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 Folklore (PS3)

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PostSubject: Folklore (PS3)   Folklore (PS3) EmptyWed Sep 22, 2010 5:33 am

I think it's fitting that the first game I bought for the PS3 is also going to be my first review, so it's time to take a time machine all the way back to the prehistoric age of 2007 and look at one of the few things to come out of Japan that I actually like: Folklore.

Folklore (PS3) Folklore
Folklore begins with the two lead characters Keats, a writer for a failing occult magazine, and Ellen, a young woman with a mysterious past, being lured to the small island of Doolin off the coast of Ireland. Ellen recieves a letter from her long lost mother, while Keats gets a strange phone call from a woman begging him to save her. As they arrive (coincidentally at the same time) they find neither Ellen's mother, nor a woman in distress, but rather a dead body on a cliff, which promptly falls into the sea and is washed away; and thus begins the game.

Folklore's is a story of mystery, one that isn't so concerned with creating plot twists as it with slowly unravelling the layers of secrecy to reveal the truth. You'll spend a good portion of the game speaking with the island locals, looking for clues and trying to figure out just what the hell is going on.

But that's only one half of the game. The real fun begins when the two heroes gain the ability to travel into the Netherworld. Here things play more like a brawler -slash- action game, with some light RPG elements thrown in. Perhaps what's most interesting about Folklore is the weapons you use to fend off your enemies: the enemies themselves. Once you beat up a certain creature (or "folk" as the game refers to them) enough, you'll see their soul, or "id," pop out. Once this happens you hold down R1 to sort of lasso the "id" and jerk the controller upward to pull it out of the folk. This folk is then added to your inventory and you can map it to any of the four face buttons to use as an attack (or defense, in some cases.)

While ripping out souls is a little awkward at first, it soon becomes second nature, and you may catch yourself flicking the controller while playing another game all together. Collecting more of a certain folk lets you level them up, and gives you experience which results in larger health and energy bars.

Folklore (PS3) Folklore-ellenfaerybargest7
At the beginning of each chapter your given the choice to play as either Keats or Ellen, and in the Netherworld they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Keats' energy instantly regenerates after a couple of seconds and, after defeating enough enemies, he can go super saiyan for a few seconds and absolutely oblitherate anything in his path. Meanwhile, Ellen can parry attacks and wear different cloaks that give her bonuses and resistances to certain attacks. Since they both wind up working for different people at different times, you have to play both characters in order to get the whole story, right up until near the end where you can switch between them whenever you choose.

And now, with the summary out of the way, it's time for:

Folklore (PS3) Thegood

You're not likely to find a more colorful, beautifully rendered and bizarre looking game on current gen consoles, at least not until Children of Eden comes out. Folklore's visuals are incredible and drip with originality, from the seven spirit realms themselves to the many strange and wonderfully designed creatures that inhabit them. But the graphics aren't the only original things in the game. Using foes as weapons works great, and makes defeating a big boss monster all the more satisfying when it's then added to your arsenal.

Folklore (PS3) Folklore1
The story itself is fairly well told and makes you want to keep playing, if only so that you can start making sense of things. It is somewhat confusing, but nothing a veteran fan of Metal Gear Solid shouldn't be able to sort out.

If it any point you get tired of the main story, there plenty of optional sidequests you can tackle too. While some of these amount to little more than MMO grind fetch quests, quite a few (particularly those involving the local inn's night time patrons) are fun and interesting.

Folklore (PS3) Thebad

Folklore's Achilles heel is repetition. Having to play through both character's stories mean having to play through most of the game's levels twice, and while Ellen and Keats both play differently and some of the folk change, it's not noticeable enough to make it any less dreary. Each chapter plays out fairly similarly too: snoop around Doolin for a bit, go to the Netherworld, fight your way to the boss, repeat. The music doesn't help, constantly playing the same short loop everytime you get into a fight.

Folklore (PS3) Theugly

I never ran into any glitches, visual or otherwise, and as stated before the game looks terrific. Some of the animations are a little stiff but still passable. If you run into a wall the running animation just continues, an issue I'd though had been tackled back in 2001, but overall, though, there's not much to complain about in this section.

Folklore (PS3) Folklore_narrowweb__300x398,2
So, to top this all off, if your a fan of mysteries and the occult, if you're tired of the seemingly endless array of generic grey-brown action games, and are in the mood for something colorful and original, something not afraid to be weird, then give Folklore a try. It's a darkly beautiful game with an intriguing story, and well worth the money.

I hope you enjoyed my little review, and any feedback is appreciated (unless it's from art, that guy's a fag.)

(Oh, sorry, Johnald.)
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PostSubject: Re: Folklore (PS3)   Folklore (PS3) EmptyWed Sep 22, 2010 6:52 am

I saw the intro to the game on Unskippable once, and it looked pretty silly, but it also did look like a very neat setting, and I'll look it up some time when I get a PS3. Your review got me interested.
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Infant Shaker

Infant Shaker

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PostSubject: Re: Folklore (PS3)   Folklore (PS3) EmptyWed Sep 22, 2010 7:25 am

I love the "The good, the bad, and the ugly thing" you really must be into Cowboy movies!
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PostSubject: Re: Folklore (PS3)   Folklore (PS3) EmptyFri Oct 15, 2010 7:08 am

Infant Shaker wrote:
I love the "The good, the bad, and the ugly thing" you really must be into Cowboy movies!

No shit?
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