Sunday, November 10, 2013

Folklore: Such a Folking Disappointment

Folklore hails from the early days of PS3 exclusives -- back when the console cost $600, was the size of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and sported that slick, stylish stupid-looking Spider-Man 3 font -- back before trophies even existed. Good exclusives were a little hard to come by back then, and when Folklore was released back in 2007 it seemed to fly largely under the radar. Given its relatively obscure status, interesting premise, and promising beginning, I was ready to feature Folklore as the next entry in my "Great Games You Never Played" series, but the more I played it the more I became disappointed with it.

Folklore stars two playable protagonists, both of whom arrive at the quaint town of Doolin at the behest of mysterious messengers. Ellen, a young college student, receives a letter from her supposedly dead mother urging her to meet at a cliffside in Doolin; Keats, a journalist for an occult magazine, receives a phone call from a woman in fear of being murdered by magical creatures called faeries. Unable to find their respective contacts when they arrive in Doolin, they witness an apparent murder and become key figures in uncovering the mystery of a few deaths that have been looming over the towns' surviving residents for 17 years.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dragon's Dogma is Pretty Damn Good

Dragon's Dogma is an open-world hack-n-slash action-adventure role-playing game by members of Capcom who had previously worked on games in the Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Breath of Fire series. To me, Dragon's Dogma feels more like a cross between Skyrim (in terms of its open-world exploration and quest structure) and Dark Souls (in terms of its combat and its dungeon-crawling feel), which pretty much makes Dragon's Dogma the best of both worlds. After sinking 128 hours and counting into a single playthrough, I feel confident in saying that Dragon's Dogma is one of the most compelling games I've ever played in this genre.

Dragon's Dogma begins with the resurrection of a dragon prophesied to bring about the end of the world. After emerging from a hole in the sky, it sets its sights on the small fishing village of Cassardis, the hometown of the player's self-created avatar. While attempting to fend off the dragon, the player becomes marked as the "Arisen," the hero destined to slay the dragon when his heart gets ripped from his own chest, creating a bond between the Arisen and the dragon. The dragon flies off in possession of the Arisen's heart, while the resurrected Arisen begins his epic journey to fight the dragon and reclaim his heart atop the Tainted Mountain.