As it stands, I cannot hide that there is a bit of geek in me. I’ve always harbored a love for anime and video games and sometime last year I began a wholesome little epic on the PS3 entitled Folklore, a PS3 exclusive title that came out early on in the system’s lifespan. Why am I talking about it on my art journal? Because it is my belief that video games are a highly realized art form, despite popular belief in its low brow value as a form of entertainment, and it can be inspiring the same way music, movies, and books are for me.
Folklore is one of those games that just tickles my muse silly.
From concept to execution, form to music, Folklore has a story and a look that hooked me from the start and breathed a little life into my muse when I was feeling less than inspired some time ago.
The Story? A young woman named Ellen ventures to the nearly abandoned village of Doolin in Ireland to uncover the secrets of her past that have been buried there. With no memory of who she is, she quickly finds that Doolin is not all that it seems and the strange calling of the ancient Henge beckons her enter the dream world of the Fae to find out.
Enter Keats, the other main character, a self proclaimed skeptic who writes for a dwindling paranormal magazine and yet doesn’t believe a word he himself writes. A strange phone call from a scared woman claiming to be threatened by faeries draws him to Doolin where he is soon embroiled in the mystery of Ellen’s past.
Review: Faeries, tattooed men, colorful characters, a superb artistic style, mystery, murder, and action, to boot! I felt like this game was designed for me. Others complain about the repetitiveness of the gameplay, but I always found something new and exciting to try with the numerous faeries, or Folks, whom Keats and Ellen befriend in each realm, even though I found myself sticking to a trustworthy few who would get the job done. In order to ‘befriend’ a Folk, you have to beat it until it’s ‘Id’ pops out and then use the motion controls on the PS3 controller to literally yank it out! This was one of the most stress relieving effects of the gameplay and why I like to say that ‘beating the shinies out of Faeries’ is one of the most gratifying activities you can do in this game. I also love a good mystery and each level dropped enough clues to keep me wanting to know ‘whodunit’ in the end.
The strength of this game for me, however, was in its visual flair. Each dream realm the characters enter is created from a certain emotion which humans feel towards death, such as the Faerie realm, which was created from the belief of ancient and medieval man in a Elysian Field type of Heaven. The Faery realm is accordingly bright and colorful with a dreamlike haze while other realms, such as the Endless Corridor, conjure mankind’s idle thoughts on modernity producing a realm full of Dali-esque melting landscapes and the abandoned skeletal forms of clocks, thrones,and book shelves. Each level contains a boss, or a Folklore, created from the lost souls of each realm and suiting to its design. I found myself wanting to get through each realm just to see the terrifying or just plain weird creatures at the end of each one.
All in All: This is one of the few games I will probably do fanart for, which is rare for me. If you enjoy a bit of action, mystery, and well…Folklore, than this game is for you.
And now I shall leave you with a brief cut scene from the game which will explain why I list tattooed men as one of its virtues:
Next on my video game palette: Assassin’s Creed, because nothing says ‘badass’ like taking a leap of faith into a hay pile off of a 20 story building.