Dragon Fantasy Book 1 test for PS Vita, PS3
Platform: Playstation vita
Also on: PS3
Editor: Muteki Corporation
Developer: Muteki Corporation
In line: Cross-backup
CERS: E10 +
There’s not much new in Dragon Fantasy Book 1. And I don’t just mean it in a broad sense, “This game borrows a lot from all 8 and 16-bit RPGs of the past 25 years.” I speak literally: Dragon Fantasy Book 1 is a port of the iOS game of the same name.
Of course, it’s the “borrowing heavily from the past 25 years” aspect that will define the game for most people. After all, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if you’ve played games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or The Adventure of Link – or even play a lot of more modern descendants of those games – then there’s a lot here that will feel familiar to you, from top-down gameplay and turn-based combat (with fight / magic / item / race options), to retro graphics and chiptunes music. It should almost go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that your enjoyment of these games will largely dictate how much you enjoy Dragon Fantasy Book 1.
This is not the only factor, however. Personally, I never liked any of these games, didn’t have the patience for them the first time around, and the Nostalgia Glasses didn’t make me appreciate them anymore – but I found Dragon Fantasy to be. a relatively fun experience.
A lot of it comes down to writing. No matter how great Dragon Fantasy may seem with its quests and monsters and so on, it doesn’t take long for the game to reveal that it has a surprisingly funny soul. I mean, the hero, Ogden, is chubby and bald. Your first weapon is a “pokin ‘stick”. The first two monsters you face are Mr. Rock Monster, who complains about his marital issues, followed by Ms. Rock Monster, who is worried about looking fat. The following monsters are named things like Lt. Slicey and Lt. Dicey, Obligatory Ork, and Mister Lizard. In a genre prone to seriousness, Dragon Fantasy’s willingness to poke fun at clichés is welcome.
(And I’ll be honest: even though I proclaimed myself immune to nostalgic glasses a few and 16 bits ago, to say nothing of the literally perfect chip-tune soundtrack.)
That said, you probably won’t really appreciate Dragon Fantasy Book 1 unless you’re a fan of those old RPGs. If you like to grind monster after monster in the quest for more XP (and better skills and weapons, better XP will get you). If you don’t mind reading the same lines over and over again (trust me: what’s funny the first time you read is much less the twentieth). If you have the patience to buy fifty herbal medicines one at a time. If your heart is racing hearing 8-bit music with the slightest static overhead noise in the background. If that describes you, you need to jump right into this game – and if it doesn’t, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.