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New Folklore demo is great - let us tell you why



Those lucky Japanese will be getting their release of FolksSoul (FolkLore, to us English speakers) in three weeks. Because of this, the Japanese PlayStation store has been updated with a new demo of the game. We've played it. Twice. You should too. Click here if you need help setting up a Japanese PSN account. Got it all set up, and started downloading? Then read on after the jump to find out exactly what you'll be playing once that gigabyte demo lands on your PS3.

Firstly, the menu. I know, I know. 'Get to the good stuff,' but the main menu of FolkLore is more interesting that you might think. Along with the normal things you come to expect, such as 'New Game' and 'Options' are some intriguing, but unfortunately inaccessable, eyecatchers. 'Dungeon Trial' and 'Costume' both sound like fun, right? One menu item is written in Kanji, which we cannot read. If you know what this is, we'd love to hear. The full release will have the ability to install, as well as having a web browser accessible from the game's main menu.



The game itself looks gorgeous. The overall art style is truly unique to this game, though there's a hint of Miyazaki in some of the more inhuman character designs. Cutscenes occur in a curious way, with quick cuts and dynamic 'speech bubbles' popping up throughout. Voices have been removed from the demo to save space. The colours and lighting work together with all this to create a great atmosphere.


Enough stalling. Onto the gameplay. The characters control well, though when running from place to place you may find yourself suffering from 'Invisible Wall Syndrome' from time to time. Dialogue happens in cutscenes or Enchanted Arms style talking-heads. Nothing new or interesting there. Where the demo really shines is in the combat sections.



After picking one of the two main characters, Keats and Ellen, and going through a few minutes of story you will be transported to the Folks' world. Here you can try out the excellent battle skill system. Combat revolves around the gathering of Folk's Souls (hence the name) and using their abilities. So in defeating a new enemy, you gain a new attack. The demo may indicate that the two characters will come across different Folks on their separate journies, as Keats uses ground-based attacks in the demo while Ellen uses air-based attacks. Whether this will translate to the full game is unclear, but there will be Folks' abilites that are common to both characters.



The demo contains several different Folks' souls for you try to out. A basic attack and defence move, area based attacks and a monster summon. These abilities can all be mapped to the square, triangle, cross and circle buttons. Collecting multiple souls of a certain type will upgrade the attack via an exp system. To capture a soul in the first place, the Folk must be sufficiently damaged for its soul to be released. A press of R1 will then have your character grab it from a distance. The controller must then be yanked upwards, in a whipping motion, for the capture to be complete. This is a great use of the SIXAXIS controller and feels really satisfying when you collect multiple souls at once. Doing so will even net you an exp bonus.

The only disappointment we have is that the demo is too short. We're curious to see how the different characters' special abilities (Keat's 'beast within' and Ellen's magic cloak) will work and so will definitely be picking this game up when it finally gets released in the west. Just see if we don't.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Looks nice. Thanks for the link to create a Japanese account. I grab this and Hot Shots 5!

Posted at 9:44AM on Jun 1st 2007 by Matt B

2. I just finished playing the demo, i played as both Keats and Ellen. I got to say the demo was awesome, mostly liked Keats power, when the gauge is full you press both L3 and R3 at the same time and he transforms into some cool looking evil form. While Ellen doesn't transform in the demo she gets 1 extra monster.

Posted at 9:48AM on Jun 1st 2007 by ToXicDecree

3. Demo was truly exciting and satisfying. Graphics were phenomenal. I am kinda glad I didn't understand the story. That way it still feels like a new game.

Posted at 10:32AM on Jun 1st 2007 by dontlikeitmodit

4. I got a chance to play it a bit this morning before work. Definately a fun game, I like the SIXAXIS soul stealing. My only grip was no camera control or environment interaction. I'm still really looking forward to this though. Now I need to pick up Monster Kingdom : Jewel Summoner for the PSP since it's the spirtual prequal to this.

Posted at 10:46AM on Jun 1st 2007 by Gorvi

5. might be a good First party game. God knows, Sony needs some good first party games (or just first party games)

when will this game release officiallyz?

Posted at 10:59AM on Jun 1st 2007 by kingofwale

6. The characters in the options menu are 連動, read as 'rendou', which means "connection" or "link". No idea what that has to do with the story or gameplay, but thought I'd let you guys know anyway. Perhaps a system link multiplayer?

Posted at 11:07AM on Jun 1st 2007 by Rich C

7. perhaps a PSP link maybe?

Posted at 12:10PM on Jun 1st 2007 by tony

8. Does anyone know how to play Hotshots Golf 5? I have numerous times but I just can't read Japanese.

Posted at 12:29PM on Jun 1st 2007 by massive_98

9. err...sorry, old news...

http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2007/04/06/folks-soul-will-feature-psp-ps3-connectivity-folks/

rings a bell?

