Avalon Code: The First Chapter

By Louise Yang . April 9, 2009 . 2:04pm

image Avalon Code starts off with a silent male or female protagonist who discovers the Book of Prophecy. The world is inexplicably coming to an end and our silent hero or heroine must record things of note from the current world into the Book of Prophecy to re-create in the new up-coming world.

 

How exactly does the Book of Prophecy work?

 

image If you come across an item, monster, or NPC you’d like more information on, just smack it with the book by pressing B. This brings up a page which shows the subject’s code. A code can be thought of as a set of ingredients that make up a subject.

 

Our hero has the power to change the code of anything they can put into the book. By dragging the code tiles to and from the mental map (where the subject’s tiles are), the hero can change properties of the item. For example, if an enemy is too tough, just open up the enemy’s page in the Book and drag off the tile that corresponds to its HP or Defense.

 

Arranging codes has its shortcomings though. It takes MP, which is hard to regain, and the game only gives you four slots to drag tiles to. Once you get further into the game, those four tiles end up being too restrictive. I always had to leave one slot empty in order to have room to switch tiles around when I wanted to rearrange an enemy or NPC’s code.

 

Enough about codes, what about gameplay?

 

image Avalon Code’s fighting system will feel familiar to anyone who’s played an action RPG. Our hero can equip one weapon in each hand. X attacks with one hand while Y attacks with the other. Holding down an attack button charges up a special attack and letting go of the button sends the hero spinning like a top with both weapons out, ready to wreak havoc. This was my preferred method of getting from one side of the screen to the other.

 

HP and MP can be recovered by attacking enemies with a Judgment Link. This means sneaking up to an enemy, pressing A to launch it into the air, and then repeatedly pressing an attack button at the right time to launch it higher and higher until the enemy explodes into colorful fireworks. This method of dealing with enemies was incredibly satisfying as well as hilarious to watch.

 

As with any RPG, most of the game consists of walking to one place to another and talking to NPCs. Luckily, that boring task is alleviated with decent eye-candy. The 3D models on the DS are impressive and it’s thrilling to come across a new type of enemy and bonk them on the head with the book. Avalon Code has that “gotta catch’em all” feeling to it.

 

The story and dialog is juvenile, but I didn’t have to pay too much attention to the story to progress in the game. The first couple of dungeon mini-games were repetitive, but once I got out of the first town, I started to like the game more.


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  • http://pto.yetikitn.com MelodyKitn

    The definite downer was the restriction on how many codes to carry, with the mana being the second. Had they gotten rid of the number you could switch out, or at least increasing it to a more manageable number, I might’ve gone past the first town, but ended up pausing my gameplay to play something else.

    Hopefully they’ll add to the series and fix up that little snafu. I like smacking things around with that book… it’s the collector in me.

  • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

    MP is easy to regain/refill. Just do the judgement link thing. If you manage to juggle a monster 10+ times and destroy it, you’ll get a substantial MP boost. I found, once I started going around making friends in town, that a quick jaunt to the plains to toss 3-4 goblins would refill the MP.

    As for how many codes you can have in that little bottom area, make good use of the townspeople. :D Try using each one for a different kind of “code” to help organize things for you.

    I got totally hooked on saving/fixing characters who had flaws in their code. I’m not beating the final boss until I fix all fixable characters. (I think I have 2 left.)

    • http://www.nisamerica.com NickyD

      Glad someone besides me figured out the townspeople were great personal code-carriers. It’s the best we could come up with to organize all those blocks, really, but it does keep ya from flipping through the book for half an hour looking for a certain piece.

    • http://pto.yetikitn.com MelodyKitn

      I used them and felt delightfully evil leaving the poison codes at that snipey lady… *giggle*

    • http://www.nakedsushi.net/ Louise

      Ah, using the NPCs in town is a great idea. I sort-of thought of that, but I felt bad rearranging their code. But I guess it doesn’t really matter to them anyway haha

      It wasn’t just the fact that I couldn’t carry that many codes around that was annoying, but that the space you get to switch codes around is so limited. I wish they had some sort of temporary code sandbox I can keep codes in while I switch and turn things around.

  • CleruTesh

    The code management can get downright tedious at times, but overall, I have to give this game high marks for originality. The variety of gameplay elements do not always feel like the gel properly, but there is probably something for everyone here. Who knew a game could actually trick me into thinking those little sliding square puzzles are fun?
    I would like to warn anyone playing however, that some of the recipes (or “metalizes” if you prefer) are simply translated wrong. It’s not just your imagination. So if one does not seem to be working, you may have to check online. (The Aegis shield, for example)

  • Joanna

    Glad to hear good things about this game, I picked it up the first day (just because it sounded so good), but I haven’t had the time to actually play it.

    ps- I love talking to NPCs and going to different towns as well as all the other stuff in typical RPGs (I guess that’s why 80% of my gaming collection IS RPGs.lol.)

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