Official Review – Faery: Legends of Avalon


Spiders (great logo!) welcomes us to this new IP of theirs with a summary of what this new adventure set before us has to offer:

Faery: Legends of Avalon is a great role playing game packed with a unique atmosphere and  graphic style. Play as an elf or a fairy and discover the fantastic world of Avalon as well as the fantastic creatures that live there.

Hero of Avalon, you must understand why this world is dying and save the kingdom from an inevitable disappearance. In a thrilling adventure where your choice will shape your fate, you will make your character evolve as well as his powers and his equipment, through victorious during battles and completed quests.

Many dangers await you, and some fights against certain creatures and monsters of the game promised to be formidable. To overcome all the dangers, you will gain power in experience but also ask for the support of some companions you met during your journey. Each partner has his own characteristics, strengths, weaknesses and especially his own character. Be sure you chose the best combination of talents, and enjoy the incredible experience of fighting with a dragon, a troll, fairies and other fantastic creatures.

In order for you to better immerse yourself in the Faery universe for all the hours you’ll invest into this game, you can customize your character thanks to an included editor. Choose from a male or female avatar to start things off and then go on to change the skin color, eyes, hair, ears, nose and so on, until you’re pleased with your newest creation in the gaming industry.

How does this tale start? You’ve been trapped in stasis inside a crystal for a long, long time and Oberon, Faery king during these “ancient” times, has called upon you to restore the kingdom back to its former glory. It’s a case of “you are the chosen one, an eternal being of incredible potential”, and how exactly can you say no? Downloading the game pretty much means you’ve made up your mind and are definitely “pro-prophecy” right?

Your first task is to find two companions to join you in your quest since taking on such an important affair by yourself would be too big of a responsibility and a burden (or too much of a remake of Dragon Quest/Warrior from the NES) that no one should bear alone. Depending on your choice of a male (my pick) or a female avatar, your first companion will be Azziele (of the “she” variety) or Aziel (it seems that having one less Z is enough to change the gender of faeries… makes sense since the difference between an X and a Y would do the same to any of us. Think about it, I’ll wait), and it will be at this point when the tutorial kicks in, showing you how to take care of a turn based RPG. You pick your action, choose your target and repeat for your whole party as needed. Nowadays, most people frown upon turn based RPGs, saying they’re too repetitive and, therefore, suck, but that’s a lazy non-argument since the same can be said about any game genre (FPS come to mind, for instance).

Unlike old-school, turn based RPGs that favored random encounters (still charming to a certain degree), Faery: Legends of Avalon takes a page from Chrono Trigger (yep, that’s a link to Wikipedia. Do enjoy.) and shows your enemies well in advance so you can know what’s coming. To streamline the gameplay, Hit Points (your energy bar) are recovered after every fight so you can focus on the fight itself in full. Recovery items (in case you’re running low on Hit Points), spells and abilities are also available for your use, and knowing how to balance their affects is the key to live another day.

During your travels, you’ll meet many of this world’s inhabitants and their help will be needed for you to advance. Some will actually join you and fight by your side, thus giving you the option of selecting two companions (out of a total of six) to form your party. Pretty much every one of the characters you meet (Non Playable Characters, or NPCs for short) will also need your help as well, and the side quests they offer to you will reward you with experience points (the daily bread of any RPG) that will allow you to grow and tailor your avatar to your desired gameplay style. Should you pick some extra hit points, that new fire spell, or extra defense against physical attacks? Completing the side quests will also reward you with more equipment options, and it is here that an extra element is presented to us: every piece of equipment will be of a specific variety (iron, healing, water, etc.), and placing said item on your character will grant you bonuses on your abilities or skills. To make things even better, if you equip a full set of armor (all items of the same variety), it will give you an even better bonus, which can make it easier to complete some of your quest later on depending on what element is the weakness of your enemies.

To find out what needs to be done, you can talk with everyone to better understand your surroundings, choosing from a dialog tree for your questions AND your answers, which can make them like you, or just plain hate you. Blue choices are the nice, or good, responses and Red choices are the naughty, or bad, responses… but don’t be fooled into thinking that blue all the way will make everyone be your best friend. The odd character here and there requires a bit of Red in their life, and knowing when and how to act can determine what options are available in your near future.

To go along with the good and bad dialog choices, every quest can also be completed with good or bad actions. To give you a better idea of this, here’s an example of an early quest: 

You need to call on a mermaid to request her help in finding a page that is missing from a book. To call on her you need to use a special conch that is in the possession of the local fisherman.

