Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

released on Apr 30, 2019

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is a story-driven, turn-based tactical RPG set in a fantasy world with a touch of steampunk. Take control of the Arbiter Kyrie, an agent of the Immortal Council tasked with preserving stability and order throughout the land, and lead your troops through difficult encounters.

Experience an epic and mature story, unfolding through over 40 story encounters and topped with challenging end-game content.

Classic tactical combat battles, with rugged terrain and elevation, taking place on beautiful hand-drawn environments.

A deep and complex class system with over 30 classes and 300 abilities lets you truly customize every one of your characters through the selection of their class, sub-class and passives. Carefully craft the character you envision, be it a versatile generalist, a dedicated spell-caster or a mighty foe-crushing specialist!

Customize your troops' appearance your way, by selecting their portrait, outfit, colors and overall visuals from a wide selection.

Equip your army with over 240 pieces of equipment, either purchased, gathered from fallen enemies or created from crafting.

Reviews View More

This review contains spoilers

Not entirely my type of game. Really cool visuals and the combat is really interesting and the class system with all of the different specs and passives and shit, I can see how this game OPENS UP. Too much grind for me IMO. You want grinds to be easy and hit the same buttons because of how much time you’ll be spending, but a game like this does not have that sort of quick combat. Character customization was AMAZING. I bet NewGame+ is INSANE with this. Has a nice little memeteam.

Based on Final Fantasy: Tactics, Fell Seal offers a tactical adventure lasting about thirty hours in total. The initial storyline is hardly exceptional, although it has its pleasant moments and interesting atmospheres – special mention to the staging of the different endings. If the title never reaches the narrative depth of its ancestors, it makes up for it with a solid and rich gameplay, which brings some archaic mechanics up to date. Thus, the management of consumables is simplified and completed by a fairly simple crafting system: you never feel the need to return to areas to look for components. However, the title allows itself some aberrant difficulty peaks and pushes to grind; this is amplified by the fact that some classes are severely outpaced in the mid-game. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the difficulty customisation is very complete and allows for an always adjusted experience. In the end, the game walks a tightrope: if it manages to provide an appreciable and diversified experience with an abundance of side content, imperfections dot the road (sometimes dissonant graphics, difficulty curves not very smooth, no map rotation, slowness in some gameplay loops).

Le puedes llamar copia u homenaje, pero el parecido a Final Fantasy Tactics es evidente. El arte no es especialmente bonito y la historia está bien sin más pero compensa con unas batallas y sistema de clases notable.

You play as an arbiter, and your job is to bring THE LAW at sword-point and pistol to all the anarchist savages who believe they know better than you how things should run around here. There's also magic to wield and demons who must die because they don't contribute with taxes to this great society.
I like the premise, besides that it's Final Fantasy Tactics with better balance, but worse art design. You can also recruit a bug. Very good.

Love its sense of wonder and creature designs but the game is completely bogged by its progression and its systems to the point where you can't enjoy the actual process of tactical play. Learning curves are inevitable, but the fact that party members require foresight planning due to later recruited members not having any AP levels (which governs the unlocking of new abilities) pre-allocated even though you can recruit them up to your current level is a huge mistake. And I can't say I have patience for a game that won't let me try to understand its nuances because it keeps pushing me away. Don't hate it, just detrimentally archaic.

I've never played Final Fantasy Tactics despite being a fan of the SRPG genre. My experience was always more with Shining Force, Fire Emblem, Vandal Hearts and Arc the Lad. I heard from friends that Fell Seal: Arbiters Mark was a pretty good indie SRPG taking influence from Final Fantasy Tactics though so snatched it up quite a while ago. Having spent nigh 60 hours with the game and it's Missions and Monsters DLC I can say it certainly is a good little game if lacking a little bit in it's focus.
The story is based around Kyrie, she is an Arbiter, sort of a special soldier that can dispense justice as she sees fit for the Immortal Council. Kind of like a Judge from Judge Dredd in many ways, but less violent perhaps. It's not long before both she and her band get dragged into big events as one of the council is stepping down and something shady seems to be happening so Kyrie decides to investigate.
The game takes place on a world map where Kyrie and her band travel from map to map fighting battle with monsters, soldiers and bandits with the odd town scattered between. Battle maps are fairly small for the most part and you can take on average 6 party members into battle on most of them. Each battle is turn based on a grid system with each characters movement, attack and abilities based on equipment and their class. In camps and towns you can change classes and equipment for everyone as you see fit. As they gain AP though battles they can level up in the class they have equipped learning passive and active abilities. You can equip a sub class allowing for access to two at once. Each class can equip certain weapons and armors allowing by the end for a huge combination of classes, abilities and equipment.
This is both a blessing and a curse to be honest as I found the game was completely unbalanced. A few maps grinding out AP and you can create extremely powerful characters that duel wield weapons, heal whenever they walk, counter attack everything etc. I was stomping everything by the end of the game and the battles were starting to feel repetitive. That said, I was still enjoying crushing everything in my path, I would just prefer more focus on pre-designed characters with set unique classes and remove the open ended create your own characters with access to everything as I barely used them anyway. It would have given better balance to the gameplay and feel less bloated.
The DLC adds even more options with monsters, new classes, missions and upgrading territory but it all feels just like more micromanagement to 'win more' rather than depth. Not that it's bad it's just all unneeded.
The graphics and art are a bit of an odd mix. They both look pretty good in a vacuum but blended together it's like two different games. The character portraits are fantastic but they look like hand painted artwork compared with the extremely colorful 2D sprites in game and they just clash uncomfortably. Though I did get used to it they simply don't work together.
All in all this is a solid game if you're after a SRPG fix as there aren't exactly a huge amount of them like this around anymore. I would love a sequel with some of the fat trimmed off and a more cohesive style. I think the developers would have something truly great then rather than just good as it is now.
+ Interesting characters and story premise.
+ Some good artwork.
+ Plenty of options in how to build your party.
- It's attempt at doing everything makes the combat unbalanced and feels generic.
- Battles become repetitive about midway through the game.
- Portrait art and in game visuals clash hugely.