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Folklore Review
 Written by Evan E.

Folklore, developed by Game Republic, is an action-adventure video game that incorporates a few aspects of RPGs.  It came out on the PS3 in 2007.   Folklore centers around two characters, a college student named Ellen, and a journalist named Keats.  Both of these characters go to the village of Doolin, Ellen in search of her mother, Keats in search of a story for his occult magazine.   When they arrive, they find that they have the ability to travel to the Land of the Dead, or the Netherworld.   The Netherworld is inhabited by beings known as Folks, who are the common enemies of the game.  When a Folk is defeated in battle, it is possible to absorb its Id, or soul, and then use the Folk’s powers.  Ellen and Keats travel the Netherworld, trying to discover the mystery of Ellen’s past and attempting to resolve a war in the Netherworld.
The looks of this game are amazing.  There are many different realms in the Netherworld, each with their own unique and detailed designs.  Even the backgrounds of the menus are works of art, and each enemy has a detailed design, made to match the realm it is in.  The cut scenes are excellent in quality.
This game’s storyline is the best of any game I have ever played, in fact, it is better than most books or movies.  There are two central storylines.  One is about Ellen, as she tries to discover her family’s past.  The other involves a huge war in the Netherworld, between the Faerys and the Rebels.  Both storyline’s come together in a climatic finish, and after the game is beat, several open-ended revelations are made.  The story of this game is told in three ways: through the amazing cut scenes, through an animated-comic-book manner, and through dialog with other characters.  Letters and books are also often used to tell about the past.  The story is revealed piece by piece, through flashbacks and conversations with dead souls.  In the end, it makes up an extremely intricate and exquisite tale.
Players have to sit through very long loading periods at frequent intervals.  Also, when some actions are performed, the game freezes up for a few seconds, which can be very annoying.  There are a few glitches which can also cause trouble.
Ellen and Keats both possess different ways to use their Folks.  Ellen summons the body of the defeated Folk, and it fights for her.  This allows Ellen to summon multiple Folks and to run away from danger, but the Folks can be killed and cannot be easily controlled.  Keats, on the other hand, uses the Folks power instead, with the ghostly image of the Folk appearing in front or around him.  This makes it easy to direct attacks with no chance of fail, but can put Keats in danger.   Once enemy Folks are defeated, they can be either killed, or their souls can be absorbed.  Soul absorption utilizes the often-forgotten Dualshock3/Sixaxis Playstation motion sensing capabilities (not to be confused with the recently released Playstation move).   The gameplay is sound, but of the seven different Realms, despite appearing different, all but two possess the same style of gameplay, unaffected by the others.  Gameplay is also fairly linear, and the camera is not the best.
Folklore is a beautiful game with an excellent story, although the frequent load times and the linear gameplay can be annoying.  Sadly, its sales were mediocre, with the Japanese version being the best selling.  However, due to the fact that a sequel would probably ruin the franchise, perhaps things are better this way.  I would recommend buying it (if you can find it) as long as you are prepared for a huge amount of story time.

Visuals: 9.8
Story: 10
Performance: 7
Gameplay: 8
Multiplayer: NA

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