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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Faria: A World of Mystery and Danger!

Game Arts is a beloved company to many old-school gamers, responsible for the Lunar and Grandia franchises, as well as for some other cult favorites like Silpheed on the Sega CD and Alisia Dragoon on the Sega Genesis.  One of their earlier outings on home consoles, however, was not so well received.  Faria has all the makings of a good 8-bit RPG - well-detailed visuals, charming characters and a creative fantasy world - but the gameplay unfortunately does not stack up.  Combat in the game, rather than a turn-based format, is done in real-time, with you trying to defeat enemies in an overhead battlefield before they deplete your HP.  Unfortunately, some spotty hit detection makes it difficult to take hits without being hit yourself, and you die very easily, especially early on, when you can go straight from an encounter with some weak bug enemies to getting your face punched in by a hulking red monster many times your current level.  Running from combat only docks you further, causing you to lose experience, gold, or even equipment you've picked up (which really sucks when you drop a piece of gear you just spent hours grinding for).  Pair that with uninteresting dungeon designs and a extraordinarily high encounter rate, and you have a game that just isn't fun to play.  You'd expect a lot better from the studio that brought us the legendary Lunar games just a few years later, but Faria is an RPG that sadly ranks among the system's worst.

Developer: Game Arts
Publisher: Hi-Score, Nexoft
Released: 1991
Platform: NES