Faery – Legends of Avalon is a charming RPG which reminds us that Fantasy comes in all shapes and sizes. I love faerie mythology, and have stacks of books about them (mostly by Brian Froud) therefore I was delighted to find a game where I could finally fly on delicate wings, trailing pixie dust. Originally released for Xbox live it ports seamlessly to PC.
Faery – Legends of Avalon is suitable for children and offers the choice of following an almost entirely non-violent path which I personally thought was the more interesting one. It’s very simple and a good introduction for somebody new to RPGs who want to get a feel for them without getting overwhelmed by complexity.
It was a new experience exploring 3D environments by flight. Sure, some games have flying in them but it is usually of limited duration. I found it fun and relaxing just to fly around listening to the classical-style music. I appreciated some of the ways the designers tackled each environment creatively. Plus your character is really tiny, about the size of a butterfly, which honestly gives an entirely different perspective.
The fighting is Final Fantasy-esque turn-based combat with different fighting styles to choose from as well as various companions to fight alongside you with their own unique attack sets. I’m not a fan of turn-based-combat so, for me, the battles grew tiresome quickly. However, Faery – Legends of Avalon has a very fast levelling system, so you are likely to be rewarded immediately afterwards. And levelling is very rewarding: you get to pick your own custom path of progression for your character that grants you different or more powerful abilities whilst ‘evolving’ your characters appearance. Your faerie can get different types of wings, tatoos/body art, antenna, horns and a tail, each type with a different ability! For example dragonfly wings give you fire spells while butterfly wings grant electricity spells. You also get to preview what they will look like before confirming.
The character generator is likewise great with many options to choose from like makeup for both genders and ear-sizes that even satisfied me (naturally I made them as big as possible)! I generated a faery-verison of my MC Amuletts. You can customize the face but not the body. You collect outfits throughout the game which look cool and grant bonuses.
The art is cell-shaded 3D, with a bit of a retro look. I would not have guessed this game was released only 4 years ago. Nonetheless the graphics are very pretty to look at with vibrant and characterful designs that really fit the world(s).
There are four magical worlds: The Island Kingdom of Avalon, The Tree World: Yggdrassil, The Haunted Pirate Ship: The Flying Dutchman and the Arabian Nights-style City of Mirages. Alas they feel a little small (even by your characters insectile scale) with a claustrophobic ‘mist’ wall around everything. Even so it is easy to get lost in some of the environments; the scenery overlaps and obscures a lot sometimes making it frustrating to find your goal. Several character models are reused – sometimes confusingly when you are asked to find one specific character amongst others who look identical!
You spend a lot of time flying from A to B doing fetch-quests and chores for the NPCs. Overall the main quest is very linear with no real choice. You can fight or be diplomatic but either will reach the same outcome. Nonetheless it is still fun unravelling the story and meeting the quirky characters. All the dialogue is in text form – nothing is narrated – which is slightly disappointing when twinned with bad spelling! There are optional side quests which will earn you rewards such as an outfit.
The difficulty is low. This is not a challenging game. I very rarely needed to heal during combat and didn’t need really any of the bonuses. But to be honest after a long day at work I was happy to sit down to something less taxing, Faery – Legends of Avalon is more on the relaxing, zen side of gaming.
Faery – Legends of Avalon is only part 1 of a trilogy which, unfortunately, looks like it will never be released. The ending ties up the plot of the game neatly whilst leaving it open. Unlike certain other games I could mention this is one I would like to see a sequel to. It’s not flawless by any means but it has a childlike charm and I enjoyed playing it, plus it has a lot of scope for a sequel.
More Faeries please!