Author: Heath Flor
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/s/faery_legends_avalon/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Spiders is an independent video game developer in France who specializes in Action and RPG games. If you've never heard of them before, don't feel too bad. Faery: Legends of Avalon happens to be the developer's first venture onto the PS3, and also my first experience with their games as well.
As an independently developed title, many features that modern gamers take for granted aren't included, such as voice acting or a grand scale symphony soundtrack. This fact doesn't detract from the game overall. It does have a mind numbing effect though if you're not the type who enjoys reading the dialog as opposed to listening to it. There are quite a few typographical errors that may bother some gamers as well.
Anyone who has even the smallest experience with turn-based RPGs is going to be able to rip right through the game with very little trouble. The battles are very simple even at the later levels, where it becomes more of an issue of item and crowd control than an actual battle. Players who exploit DOT (Damage Over Time) spells are really going to excel in this area.
To try and compensate for the battle system, Faery utilizes a couple of different tactics to try and keep the battles more balanced. The first: certain spells or attacks require action points in order to perform a given move. You start out with one point and will quickly move to the maximum amount of three. The second tactic: higher spells and moves require you to wait for a set number of rounds before they can be performed.
I was very happy to find there is no level grinding involved. The leveling system flows quite nicely and you never feel as if you're underpowered in a fight. Unfortunately there isn't any real big challenge here either. I was hoping I would have an intense final battle, but was disappointed that the last "boss" fell rather quickly under the right circumstances.
Controlling your character is actually very easy. All you have to do is point yourself in the direction you wish to go with the right analog stick, and the left analog stick controls your movement. If you wish to race to your next destination, pressing L3 will make you fly a bit faster. This control scheme would have been excellent to pair up with the Move controller, but alas this was not an option.
The character customization is surprisingly deep for such a small game than I would have imagined. While not as extensive as big budget RPGs, there are still enough options to satisfy most gamers' needs. You only get to choose between a male elf and female fairy, though -- it would have been really cool to be able to select other races within the faery realm.
After leveling up you will receive a skill point that you can use to further customize your fae. The variety ranges from markings (tattoos) to stingers and antennas. Each group has a variety of choices with which to satisfy your whims. For instance, you can choose between dragon fly wings or even butterfly wings to have on your back, both of which offer different pros and cons over the other.
You also have a limited selection of gear that you can choose from. Each piece of a set offers a stat which helps to boost your abilities. Equipping all five pieces of a set will double the stat boost. There is really no need to hunt all of these pieces down as the battles are so easy you will be hard pressed to make the effort.
Certain dialog is user selectable, and your answers can affect whether or not your companions will like or dislike you more than they already do. There really didn't seem to be any positive or negative effects caused by the answers. The choices given to you seem to be an illusion more than anything else, as the outcome doesn't change.
There are very few characters in each world who you will interact with. However, you can expect to interact with each one quite a number of times before you complete a quest or task. While it wasn't too bad in the beginning, by the final world you are ready to just call it quits. Clocking in at around 15 hours, the game luckily knows when to spare the gamer from anymore fetch quests and ends rather dully.
The saving grace for this game is the gorgeous cel-shading. The environments are vibrant and very sharp. Even the dark and grim world of the "Flying Dutchman" shined. Unfortunately some of the environment gets hidden behind your group as the camera is sometimes forced behind the trailing team mate. The camera becomes more of a hassle later in the game when you do a lot more upward and downward flying.
Faery: Legends of Avalon is a mediocre RPG with very little in the way of fluff. Gamers will need to keep in mind that this is a low budget RPG and not the standard expensive fare they are normally accustomed to. This can be a good thing for those who are tired of spending numerous hours grinding themselves to boredom. However, the never ending fetch quests that make up this title will bore them instead.
With weak enemies, unnecessary dialog choices, and a seemingly endless supply of fetch quests, Faery: Legends of Avalon doesn't stand out in the already crowded RPG market. Luckily the controls, beautiful cel-shading, and deep customization system help to keep the title afloat. If nothing else, I have high hopes that Spiders will expand on their lessons learned and deliver an even better product with the next game they develop.
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