Now, you can choose to help him so he can lend you the conch… but you could also choose to distract him and steal the conch. What’s the consequence of this? A bit later, you’ll need to find some fish to complete another quest and WHO could have some fish for you? Why, the fisherman, of course! Did you steal the conch? Then no fish for you! It’s an interesting system that rewards and punishes you along the way because of the actions you take, and it gives the game an extra layer of depth.

There’s a total of four areas in the game. The main one (Avalon) is where you’ll start your adventure, and it is from here that you’ll access the other three once you repair the mirrors that take you to them:

First up is Yggdrasil, the world tree of ancient tales, that is slowly dying from an unknown ailment, thus tasking you with the obligation of finding out what exactly is wrong with this majestic tree. Most of this areas inhabitants are set around the base of the tree and they will be the ones providing most of the help that you require. Birds, ants, bees and other animals also make this their home, and interacting will all of them is a requirement to complete the chapter before you.

Next, we have the Flying Dutchman, a ghostly ship most of you might easily remember from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (sure, the F.D. is actually from an old legend from the the 18th century but Disney’s take is better known by now). The ship has washed ashore near a small island, and the ghosts that live in said vessel aren’t too happy about it. To add up to it, some of the inhabitants have been locked up after going a biiiit crazy from an unknown plague-like disease that haunts the ship.

The last area is the City of Mirages, a take on Arabian Night’s lore and culture of days past. The city is actually carried around the desert on the back of a scarab (a giant one considering faery standards for size ratios) who is also, of course, considered a god by some of the local inhabitants (can’t have an RPG without a cult of some sort, now can we?). You’ll mingle with rich home owners while, at the same time, helping those in the poor district, which is located below the belly of the scarab.

[spoiler]Once your adventure is over, you’ll get to make a final dialog tree choice that will (hopefully) play a big part tin the sequel. How do we know a sequel is planned? Well, thre are still more mirrors available in Avalon, and the game tells us this tale is “to be continued” so…[/spoiler]

It you like turn based RPGs (we need more of these!), then Faery: Legends of Avalon will provide you with a fun adventure that will be in the 10 to 15 hours range for most of you, and is available on the PSN store right now for a very reasonable price. Trophies aren’t hard to obtain, in case you’re wondering (but are rewarding once obtained, which is always a welcome addition).

Review

ProsCons
Price
Length
Game Autosaves
Graphical Style
Some bugs here and there that might make you load up your last save
No full on voice acting
Rating
83%

Published by Focus Home Interactive

Cost – $14.99

Available on PSN

Disclaimer

- Game was completed and all  trophies were obtained.

- Total amount of time played: 11 hours.

- This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Faery: Legends of Avalon provided by Focus Home Interactive.


Written by: EdEN - PR / Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by premiersoupir on February 4th, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    Thoughtful review. It’s nice to see that there are other areas in the world. Does combat remain more or less the same? I was already bored with battling by the time that I finished the demo, so I certainly didn’t feel compelled to buy the game. For one thing I miss the minor skill elements in combat, a la Paper Mario or Costume Quest. Regarding good/evil: What are the ramifications of becoming a Jedi or Sith fairy, so to speak? Does it impact gameplay much? Allow for different skills/magic?

  2. #2 by EdEN on February 4th, 2011 [ 131365 Points ]

    @premiersoupir: Combat changes a bit later on because you’ve got to balance what the weakness of enemies is (specific element or physical attacks) and thus choosing the right companion can make things easier.

    As for the Good/Bad choices (as far as my experience with the game goes): your companions liking you more means they’ll access their level 2/3 abilities earlier AND sometimes taking the naughty route will mean you can’t access some side-quests (maybe more but I only spotted a moment when I was locked out of a about 4 side-quests due to a taking care of an action on the “bad” path).

    As you can see I enjoyed the game but since I’ve been raised on turn based RPGs going back to Dragon Quest (Warrior) on the NES your mileage may vary.

  3. #3 by Lefunkay on February 4th, 2011 [ 260 Points ]

    Hmm, i was sorta bored by the demo, but this review actually makes it sound quite awesome, i might just have to pick it up anyway, at least for a rainy weekend or something

  4. #4 by Beastxjason on February 4th, 2011 [ 27494 Points ]

    The demo was boring indeed. I think I have lost faith in turn based rpg’s

  5. #5 by Luke on February 4th, 2011 [ 27382 Points ]

    Interesting read EdEN. Thanks for the review.

