This holiday season has been a bit unusual in my opinion, as we have yet to see original titles take the market by storm. It seems as though the sequels are still the games to get, and therefore there have’n been many original games until now. Today we are actually checking out a game based on Neopets, which may be familiar to some as a web-based community game. Think of it as an online "tamagotchi". But now for the first time it has been turned into a video game and is now called Neopets: The Darkest Faerie for the Playstation 2. So can this game create a great experience off of a very popular game? Read our full review to find out!
I have to say that in order for me to review this game, I had to check out the Neopets website and I was amazed to find that thousands of people are really into this game. I had heard about it previously, but never thought much of it until I saw that there was a game being created about this. The real question I had in my mind after playing the game online was, could the developers possibly take what people love about Neopets and integrate it into a great action game?
The game definitely sounds like a sure fire win when you look at what it has done online, but right out of the gate you will find that the story is a bit underwhelming. The actually story in the game basically places you basically play as the two good guys who are out to defeat; you guessed it, the darkest faerie. The game uses both characters throughout the game to try and give you a little bit of variety to distinguish itself from other action games on the market. The game never really tries to enhance you experience with a story, but instead kind of just shoved it in there and let it be.
Contrary to being a monster sim, ala Monster Rancher, which would have been a more logical premise for a Neopets video game, The Darkest Faerie is really just a standard action game with some platforming thrown along. Basically you will constantly be given missions to complete and of course will encounter bad guys along the way. These bad guys are never all that hard to take out, and in my opinion just seem as though they could have made parts of this game more difficult. Even the missions are very simple, and isn’t as challenging as I would have hoped.
The gameplay of Neopets is really the biggest problem here. It is not so much that it is necessarily bad, but instead that it is just not overly entertaining. The game never tries to do anything different, nor does it try to mix up the action that goes on during the game. You’re literally going to be doing the same things over and over again, and this is really where the game gets tedious. The gameplay just never felt fresh or innovative. There are also some issues in terms of the camera, which at times can get stuck in weird spots and, this in turn diminishes the gameplay as well.
Neopets: The Darkest Faerie is a game that really just does a poor job of trying to separate itself from other action games on the market. The game itself works, but there is just nothing about this game that is appealing. The game is sadly repetitive and this in turn keeps you from even caring about completing it. Overall the game just doesn’t manage to pull all of the ends together, and it turns out to be just a lackluster experience.
Neopets is a game that really comes from such a creative universe, and you would expect the game to be just as creative. Sadly, The Darkest Faerie seems to fall short in this aspect as well. The Darkest Faerie really lacks any depth to the presentation, although the character models are nicely done with a good color palette and a good amount of detail. The problem however occurs everywhere else throughout the game, like in the environments, which are rather dull and lack a whole lot of detail. The camera also hurts the game’s presentation as it can become a problem as well. The overall presentation of The Darkest Faerie is really pretty mediocre, with just a pretty average overall feel to it.
Neopets: The Darkest Faerie is one of those games that really had an endless amount of opportunity, being that it is a game that is based off of a huge world that has yet to be explored on the consoles. In the end however, this game just never manages to really find itself and therefore you never really get a firm grip on what this game is trying to do. The game feels just like you would expect an average game to feel. That may be good enough for some Neopet fans, but for me the game truly needed more.
In the end, Neopets: The Darkest Faerie is just a decent game that had the potential to be a whole lot more. When you look at this game you do hope that there are more Neopets games, but in the same mind frame you have to be a bit disappointed with this game. If you are a huge fan of Neopets, go give this game a rental. It will be neat to see the world come to life, otherwise everyone else is better of just letting this one past us on by.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.