“Steampunk Week: Folklore” by Mr Riddler

Hooray! Hooray! It’s Steampunk Week, and I call first Post! In your face, Silence!

What is the Accepted name for a fake stone in Ireland?

A Shamrock… I need more challenging riddles… how about a math riddle next time. everyone cool with that?

What I Expected:
Ok this whole Steampunk think is more Silenced Requiem’s bag so you should really be looking forward to her post, but when I’m starting out this week and this website is named after me I need to start off with something strong and something that you’ve more than likely not played. So I figured I’d dust off Folklore since, according to wikipedia it is a steampunk game. Folklore is one of the first games that I bought for my PS3. Ragdoll and I bought the PS3 and 2 games. 1 that each of us would be able to enjoy. I bought Uncharted and she bought Folklore. Naturally we discovered which was the better game and discarded the other. Folklore went unfinished, but this give me a perfect opportunity to complete it finally and not feel like I wasted my money. What I remember from playing the first level or 2 from the game when we bought it 2 years ago was that it was repetitive, boring, and the story was damn near incomprehensible. Of course I am trying to recall a game from 2 years ago which I barely played so I’m going to give Folklore the benefit of the doubt, put my jaded memories and biased opinions aside, sit my butt down, and finish this god awful god forsaken game.

What We Got:
Folklore is your typical Japanese Game about Irish Folklore voice over by Irish voice actors with comic book style cutscenes that I have to read with no voice over.. You play the part of Ellen or Keats. Both people that are in a small Irish town called Doolin that is on the barrier between the living and the dead so you have the ability, when the moon is right, you have the right dead person’s article or it’s Samhain (Halloween)
As Ellen you’re on a hunt to find your dead mother. During the search you find yourself wrapped up in the matters of the living and the dead and another family that seems to be very close to Ellen when she was 5. The opening is a slew of sad domestic abuse and murder stories that eventually lead you getting into the real game play part of the game which takes place in the Faery Realm or Netherworld or any other name that can be picked up from Inuyasha. I can best describe the game play as “like Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories.” If you’ve played it then you’ll know how annoying it is to have that damn deck of cards that you need to keep digging through to find the attack card or the magic spell that you want to use because some Beet shaped Heartless can only be defeated if you use the Keyblade card followed by the Jar Magic Card, followed by the Pickle Juice Card. Folklore is similar to this because you have to use 4 attacks that are based on the Folk (or Monsters) that you defeat and capture. Ok, yeah, I guess you could say it’s like Pokemon too but give me a chance to explain why it’s an annoying system before you leave a comment about how the Riddler can’t get his references right. Using a Folk is like punching. It’s not throwing it out for the duration of the battle. Going back to my Chain of Memories allusion, it’s like using a card. It’s good once then, you either need to have enough magic points to use it again or just do nothing until you have more magic to use the card again. Worst of all, Certain Folks can only be beaten in certain ways and when I say certain I mean 75% or 100% of the good ones. You learn how this is done by finding story book pages that outline a cute little scene of what Folk to use and what the effect will be. Then you go on a hunt for the weaker Folk that you’re going to use. Catch it. Then goto the Bigger Folk and catch it. Then return to the weaker folk and level it up so that you can catch more of the higher level Folk and …. you see where this is going? It’s a gameplay system that’s designed to make you run back and forth and grind. This takes place right off the bat. from the tutorial level it shows you how to beat and how to start leveling this little bastards up by either using them to defeat other of the Folks or beating a certain number of the same Folk. I’m saying this once, gaming industry, and this is your only warning. Stop it. I don’t want to see this. Even pokemon allowed you to muscle your way through half the game first before forcing you to wade in the tall grass for an hour to raise your levels. Eventually when you reach the boss , or Folklore as the game calls it, you suddenly realize that training you little monsters to have a split second more magic energy has been a waste and in truth you’ve only needed 3 or 4 Folks out of the entire area that you’ve just completed, but without reaching the Folk lore you’ll just have to guess at which ones to train, and if you’ve guessed wrong then you’re just screwed.
Also as you go back and forth in the game from the living world to the dead you can pick up tasks to do for other ghosts. Tasks that are oddly like MMORPG quests except a lot more quiet and with a lot less Cybersex. And that’s all I have to say on that matter…
The other playable character, Keats, I presumed is named thusly because of his attire of Koats, is a paranormal writer and editor of his own magazine. So I’ve got something to relate to the man. However if I were in room where someone gave me all the videogames that I’d ever want for free and a hand full of people offering to advertise the crap out of this website on telelvision I’d have a freaking conniption! Keats on the other hand, gets to be in a pub full of friendly ghosts that are willing to talk to him, hold still for picture and help him and he bearly bats an eye. in fact majority of the conversations you have with ghosts, Keats either doesn’t talk or seems like he does this ever weekend. The key difference in gameplay between Keats and Ellen is… NOTHING. Ok I take that back. Keats also gains this neat little ability to turn into a demon every now and again like Dante from Devil May Cry but damn, you’d think they’d put more thought into this game. This was one of the first games to come out on the PS3. It should show off the hardware with amazing graphics that can push it to it’s limits and fast-paced action, interesting and new gameplay. Somethign that makes me want to buy a PS3!

Then it hit me….

There’s supposed to be a Multiplayer section here but there’s no multiplayer in this game and it would take away form my dramatic use of the “Enter Key” so it’s been removed


I suddenly realized what was wrong with Folklore. It was showing off what the PS3 had to offer but in really small pieces. The Cut Scenes looked beautiful, but they were maybe 20 seconds long to a minute long. The visuals in the game were good and had a wide variety of well designed monsters that could be called on and off the screen at any time. the backgrounds were expansive and contained many particle effects. but then the menus were flat with poorly designed interfaces. The story was pure idiocy. All the bits that held the story together were unvoiced and either comic book pages or 2 game sprites looking at each other without acknowledgement. Folklore is a Tech demo. This is something that developers were throwing together to show what the PS3 can do in bits and pieces it was never meant to be thrown together until the game launch and the “PS3 has No Gaems” meme was started on the internet. Sony panicked and took tape and hot glue and made this. A game that really should have remained a tech demo.

Overall Rating:

Yes rent it. I didn’t really love this game as you can tell but it’s still interesting, it’s pretty and the Folk are cute and loveable in the same way that everyone loves Pikachu. If it seems interesting to you, rent it. It’s not as bad as Punch-Out!! or Grease. (This game is amazing compared to Grease)

Stay tuned Reader because this is just the beginning of Steampunk week. We’re going to be reviewing Steampunk Music, Movies, and more Games as the week goes on!


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