Despite the ongoing list of criticism I hold for Faery, there is something about it that comes through that prevents me from completely writing it off. Do not get me wrong, as a game Faery disappoints in many ways. But there is a childlike charm that shines through. The imagination and character that the game contains is superb and the creative team at developer Spider should be acknowledged for their efforts. The concept art is truly exceptional and the soundtrack acts as the duct tape that holds together the many fragments this game is delivered in.
You also have to bear in mind that this is quite a unique game on Xbox Live Arcade with not really many competitors in its genre. So I would recommend Faery: Legends of Avalon to those younger players who enjoy casual RPG’s or if you are completely new to the genre. I would like to add that the whole genre should not be judged by this title alone as it is quite a poor example overall.
Once a power is purchased and you are leaving the leveling interface you are asked if you are sure you are happy with your selections. You better be one hundred percent sure that you are happy because once you finish making them and you say yes the powers are permanent. Don't want to shock bad guys anymore, too bad. Fire magic is out of your reach forever.
While I did end on a low note, I don't want you going away thinking this is a terrible game. While I did have a few hang ups the main reason I didn't care for this game was that I didn't care for the game's style. Add on to that the problems that I ran into and I hope you can see where I am coming from. I love that the designers of Faery went into a different direction than the mainstream, but in the end I guess I am just a mainstream kind of guy.
It is becoming all to frequent that games on the Xbox Live Marketplace are ending with 'to be continued...', now this in itself isn't so much of a problem as long as the game itself holds up on it's own doesn't feel like it has been cut in two for the sake of it. Without wanting to give the plot away, after completing the game you are given a final choice of which side you are going to fight for, and that's it, 'to be continued...' appears, and the same text based outtro appears no matter which choice you make.
If the game had managed to put in one final boss fight against whichever party you abandon, then this episode would have felt complete. Although this doesn't ruin an otherwise delightful (if a little short) game it does stop it from receiving the ultimate score it would otherwise have deserved. An utterly charming 8-10 hour RPG romp only mired by some repetitive music and an abrupt ending.
Any connection created by the admittedly crafty visuals and thorough character customization is completely done away with by the plot and writing. Faery's unfortunate mess leaves the game-saving effort to the combat systems, which largely fail to impress. The turn-based fighting against all manner of typical fairy-fodder seems better suited to an old-school 8- or 16-bit RPG which probably did it better way-back-then, anyways. While you couldn't call Faery's combat systems bad, you could call them bland, derivative, and boring.
Still, Faery is commendable for being among the first foray of the core RPG genre in the downloadable space dominated by twin-stick shooters and bite-sized platformers. With a price tag of $15, Faery's total playtime of anywhere upwards of 10 hours makes shelling out Microsoft's funny money worth it, even though you shouldn't expect to be completely blown away by what you've just bought.