...a solid bargain bin RPG; worth a try if you're at all interested.
Brad got underwater gardening, I got faeries. Fair enough.
Faery: Legends of Avalon is an RPG that adds a zippy flying mechanic and a colorful environment to an otherwise run-of-the-mill experience. You begin the game by choosing either a male or female faery. Regardless of what you might have heard on several episodes of our podcast, I chose the chick model. There is a surprisingly robust avatar editor; one that you would expect to see in an MMO. After toying with the editor for a bit, I set out to revitalize worlds of their lost magicz.
The game begins with you awakening from a state of stasis. Two tiny faeries bring you up to speed by informing you of Avalon’s waning magic level. Flying is easy an easy task: The right analogue stick moves the camera and the left stick moves your character. R2 makes you rise, L2 makes you fall, and clicking in the left stick (L3) sends you zooming. Flying is a fun means of travel, which is a very good thing in a game full of fetch quests. Your first quest is to speak with Oberon, the king of the faeries. This is but the beginning of Faery’s literary inspirations. Many other characters and dialogue are borrowed from Medieval English literature. One character even makes mention of the big dawg himself, Willy Shakes. The bookish nods are nice and all, but they’re not quite enough to mask the generic gameplay that makes up the bulk of the game.
The first glaring problem with Faery is its lack of voice acting. In the olden days, RPGs didn’t have voice acting. Many of them were wordy, and we were forced to read text boxes until our eyes burned. Faery is extremely wordy. I hate to fault an RPG for being verbose, but I can’t deny the fact that I was literally put to sleep on a few different occasions smack dab in the middle of a conversation with another character. It’s well-written enough that I could imagine the voices while reading the text, I just wish Spiders went the extra mile and got some talent to do the voice work. Receiving quests usually entails guessing the right responses to a string of questions. There’s even one simon says-like quest where all you have to do to complete it is choose the correct sequence of responses. Also, there are a few lazy mistypes. Stuff like, “…it’s worth a shout” and referring to my character as a male (IT’S NOT! DARKNESS IS A WOMAN, DAMNIT!) periodically removed me from an otherwise fantastic setting.
Avalon is the first world you’ll traverse through, killing crabs and fetching pages for an NPC who later joins your party. After completing a handful of quests, you unlock a mirror that takes you to Yggdrasil, the tree world. This world is a bit more colorful than Avalon and puts more emphasis on your three-dimensional movement. Many of the quests have you flying through the branches of the great tree in order to discover what’s killing it and draining the world of its magic. It’s the overall question of the game: What’s messing with the magic? The overall answer, of course, is Man. Man dumped toxic waste on the giant tree. The other two worlds aren’t quite as straightforward/Avatar-y with the message, but it’s clear that Man is nothing but a bunch of inconsiderate pricks.
In Faery, your party consists of three characters. You’ll find about half of a dozen characters that wish to join you, and you can mix and match to make a threesome that best fits your playstyle. I leaned toward characters that have damage over time spells like poison and burning. Though there are three characters in your party, you only deal with your main character’s equipment and statistics. The whole system is a bit stripped down, which is fine because the leveling up system is cool. There are five equipment slots, and each can be filled with one of a dozen different types of item. For instance, you can have a fire weapon equipped, a fire headband equipped, healing bracelets equipped, and a physical resistance clothing item equipped. You have to find each item, so you’re not going to be able to find boots of healing and then be able to equip headband of healing. Everything else is based on the overall character evolution system. You gain skill points from leveling up and can add them to eleven slots. Basically every slot changes your character’s physical appearance. For example, the top three slots change the way your faery’s wings look. The next three slots give your character different tattoos, and the final five change your tail, horns, aura, antennae, and tracks. The other characters in your group have stats and learn spells upon leveling up, but the nifty leveling system only exists for your core character.
Legends of Avalon is a solid bargain bin RPG that’s worth a try if you’re at all interested in RPGs or Faeries. The graphics are good-looking for the most part. I did experience some slowdown at points, and some of the ghost ship world was simply too dark, but overall I had a nice time touring the varied worlds. The music tracks are solid, if a bit repetitive. The combat is turn-based and feels as dated as ever. Some of the magic spells look cool, but besides for that you’re not going to be blown away by the many encounters. I’d like to note something that pisses me off in all RPGs it exists. When I command two characters to attack the same enemy and the first character kills the enemy, the second character’s actions should not be skipped. That’s something that made the combat in Faery feel like it was from the 1990s. Also, it made it so I couldn’t just button mash through some of the more dragging battles, . If you’re looking for an RPG that you can sink 10+ hours into, Faery is a legitimate candidate. At $15 it’s not a bad buy, but if you can find it for any less then you might as well strap on your wings and give it a fly (this is a link to instantrimshot.com).
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
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