Sword and Fairy: Together Forever PlayStation 4 Review

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is a lavish RPG that is busted at the core.

By Fragnarok, Posted 25 Aug 2022

Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is a roleplaying action game from Softstar’s Taipei and Beijing studios jointly. The game initially arrived on PC in 2021 under the title Sword and Fairy 7. The name change seems to be a means of attracting new players to the franchise. However, this may be a tad faulty, as Sword and Fairy: Together Forever builds on narrative threads from the more extensive series.

The divine warrior Xiu Wu finds himself in a losing battle against a wave of demon forces. He is ambushed by Sword and Fairy 3’s Chonglou, who steals Wu’s Chunzi sword and banishes the deity to the human realm. As Xiu Wu falls to earth, he hibernates in the form of an illuminating spirit fruit. The last Mingshu Sect disciple, Yue Qingshu, finds the dormant fruit in the forest and is compelled to take a bite. She is stopped by her pet spirit servant Qiaoling, but the damage is already done: a hickey is bruised into Xiu Wu’s neck, interlinking their two souls.


The Legend of Sword and Fairy: Together Forever, PS4, PlayStation 4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed
 

This union winds up coming at an opportune time. Qingshu has developed a sisterly bond with the young Tainshi Sect disciple Ziqiu - a sickly child who recently escaped from his pagoda prison. Ziqiu is a talented healer and has become the human realm conduit for Wu’s master, the great Aoxu. However, Ziqiu is soon abducted by the demon general Kuiyu, who now wields the power of Wu’s Chunzi. Tainshi leadership calls all the sects together, introducing Xianxia Sect’s elementalist Bai Moqing and the Miao doctor Sang Yo.

Players take the role of one of the four protagonists, with the others controlled by the AI. Each has various combo strings formed together by a mix of light and heavy attacks. They can also freely jump and dodge attacks. A well-timed perfect dodge will grant buffs like increased attack or defense. 

Party members can also allocate up to eight abilities that consume MP. Qingshu calls upon the aid of spirits to heal, buff, or cripple enemies. Wu relies on physical and divine sword attacks at close range. Moqing summons full elemental storms that decimate groups of foes. And Yo has access to both group healing and damage over time poisons.


Sword and Fairy 7|Together Forever|Softstar|Journey Heaven Earth


Depending on the main story progression, players will either be locked into one character - dubbed the “Leader” - or may find the team splitting up or otherwise limiting who can be controlled. Even when freely allowed to change characters, it can be very disorientating. Together Forever is dead set on quickly snapping the camera directly behind the main character instead of a more gradual pan or fade. This also annoyingly occurs if the player falls in battle and an ally is automatically switched to.

Enemy design is somewhat unbalanced. Both monsters in the field and bosses are damage sponges, with 30-80% more health than seems reasonable. They also tend to do incredibly high damage for the defensive gear available, often able to defeat Wu in five hits and the others in just two. Enemy sense of self-preservation is very low, with them frequently leaving themselves open to attacks or heavily telegraphing their next move. Softstar may be intended for players who constantly perfect dodge or stock up on consumables. Unfortunately, the latter can require some severe grinding as money drops sparsely.


The Legend of Sword and Fairy: Together Forever, PS4, PlayStation 4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed


Players are free to explore the larger world when not pursuing the main storyline. Major areas are broken up into zones, typically towns to shop in or large sprawling open areas. Compared to cramped dungeons, these open field areas are much more engaging to traverse and roam. Players will find plenty of side quests and secrets hidden around the areas. Many NPCs will share lore from the previous Sword and Fairy games, and all of the information will be stored in the game’s encyclopedia.

A card collection game titled “Journey Heaven-Earth” is the major side activity. A one-on-one game where each side draws four cards and chooses among three suits: Sky, Earth, and Human. The suits have a circular weakness, much like Rock Paper Scissors. The one that wins deals damage to the enemy’s life pool. Ties are placed in the center, preventing either side from drawing fresh cards. If a suit was previously played, the next card of that suit would use a special move to heal or further attack, even when deadlocked by a tie. Either side can use this to chip away or quickly stack damage. Defeating every challenger will grant unique and powerful rewards, though none are required to complete the main scenario.


The Legend of Sword and Fairy: Together Forever, PS4, PlayStation 4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed
 

Together Forever’s biggest downfall are the numerous and constant bugs. It is extremely common for both player characters and enemies to fall through the terrain, causing fights to become impossible. Party members also have full-on collisions and don’t always walk out of the way - possibly blocking players from leaving rooms. Finally, to work on the PlayStation 4, many of the high-spec graphics and lighting elements were removed – though they will return if playing on PlayStation 5.

Together Forever also has many strange and archaic features. There is still common use of quick time events, giving a feeling to the bygone era of Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 games. For cutscenes that can be skipped, the prompt only goes past the single next scene without options for a single dialogue or all upcoming scenes. There is also a large overuse of loading to view these many cutscenes - it seems that every environment needs its own separate transition, which can make it painful to view flashbacks in other locations.


The Legend of Sword and Fairy: Together Forever, PS4, PlayStation 4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed
 

Overall, Sword and Fairy: Together Forever was made for already existing fans and is an unsuitable jumping-off point for newcomers. At a minimum, one should have at least gone through Sword and Fairy 6 but will be better off knowing the entire series. This might be a tall order, as most of the games are exclusively in Mandarin and sold only in Asia. Even for those lucky few, the glitches and oversights may be too much of a headache to make it worth it.
 

Kurtis Seid, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Publisher(s): EastAsiaSoft, Cube Game, Softstar Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
Developer(s): SOFTSTAR, Softstar Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Fantasy, Chinese Folklore, Card Collecting
Release Date: 2022-08-04

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