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It’s the Little Things: Character Building in Faery: Legends of Avalon

This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

In typical RPG fare, character building usually amounts to selecting a few skills and allocating points on a sheet full of abstract statistics. While these choices generally have a direct impact on the strength and abilities of your character, this tends to draw you out of the world by turning this process into a pure numbers game.

In Faery: Legends of Avalon (an RPG recently released on Xbox Live Arcade), the designers took a markedly different approach. While you do receive a set amount of skill points when you level up, you apply these points towards upgrading and changing various parts of your body. Each of these changes does offer a new skill or an increase in an existing ability, but they also make real, graphically-represented changes to your on-screen appearance.

 

For example, one early choice will grant you a magical attack and also change the style of your faery's wings. The fire-based attack will grant your faery dragonfly-like wings, but the lightning magic will grant you the wings of a butterfly. In this particular case, I found myself doing something that I almost never do in an RPG: I made a decision based on how something looked and not because of some small numerical advantage it granted me. Though I wanted the lightning attack, I simply could not cope with my character looking like a butterfly.

The end result of this system is that two play-throughs can result in faeries that have both completely different skills and appearances. For me personally, I felt a greater sense of accomplishment and more attachment to the character I built. My faery was soon flying around this magical world with dragonfly wings, ram's horns, and a glowing aura surrounding him.

Faery

Although Faery: Legends of Avalon may not offer 80+ hours of gameplay or complete voice acting like some other big-budget RPG titles, developers could take a few cues from this smaller release. We'd probably relate to some of these characters better if they just weren't all about the numbers.


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