Posted at 12:34PM on Jun 1st 2007 by Noshino

10. Ha ha. Phallic.

I'll have to download this when I get home, the video for it looked pretty cool, sounds like the demo is gaijin friendly too. Hope this boosts those japanese sales signifigantly.

Posted at 1:03PM on Jun 1st 2007 by mccomber

11.
Yeah.. this game does nothing for me and is yet another PS3 game that gets downscaled to only 480p on 1080i rear projection TVs.

Posted at 5:19AM on Jun 2nd 2007 by peabody

12. ok i must disagree with everyone i thought the concept of the was cool and different but sadly i must say that i didnt like it. I think everyone is so anxious for a good game to be releaseed that we fellow PS3ians are falling into whatever is released. But hey i might be wrong after all it was just a demo! ADD ME PSN; MRIBNthwind

Posted at 11:35AM on Jun 2nd 2007 by mribnthewind

13. am i the only one who doesn't like this game at all? Though the video makes it look quite interesting.

Maybe it's the fact I havent got a damn clue whats going on with the language barrier.

But I will say this i hate the comic-bookish style cut scenes. and where the hell are the voices??

Battle scenes were certainly more interesting. I'll be checking out the English demo when one is relelased for sure maybe then I might feel differently

Posted at 12:22PM on Jun 2nd 2007 by Tim Parsons

14. The game looks, shall I say, vibrant.The colors are amazing. The story seems intriguing and so do the characters. I mean, a hippy looking scarecrow to guide the female character and a "phantom of the opera" invisible man to guide the male character, gives it an almost spooky quality in a beautiful setting. The stealing of the souls is impressive and being able to summon the bosses after you kill them is in deed a plus. The female has different bosses than the male, mobs are the same but cool to take their soul.

Wish I knew Japanese because the written dialogue appears to be very emotional. By the way, thank you for showing me how to set up a Japanese account. PS3 has left me impressed.

Godspeed.

Posted at 12:47PM on Jun 2nd 2007 by Michael

15. Yeah. I tried this demo last night. And I must say, it was a lot of fun. I think the simple hook use of the sixaxis controller is very well done and needed in more games. Does anyone know when this game (if this game) is coming to North America. Add me to your PSN accounts : Bay78

Posted at 2:09PM on Jun 2nd 2007 by murdew78

16. OK I'll be the one guy that says I hate the use of the SIXAXIS. I didn't mind it so much with 'regular' creatures but in the 'boss' battle against the giant bird, I was shaking the stupid SIXAXIS like I was having an epileptic fit. The controller on screen was indicating I should move it back and forth in relation to the screen, but that got me nowhere. Finally I held it in one hand and just shook it left and right and I got the soul.

I have no interest in doing that for the 40 hours or so of an RPG. I have enough RSI problems with my wrists as is. Hopefully this will be an optional thing, and you'll also be able to use the analog sticks or something.

Posted at 7:44PM on Jun 2nd 2007 by GRT

17. I love the action rpg elements. It also kinda reminds me of Phantom Dust. I for one can't wait for a translation, I just hope the story is decent.

Posted at 8:24PM on Jun 2nd 2007 by Blodia

18. @Tim Parsons
they removed the voices and various other stuff so the demo file wouldn't be too large

Posted at 8:52PM on Jun 2nd 2007 by Kxpuc

19. Two notes:

Fixed Camera! Not during in the battle sections! In any battle area you should have been able to use the right analog stick to rotate the camera. The camera was only fixed in areas such as town which I don't think is a bad thing.

Since you dont know Japanese you might not haved picked up on the fact that (or just not mentioned) the more souls you pick up of a certain folk type it unlocks attributes or power ups. Also in the fight with the rather large bird Folk if you rip its soul out you get it as a summon but if you just keep hammering on it you get an item. That seems nice for when you have maxed out all your unlocks on a certain Folk type. Lastly... you get bonuses for ripping out more than one soul at once. So its kind of cool to try and knock out multiple Folks at once and go for the bonuses.

Just wanted to highlight a bit of deeper gameplay to what seems like a really simple system.

Posted at 9:29PM on Jun 2nd 2007 by gt

20. @14

I don't think that those comic-style cut scenes will be in the final game. Just a guess, but since there were more than a few that were also in the video, I'd say they're just stand in for the demo. Expect those gorgeous full-motion vids from the movie to make it into the final game (like mom falling off the cliff).

Otherwise, I'm entranced. Wondering now if the Japanese version will have English as either a playable option or preferably as a subtitle option. That would be brilliant and this would be worth importing if that's the case (it comes out 6/21 in Japan...lucky bastards! I've heard Oct for US, but that was a rumor, I believe.)

Posted at 1:38PM on Jun 3rd 2007 by fetcher.nwah

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