Faery: Legends of Avalon starts off very promising with some light, well-done music and cell-shaded graphics that are on par with Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which is almost impressive for a 1200 point title on the Xbox Live Arcade.
This straightforward RPG starts off with your simple fetch quests, but never graduates from them. The entire game feels like you are just getting something for someone, and you are never seen as a hero (or villain), just an errand-boy. In fact, a much more appropriate name for this game would be Faery: Errand Boy.
As a player you do have some choice in terms of character customization, including name, sex, and some minimal appearance choices. The level progression also offers some customization, but nowhere near the level of something like Final Fantasy. Of course, to expect this from a 1200 point title would be stupid. Dialog options do have choices thanks to a decision wheel dropped straight out of Mass Effect with a skin put over it.
The problem is that the options don’t seem to change anything other than a primitive reputation system that is displayed in terrible English, as is the rest of the game for that matter. There is no voice acting what-so-ever, which requires the text to be the only medium of communication to the player. The text does a terrible job of this, at least in the English version, thanks to the terrible translations. When you respond with a dialog choice unfavorable to the character you are speaking to, a hardly noticeable update will appear for a second in the middle of the screen saying that they “love you less”, say the character’s name was Bob, it would say “Bob loves you less.” Needless to say, this becomes a nuisance fairly quickly.
Back on the topic of choices, in some parts of the game you can either choose a violent solution or a peaceful solution. The same outcomes come with both choices, the paths are just different. It’s almost a pick your poison type of a choice, as you can either choose to be a gofer again, or sit through the mindless turn-based battles that don’t even have the depth of the original Final Fantasy on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The lack of depth in enemies’ attack arsenal make the party battle position system useless, as well as any strategy put into what skills to level up or what equipment to wear. Just wear the equipment with the highest boosts you have, and focus on leveling up your favorite skill and you’ll be set by just constantly attacking enemies. Some are more vulnerable to magic than plain attacks or vice-versa, but this is pretty easy to notice right away, and with no mana bar to speak of, it doesn’t matter how many magic attacks you waste that only do 4 damage to that crab.
Overall, I say pass on Faery: Legends of Avalon, as it is almost no fun once you get past the fact that you get to fly around the world. The game might look good, but shows why it flew under the radar onto the Arcade with a boring errand trip through a fairy tale land.
Faery: Legends of Avalon starts off very promising, but for a 1200 point XBLA title, this is one hell of a disappointment.