Folklore

Folklore.jpg

Right, Folklore. I just finished it. Does it have any replay value ? Mmm-yeah… Am I gonna keep playing it ? Heck, no ! Save file says it’s only existed for 40 and a half hours. Why does it feel so much longer, though ? I have been playing this game during several months, having started it years ago but halting due to personal reasons. So, maybe that’s a why. Then again, I had a “crazy controller” issue that loaded a several-hours-earlier save and saved on top of the new one, so there went several hours of grinding. There was a power outage once so, down the drain some grinding more. And finally, I had to grind so much that I came to view the whole game’s content triple as much…
folkloreimage.jpg is a single-player, offline Action RPG made by Japan-based and now closed Game_Republic_logo.png and published by Sony exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

A few words for the now defunct developer: Game Republic (2003-2011) was responsible for such games as shadowhuntersBoardGame.jpg (not the TV series, the unrelated board game) and the most excellent brave-story-new-traveler-cover.jpg, which stole my heart the very first moment I started playing it with its vibrant story – it desperately needs voice acting though.I am definitely getting a look into their Knights_contract_cover.jpg as well. The company was founded by video game designer Yoshiki Okamoto who had previously worked at Konami, then Capcom and has now co-created the hit MonSt.jpg for the IOS_logo.svg.png and Android_logo_(2014).svg.png.
Folklore.jpgnow, is a game equally “japanese” and “european” in the sense that exposition, gameplay mechanics, story convolution and the complete faery-world art are unmistakably japanese with lore and descriptions, character appearence and the complete real-and-faery-world setting being decidedly european. The village of Lemrick (Doolin in the PAL version) lies mostly forgotten and almost deserted on the west coast of Ireland and what a beautiful display of cultural respect it is ! It is simply beautifull and albeit deserted, so full of Irish atmosphere, beautifully drawn, sea and sky so melancholically blue and grey.
It speaks of the story of

folk02.jpg, two young individuals that are unknowingly connected to the village, to the Netherworld  – the land of the dead inhabited by faeries and folks – and together. As the story unfolds we learn of mythical creatures, tragic pasts and desperate decisions regarding the inhabitants’ struggle to find meaning in their lives.
A very linear game with a huge potential for grinding, folklore-b.jpg‘s main story splits into two paths, Characters_Ellen_screen.jpg‘s and Characters_Keats_screen.jpg‘s, and unfolds in 7 chapters. All paths are available in a single play through. All the people’s’ stories, past and desires are intertwined with the plot serving sufficient servings of twists and drama to keep you rooted while providing hints to how things will unfold. The final facts around the ending are both insighted and surprising.
The action part revolves around the heroes’ travel (in beautiful magical costumes for Ellen ) through the land of the dead and their battles and absorption of said land’s denisens’ “Id”, which is their essence and allows Ellen and Keats to use their abilities: Characters_Ellen_screen.jpg will summon the actual folk in front of her and it will make a characteristic move while Characters_Keats_screen.jpg will attack using the folk’s move with its essence overlaying. The two protagonists’ parallel paths provide refreshing diversity in what Folks they encounter and what elements are granted: Ellen has the exclusivity of Water, Air, Thunder, Sleep, Charm and Bind elements, while Keats instead has Ice, Earth and Fire elements. Non-elemental, Guard/Barrier, Destroy and Slash remain available for both. For example, Habetrot is summoned to put enemies in an area to Sleep or used to have an Earth-element weight drop from above. Every Folk can be made stronger by “releasing their Karma”that is, using specific items on them, killing folks with them or absorbing more of their own.
When not in Netherworld, Ellen and Keats try to untangle the mess of the villagers’ past and motives always ending up with a memento that is used to gain access to the Folk’s area that needs saving by defeating the strongest Folk up to then, the Folklore. Typically, a Chapter’s route is like: Doolin minor exploration & exposition -> memento & new world unlocks -> traversing realms, battling and absorbing folks -> reaching final save point of the new realm -> returning to Doolin: accepting and finishing quests -> teleporting to said final save point and going through battling the boss -> EXPOSITION. Linear and boring after 7 times but the plot’s good so it’s kinda ok.

The game relies on the motion sensor to deliver its absorption mechanics and on the player’s reflexes to deliver them to the end of the story. All is not easy, as the heroes are often reminded and true enough, Folks in more advanced areas mean serious business in both battling and acquiring. Folklores are always serious business and need understanding of how the game works in order to get past them in a reasonable amount of time. I still died some times during the Judge thingie and a couple of times during the final fight. Not a hard game, not a push-over either, all in all.
In case you haven’t picked it up yet, this game can be really grinded to madness. If you want to find EVERY folk in the game, if you NEED to release all Karma, if you fancy NEW clothes, then you WILL grind ’till your eyes bleed out and you WILL learn how to dance through tight mechanics ’till it’s second nature to you. I know I did, although I am not going so far as to purchase its DLCs (assuming they are still available) for the extra stuff.
Yep, that’s right: several DLCs exist for this game, that provide extra quests, costumes and, naturally, folks.
Definitely try it for the beautiful art !

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