Faery: Legends of Avalon

Xbox 360

Reviewed: 1/20/2011

Time has changed many things in our world.  Science has helped us to solve a great many mysteries of life and of our world, allowing us to make sense of who we are and the world we live in.  But at the same time, as these mysteries are answered, some part of the “magic” of the world is gone.  Long gone are the days when fairies and dragons and their ilk actually believed to exist.  While our lives may improve, we start to lose some of what makes the world special.

This thought is at the core of Faery: Legends of Avalon.  Humans have long since moved on, and the mythical creatures seem to be suffering for it. It seems that these creatures rely on human faith in order to properly exist, and so the fairy kingdom is growing weaker.  Now much of it is covered with an impenetrable fog that kills the fae, so the only way to travel is via magical mirrors that connect the small regions that remain.  Your quest as a recently-awakened fairy is to travel to the different regions and save them from destruction.  There isn’t much here that hasn’t been done several times over by now.  Similarly, the worlds you visit also don’t seem terribly interesting.  There’s one massive thing in the middle of each and… not much else.  While they look fine, they’re just not very engaging, and you can’t travel far in any direction before you’re stopped by the fog.

The game never really seems to escape from this mediocrity, unfortunately.  For one thing, the game simply feels too easy.  Full healing is given after every fight, and there is no MP or anything of the sort.  While the stronger attacks do take a round to recharge, there’s still no reason not to immediately use the most powerful moves for every attack.  Further, the selection of skills is deceptively limited and locks you out of other attacks without telling you about them at the time.  For example, at the first level gained you can choose from three different elemental attacks.  Several levels later you can learn a new attack, but it has to be of the same element as the original choice.  There’s only one of these for each element, but the game shows you the whole set of possible choices and makes sure to point out that you can’t have these other ones because of the choice you made originally, several levels ago.   Therefore, there are really only a couple of actual skill choices you get to make during your character’s progress.

Even the conversations suffer from this easiness.  There is no universal good or evil, but each major character has an opinion of you.  This has worked fine in other games, but in this one, the game goes ahead and tells you which responses will have a positive or negative impact on their opinion.  If you know going in exactly which one is the “right” answer, what’s the point of doing this?

One aspect that is somewhat interesting is that your character actually changes appearance based not only on your equipment but also on the skills that you select for them.  This is somewhat interesting to look at, but given the limited number of skills mentioned before, there really isn’t much you can do differently.  Still, given how easy the game is, perhaps determining whether you want ant or butterfly antenna will be a more important factor than which skill you want to gain.

Another feature of the game is that the characters can fly.  Flying around all over the map can be entertaining to just kill some time, but the end result of this is that some things are hard to find.  While I would expect treasure chests to be hidden well, the difficulty locating some questgivers is frustrating.  They don’t seem to appear until you’re right on top of them, and there’s no indication that they have something important to tell you.   I spent quite a bit of time just trying to hunt down particular NPCs, especially in the tree world where they’re hidden among the branches.  That isn’t fun, it’s just annoying.

In the end, Faery seems to just be going through the motions.  It has the proper elements to be a decent game, but it never seems to strive for anything beyond mediocrity.   It works for what it is, but recommending it would be impossible when there’s plenty of other games out there that do all these things better.

-Andrew Foltz

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Average
Story Average
Graphics Good
Sound/Music Good
Replay Value Below Average
The Verdict: Average