Faery : Legends Of Avalon

This year seems to be chock full of RPG’s, of all varieties.  Some downloadable and bite-sized, some grand and broad-scoped, and some more heavily action heavy.  So, how does a game set itself apart, in the crowded RPG market of 2011?  Well, if you asked Spiders Games and Focus Interactive, their answer would be Faery, a downloadable game for XBOX LIVE Arcade and Playstation Network, newly released for the PC platform.  So, is it worth the time, or just last year’s leftovers crowding this year’s plate?

The Story

Faery puts you in the shoes of a newly awakened Faery, of your choosing and design.  The game allows you to choose the sex of your character, and some very, very basic cosmetic/appearance features to customize.  If the lack of choice for charater creation appears limiting, at first, just hold that thought for a second, we will revisit that.  Oberon, the King of Faeries(poor guy), has awakened you from stasis, in a crystal, to save the Faery kingdom from it’s plight.  It would seem that magic, from all of the Feary worlds, flows back to Avalon, through the mirrors connecting your worlds.  Alas, the magic flow has been disrupted from 3 kingdoms, and now Oberon wants you to find worthy party members to aid in your quest of aiding those distant locations of Yggdrasil, The Flying Dutchman, and The City of Mirages.  Each location holds unique challenges and different party members for you to collect, should you choose to aid them and not dispell them.

The Gameplay

Controlling your faery, offers both the typical 3 dimesional plane, but emphasizes heavily on the height aspect.  Where the areas of the worlds that you have access too, protected by magical barriers preventing you from going further, make up in height, what they lack in breadth.  Each area gives your wings a pretty fair workout, now, speaking of wings, let’s rejoin that lack of character depth thought.  As you progress and level up your character, you have the choice to use your earned skill points to customize features and characteristics of your faery, altering stat perks as well as cosmetic features.  For example, antennae or tattoos may be added, that boost certain spell affects or buff resistance to certain types of attacks.  In addition, sets of armor can be found, to further augment the type of attacks your character can wield.  Combat is turn based, with an interesting action point system–more powerful attacks and spells may only be available every second or third turn, forcing you to strategize when and if to use such attacks, and make you plan your attack more carefully, when they are not at your disposal.  Conversations are handled with a dialog wheel, allowing you to choose positive and negative reactions or solutions to the current quests.  Have you ever wanted to forego the boring fetch quests and just kill anything in your path?  The game’s dialog feature allows you to do just that, giving branching decisions of more peaceful or direct and bloody solutions to many of the problems in your path.  The graphics have a very sharp, cell-shaded appeal to them, though the characters could have used slightly more depth.  The aesthetic, not only makes for an eye-pleasing adventure, but also makes things much more visible, in the game world, when sailing around with your new wings.

The Verdict

I have to admit, when there was no more flying to be done, in Faery, I was certainly left wanting more.  The game seemed long, compared to the price of entry, a good 10-12 hour campaign.  Still, using the three mirrors of Avalon, to travel to the lands of my questing, I couldn’t help but notice that there were quite a few unused mirrors.  Not to mention, a pretty abrupt cliffhanger ending, depending on how you chose to end your story.  I am certainly hoping that Spiders plans to expand or add a sequel to the universe they created, it was very refreshing to see their take on how an RPG can be invigorated.  Skill points were not very abundant, so how you chose to spend them, and customize your character, was a pretty thought provoking process.  The three worlds were nice, and well-paced; not too long or short in each setting.  Still, I would love to see what other areas, the broken mirrors of Avalon could take my customized character to.  Each area seemed very confined, but, due to the fact that there was no way to speed your character’s flight, it seemed well balanced.  All in all, Faery was a very charming, fun and fresh take on a genre very cluttered with cookie cutter entrants.  I’d be very intrigued to see the universe expanded further, maybe even to a higher price point, with much more content.  Faery does a great job of setting itself apart, and utilizing some interesting mechanics.  Sadly, there was no Tinkerbell cameo.  :O)

[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]

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