Developer - Idol minds
Publisher - Sony
Memory card - 165KB
What do you get when “Everquest” and “The Legend of Zelda” have a baby? The answer is a game called Neopets: The Darkest Faerie. In this game you start off as Tor, a young knight in training. He was living happily on the family farm with his parents and sister but that all changes when you have to deliver a parcel to the knight academy. When he delivers it he is offered to be a squire. He of course accepts, but his happiness may not last, as the Darkest Faerie has broken out of her watery prison.
The graphics of Neopets: The Darkest Faerie are about average considering how the level of gaming has evolved to the present stage. But what really grabbed me about the graphics was the vast world and fast loading screens. The worlds are huge with many places to explore. Dark caves, creepy forests, and massive towns are just some of the places you can venture through and find treasure. Now you would normally assume that such a big world would take forever to load but in fact it doesn’t take very long at all; the longest I’ve had to wait is about ten seconds. In terms of all overall looks things like light and shadows are represented rather accurately in accordance to texture.
Another good property in the graphics are the cutscenes. Now disregarding the fact that the characters are cartoonish animals the cutscenes pay a lot of attention to detail. The expressions of the characters, the textures of the terrain and the bright colors aid the overall appearance and add to the impact of the neopets world. Finally, I would like to say that as in all games, graphics have their flaws, but so far the only flaw I have found is that sometimes the graphics slow down. But that doesn’t happen often.
There’s not much to the sound in Neopets: The Darkest Faerie. But there is brilliance in its simplicity. The main theme throughout the game is medieval. However there are certain circumstances that change that. The most common is a battle, though it has a slight medieval theme to it. Another way to do this is by entering a dungeon like area. One example is the ‘shadowhein forest’, which has a dark and creepy tone to it. I also want to talk about the voices in Neopet. Though only the cutscenes use voice, the normal game has many sounds that the characters make when you talk to them. Finally the sound effects are simple but they do not downgrade the quality by a long shot. Overall the sound package is good, but not great and it gets the job done.
Neopets: The Darkest Faerie’s controls are hard to figure out at first, mainly because it doesn’t follow the normal configuration of other games. But after a short period of playtime you do get the hang of it. The gameplay of Neopets: The Darkest Faerie is very much like normal RPG’s, however it seems to follow the ‘Zelda’ style of gaming (except the hero can jump). The main difference is that when you talk to people they may give you a quest. If you complete these tasks you usually get something nice in return. Some of these quests also assist in progressing the story. These quests can be much more difficult than other ones. I myself spent many a day running around just trying to become a squire. There are also treasure maps in the game and with these treasure maps you can look for buried treasure and get lots of good rewards.
A neat little thing they added are tiny elementals called ‘motes’. Motes can be attached to your weapon, armor, and shield, which can give you an advantage over your opponent. The different types of motes are earth, water, wind, fire, shadow, light, and rainbow. Also, some motes are more powerful than others are. For example, a sun mote is a more powerful version of the light mote and a lava mote is more powerful version of the fire mote. Equipping the right mote can be critical to survival. If you’re facing a fire opponent, you should equip a fire mote to your shield and armor, and a water mote to your sword or staff. Finally the motes are not infinite and they will run out as your magic does. If you lose a mote you can always buy a new one (you cannot buy every mote) though so that is a positive note.
The final topic of gameplay that I want to address is the map and its functionality. It can be helpful, but it takes a while to get used to and can be quite frustrating to a new player. The main problem is that you can’t scan the map to find buildings or places. Thankfully the current quest is shown on your map, but that is only if you are in the right area. It would have been a lot easier if places and buildings were labeled though. Despite this annoyance it does not hamper the game all that much.
I may have been skeptical at first about this game but after some extended time with it have to say that it actually surprised me. Once I got into it Neopets: The Darkest Faerie was really fun. Even though some things were annoying or repetitive it is still a good game. As far as graphics, sound, and gameplay I was quite pleasantly pleased. To those Neopets fans out there I say this game is for you.