A year after Genji, can Game Republic make this Irish tale sing?
Page: 1 2
I spent much of my time with Game Republic's last game, Genji: Days of the Blade, looking at the map in the corner of the screen because the developers had willfully sacrificed gameplay for an obstructive camera position. Things are better in the team's next game, the Irish mythology collect-'em-up Folklore, but the experience as a whole doesn't deliver on its promise, and I can't suppress the feeling that once again Game Republic has made minimal effort to provide us with a truly worthy experience.
It's the presentation of the story that reeks most of this. Not only is voice acting used so sparingly as to be absent, but for the most part the story is told through tedious comic-style panels, complete with text that moves too slow at the default speed and whizzes by too fast in the brisk mode. After a while, though, this was less of a problem. That's because I simply lost interest in the story, which plods along between the two character arcs.
In the story, the two main characters, Ellen and Keats, are called to the Irish town of Doolin, a sleepy burg that two-decades ago was the location of a series of ghastly events. Ellen, an orphan trying to find out more about her dear, departed mother, and occult magazine journalist Keats, are separately drawn to Doolin, where they begin an exploration of the Netherworld while trying to collect clues, speak to the dead and get to the bottom of a murder mystery.
The realms that together make up the Netherworld are some of the highlights in the game. The visuals are erratic in their quality but when they work, like at the flower beds in the opening Faery Realm stage, they're breathtaking. Ditto for the design of the Folks (spirits of the deceased), which vary both in style and quality between the different realms.
For the most part, the game feels positively archaic. Were it not for the spruced up graphics and some interesting tilt sensor use, I would have no trouble believing this was a 16-bit game and not something designed for one of the most technologically advanced pieces of consumer technology available today. Combat is of the collect-'n'-attack variety, where you gather defeated enemies, map them to the face buttons, and then use them to take down yet more creatures.