  6. #6 by EdEN on February 4th, 2011 [ 131365 Points ]

    @Luke: Glad you liked it.

    As I said in the review, turn based RPGs aren’t for everyone, specially if you were raised on the PS2 and beyond since chances are that action games and FPSs are part of your daily diet and that completely suppresses the “turn based processing” gland in your brain.

    It’s a good thing there is a demo for Faery so everyone can make up their mind about a possible purchase.

  7. #7 by Kratos on February 5th, 2011

    I have plenty of patience for games – I love Mass Effect and all the dialogue, for example. Turn based RPGs suck a big fat one because of the arbitrary limitation of not being able to actually PLAY the game. You move around and click a menu. Want to attack that enemy? Oops, he gets to attack first and you have to sit and watch.

  8. #8 by Markus on February 5th, 2011 [ 4322 Points ]

    Awesome, turn based! We do need more of these. The simple old school stuff works for me.

  9. #9 by hobbes on February 5th, 2011 [ 28916 Points ]

    weird, i didn’t care for the demo

  10. #10 by pedro on February 5th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    That’s one good review.

    But turn based rpg has aged badly. The times of Chrono Trigger have long passed.

    The only turn based games that still please me (and a lot) are tactics rpg, but those are getting very scarce.

  11. #11 by EdEN on February 5th, 2011 [ 131365 Points ]

    @pedro: Might I suggest a PSP purchase? Atlus and Nis provide a lot of games in the tactics rpg model. And Square Enix is about to launch a remake of Tactics Ogre which was originally released on the SNES and re-released on the PSX.

  12. #12 by Oly on February 6th, 2011 [ 131640 Points ]

    Great review EDEN.. My brother just picked this up and is really enjoying it. I might have to give it a go..

  13. #13 by sovarn on February 6th, 2011 [ 719 Points ]

    This reviews makes the game more exciting than the demo.

  14. #14 by EdEN on February 6th, 2011 [ 131365 Points ]

    @sovarn: So, does that mean you’ll buy the game? Can’t really tell about the demo because I can’t play just that since I’ve downloaded the unlock key in order to review the game and I can’t go back. Good to know that everyone has liked the review. Makes it easier to continue writting them hehehe.

  15. #15 by Kane112 on February 8th, 2011 [ 32937 Points ]

    Nice review i enjoyed the demo and also miss old school RPGs. I still prefer the old FF for SNES than any of the new ones that have come out

  16. #16 by EdEN on February 8th, 2011 [ 131365 Points ]

    @Kane112: You and me both. Recent RPGs are sometimes missing the charm of games of generations past. Plus, I really love turn based RPGs since it’s what I grew up on.

  17. #17 by pedro on February 8th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    EdEN: @pedro: Might I suggest a PSP purchase? Atlus and Nis provide a lot of games in the tactics rpg model. And Square Enix is about to launch a remake of Tactics Ogre which was originally released on the SNES and re-released on the PSX.  

    Thanks for the advice @EdEN.

    Actually I had just that in mind when writing that post.

    However I do not own a PSP, but believe me, I’m seriously thinking about getting one just for that game. Ogre Battle is possibly my favorite franchise, I have played every game i could get my hands on at least 3 times (this one included, since it was available for PS1)

  18. #18 by Markus on February 9th, 2011 [ 4322 Points ]

    @Kane112 and EdEN

    I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who misses the old RPGs. Dragon Warrior, FF, FFIV, etc… It just seems like they focus too much on trying to make the game new and fancy. Instead of focusing on the things that work and keeping it simple.

    Ogre Tactics was amazing. I must of rented that game for 2 weeks straight back in the day.

  19. #19 by EdEN on February 10th, 2011 [ 131365 Points ]

    Going back even more, the CAPCOM RPGs on the NEs were a lot of fun. I remember playing Destiny of an Emperor non stop for several days.

  20. #20 by anonymoose on February 22nd, 2011

    lol funny how easy it is to point the old schoolers in gaming and the newcomers based on their view on the demo :p

    i loved it…bought it…didn’t regret it…great game and can’t wait for the rest so i can fully metamorphosis my character :)

  21. #21 by EdEN on February 22nd, 2011 [ 131365 Points ]

    @anonymoose: Glad you liked it. Just wondering, did you buy it before or after reading this review?


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