Fernz Gate is prolific JRPG (Japanese role-playing game) developer Exe Create Inc. and publisher KEMCO's 9th release on Steam. It is an isekai (another world) JRPG where four people, Alex, Toril, Lita, and Kodan are magically brought to the world of Fernland along with many other people from different worlds.
Alex realizes this new world is being ruled by an overlord who has seized power from a benevolent goddess. With his newfound companions and many other outworlders, they embark on a quest to oppose the overlord. Along the way, Alex and his companions will have periodic flashbacks of their past. Alex's party will also help a few non-player characters as they complete optional side quests.
This game has the usual grinding fare, a main quest, and plenty of side quests that are common in JRPGs, as well as dialogue choices. The dialogue choices determine whether each character can improve in their ability to reach certain treasure-filled areas in dungeons, offers a chance to decline the optional side quest, or to simply back out and prepare for a difficult boss battle ahead.
Navigating through dungeons is also simple and easy as many of the passages lead to dead-ends or rejoins a passageway not too far off. Every dungeon also has a convenient exit option to fast-travel from any part of a dungeon to the exit.
Having played another JRPG by Exe Create Inc. and KEMCO, Dragon Sinker, Fernz Gate is an improvement by having nice anime artwork sprites for the main characters in the game. Although the background music can still be limited and repetitive considering that a large part of the game involves grinding for levels and various rare items, they are no longer of the beeping kind based on classic 8-bit retro games.
During certain critical moments in the story, the game's main theme music actually brings out Alex's character well as he strives to overcome his fears and earn the support from the people around him.
Among the cons, the game still suffers from monsters that are of the cookie-cutter variety, very repetitive background music, a lot of grinding, and some minor translation errors here and there. Some players have also reported that the combat segment is too easy and overpowered.
Agreeably, the mechanics of the game is simplified to the extent that players can simply spam the most powerful skill to instantly win most encounters including some boss battles, making the experience seem really easy even at expert difficulty.
After spending more than 70 hours to reach maximum level for all characters, obtaining most of the items, completing all optional dungeons and side-quests, and also reaching the 3 different endings, Fernz Gate proved to be one of Exe Create Inc. and KEMCO's better offerings.
Despite a few shortcomings, this JRPG manages to offer some cute moments and plenty of secrets to discover throughout the game. I really appreciated the attractive artwork, improved BGM, and nice storyline that feels satisfying once reaching the true endings.
Given the long playtime and variety of things to discover, Fernz Gate is a good JRPG to pick up at any time on any platform.
Official game trailer on YouTube by KEMCO
Initial gameplay video of PC version on YouTube by AllGamesWorldHD
Publisher's game page (Links to all the available game versions for their respective platforms are in the specifications page)