The first thing you need to know about Faery: Legends of Avalon is that you can fly. Not temporarily like Mario, not via airship like Final Fantasy – flying replaces walking and it's your only method of transportation. The second thing you need to know about Faery: Legends of Avalon is that it's not a very good game. But hey – at least you can fly.
Faery is a turn-based RPG that blends fantasy and folklore. As a newly awakened faery, your task is, unsurprisingly, to save your kingdom. You can recruit other faeries (and trolls, and a dragon), embark upon monotonous fetch quests, and kill monsters in generic turn-based combat that requires very little strategy or thought. The settings are interesting – you'll venture through faery kingdoms, a giant tree, and a pirate ship – but it takes a lot of patience to get through them all.
The nonsensical plot involves portals and faeries and names ripped out of bits of pop culture like Puck (Shakespeare) and Gargamelle (Smurfs). You'll find it hard to care, though, because it's so tough to follow. The story-telling is nothing short of a mess – a hodgepodge of poorly written sentences and translation errors strung together to make something that reads like a fourth-grader's book report. There's no voice acting, but we can't even imagine how anyone could vocalize the dialogue, which might be some of the worst we've seen in any game since the NES.
And although the game looks gorgeous, it feels sloppy. Flight is awkward and clunky; your character's body doesn't move when he/she goes left, right, up, or down, which makes it seem less like you're flying and more like you're riding an invisible elevator. On top of that, movement is extraordinarily slow unless you push in the left stick to speed up. Since you also need that same stick to navigate, you'll find yourself trying to waggle it around while simultaneously pushing it down, which is not easy. It's an incomprehensible and infuriating control scheme.
Faery: Legends of Avalon set out to do a lot, and we have to respect the game's developers for that. Between the wide variety of locales, the impressive bits of character customization, and the myriad choices both big and small, this game had lofty ambitions. Sadly, the game does very few things right – the poor design and garbled English make this a sloppy offering that isn't worth your time or money.
Nov 18, 2010