While the game may look visually pleasing, one would expect that with a title called “The Fabled Sky”, the game would take place in a more open environment. Instead, the player is enclosed within the barriers of a tower. For a game that has been under development for only 6 months, the textures and details such as the stalagmites popping out from the tower’s stone walls were eye-catching. The game could have used more enemy variety, but it was just enough to get players invested into the game.
However, there were many problems when it came to the core gameplay. The game preview made use of a ps2-like controller, so people who were able to test the game should have easily felt comfortable. However, from the moment you start the game, there are no tutorials. So there were many who had no idea as to what buttons did what action and just about every player had to ask for assistance from the developers.
(Our staff member trying out the game…)
The way in which the action buttons were mapped to the controller also felt a bit unconventional. Usually if one were to play this type of game, the X button would usually allow the players to jump while the Square button would be the attack command. Instead, the X button was the attack option while the Square button became a dash feature. Instead of having a jump command, it’s instead replaced with a Launch action that’s mapped to the Circle button. Instead of jumping normally in the air, players thrust themselves upward. The longer the launch button is held down, the higher the player is propelled into the air. However, this method is actually slower than if one were to just simply jump and instead makes the reaction of the player feel sluggish. You also can’t influence the direction you’re jumping or falling towards, so one wrong jump might just cause you to lose life points and could prematurely lead to a game over.
There’s also a scope mechanic that can only be triggered by pressing the R1 button, and can only be done mid-air. In this mode, the game shifts to a first person perspective with a reticle indicating where the player can aim. The player may then press the attack button to launch into the targeted direction, attacking anything or anyone that the player collides with. This can be done multiple times so long as you remain in the air and it makes the game a bit more exciting.
(Others trying their hand at the game…)
While the game can be fun at points, it can be frustratingly difficult. The point of this arcade style game is to gather up as much points as you can by clearing out enemies and entering different domes. While there are some enemies whose attack patterns are simple enough to understand, the game suddenly curveballs you with a huge difficulty spike around the 4th dome. This level faces you off against one of the game’s bosses and there are projectiles and attacks that can come from just about everywhere. There were many times wherein certain buttons became unresponsive, allowing the player to miss great opportunities to either evade enemy attacks or deal damage. Something like this can heavily affect one’s experience and could ruin the chance of beating another person’s top score.
Overall, while the game looks great, there are a couple of problems that should have been fixed that would have made the demo even better. The Fabled Sky is a game that’s in the works, and there’s a lot of potential that can be seen in it. However, if these problems aren’t fixed, then people are going to be stuck with a game that’s mediocre at best.