Folklore OR Oh God Why Does She Run Like That?
Now I much prefer action RPGs to straight up old school turn based style. I actually think I abhor that style (though respect it for the peeps that dig it). In the demo you can choose to be either Ellen, a girl whose mother has died, or Keats, a writer. I chose Ellen because I had to see what they did with a female character. Ellen goes to the Faery Realm, but Keats goes to some place called Warwica.
So Ellen starts her journey with a delightful expositive conversation with an extremely creepy Scarecrow who informs her that 1) She’s in the Netherworld aka the Land of the Dead aka The Faery Realm, 2) She has Special Powers that magical beings called Folks will respond to and obey her, 3) There is a great evil called the Folklore in the forest that she must fight and 4) She could totally talk to her mom if she can find her.
Ellen is surprised by the info but seems very eager and peppy to continue her journey. So off to the forest she goes with three Folks to help her along the way. The Folks she carries act as her short range attack, long range attack, and defense. You can assign each one to whichever button on the right pad you wish, which is very nice in my opinion. I love personalized button control.
The interesting combat feature is the use of the Sixaxis control. When you are hammering the bad Folks that attack and right before you destroy them a reddish/pinkish glowy thing called Karma appears above their heads. When this happens you press R1 and shake the control up and down rapidly to reel their “Karma” in, which then powers up your own Folks and unlocks more powers and attacks for them. On bigger Folks the Karma will appear green and when it flashes red you jerk the control upwards each time and eventually they get reeled in. Some big Folks you defeat you get to keep for yourself and use so you’re always getting more Folks which bring additional attacks and defensive abilities. Folks have elemental qualities so some use air and some water, etc.
The trouble here for me is I couldn’t narrow down whether I enjoy this gimmicky play or think it’s a waste of time. I can understand both arguments but I actually think I’m leaning towards the former. In every action adventure or RPG it’s standard that when you defeat an enemy you get experience points, potions, or some sort of reward that goes towards making you stronger. This Karma stuff would be there with or without the Sixaxis controller so the only reason shaking the controller about to collect Karma is included is because, well, why the hell not, right? So for a lot of gamers this is going to be a cheap carpel tunnel inducing waste of time. Yet, I kinda liked doing it. Sure it distracts from attacking other Folks when you have to collect some Karma mid battle, but it is kinda fun and (pardon the pun) shook things up a little.
All I know is that despite the creepy Scarecrow and seriously weak script I’d like to play more and see more Folks in action. I need to play for a few hours to see if all that shaking messes with my wrists or actually keeps me loose.
As for the title of this article my one real dislike of the game is how Ellen runs. Her arms flap about in the most silly, aggravating way it makes me want to scream. For serious peeps, I hates it. When I see her run it just sets me off…I have trouble with female characters, I don’t like it when I perceive them to be weak. And maybe I am a sexist myself for thinking girls who run like that are weak…But seriously there is so much sway in that there gait it’s ridiculous.