my favorite RPGs of 2020 thus far.
Ara Fell works on every level — story, music, visuals, and gameplay. It’s likely that you’ll like it more if you adore classic JRPGs, but even if you don’t it has a lot of great points and makes for a fun experience. There is something really comforting and pleasant about playing this game. Perhaps it’s how it appeals to my nostalgia, or maybe the game is just crafted with a lot of charm. I’m confident that it will appeal to a lot of gamers out there.
A fun and loving tribute to the classics in JRPGs, there's more than enough to love in the characters and atmosphere to bridge the gap between the game and the story.
In the end, Ara Fell isn’t showing off anything that hasn’t been seen in games for many years, but the full package comes together well; while the adage “greater than the sum of its parts” is sometimes overused, Ara Fell is an excellent example of the way a game can come together and simply be fun.
Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition is everything fans of retro RPGs are looking for. It has well written characters, beautiful environments, decent combat and class systems, a fantastic musical score, and a story that gets deeper and more compelling the farther you delve into it.