Obscure Gaming – Neopets: The Darkest Faerie (PS2)

Box Art for the Game.

Just as a disclaimer before I start talking about this game, there is a specific reason I labeled this as an obscure game. Though game media outlets have ratings and reviews associated with this game, many players overlooked this game due to it being labeled as “Neopets” and has a cult following of fans to this game. This game was part of my childhood and I felt like making an article about it. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t give total praise to this title as I try to make these posts as fair as possible. Without further adieu, let’s dive into this title.

Gameplay of Tor showing of some of the combat in the open world.

The story that this game follows is from the perspective of Tormund, or Tor, who is a young Lupe whose dream is to become a knight, and Roberta, an Acara training in the magical arts and the niece to the King of Brightvale. Together their job is to prevent the recently awakened Darkest Faerie before she thrusts the world into eternal darkness. The story that the game follows is rather interesting despite some holes and inconsistencies in the cutscenes, i.e. some items and equipment are changed frequently and sometimes armor you obtained earlier is used instead. Gameplay follows the standard conventions of action-adventure games and sometimes feels more like a clone of The Legend of Zelda. The two characters have different sets of equipment and work better for different combat situations. Tor, as a sword fighter, works better for close range combat, while Roberta works better for mid to long range combat, as she uses wands that fire blasts of magic. There is a system of elemental magic, known as Motes, that can be equipped to weapons, shields, and armor. Each element was strengths and weaknesses to the various types found in the game, such as fire vs. water, light vs. dark, and air vs. earth. The other component that this game features is the use of Petpets, little creature that you feed and follow you around the game world. Their function serves to provide special abilities to aide the player, such as health/magic regain, attack boost, etc.

Image Showing Roberta in Combat.

All of these elements sound very interesting and provide the player with an array of options to customize their characters, but this game does have it’s shortcomings. There are a variety of bugs, exploits, and glitches that can be found throughout the game world. Background music will cut off every so often, treasure that you find is sometimes not counted, certain NPCs can’t be talked too after a certain point, and players can bypass water death triggers during a single frame of the jump attack animation. Though these all sound bad, it actually adds something extra to the gameplay experience. Many of these exploits make for interesting speedruns and one of the glitches allows players the opportunity to reach an unused level, which is almost complete despite some textures and collision either not loading or missing entirely. I feel like the game was very ambitious for what the developers wanted, but somethings feel short of their expectations. However, that doesn’t mean that the game is any less fun and enjoyable in the combat, side quests, and open world you are presented.

The open world of this game is pretty impressive and fun to explore.

Though this game may not be game of the year or game of the decade, it still a fun game from my childhood that I boot up every so often. There are many games that people love to play despite what critics and other players have to say, but at the end of the day as long as you are having fun playing a game, the point of the video game has been achieved.

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