Dragon Fantasy: Book Review II

I’m afraid we’ll reach a point where the identity of classic games will be defined by remakes, imitators, and mockery aimed at recreating their magic. Memorable Japanese RPGs like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger were thrilling because they were – and remain – special, unique, and revealing. Dragon Fantasy: Book II is a superficial attempt to capitalize on our nostalgic adoration for these traits, while adding next to nothing of value and failing to understand that their legacy is as important to their place and time as the path they are. have mapped out, the future they have enabled. He manages to emulate what makes his inspirations memorable, but does very little to do anything on his own now.I was amused by the 16-bit art, heartwarming combat formula, and goofy tone of Dragon Fantasy’s first hour. By the second hour, the initial appeal of the wise hackers started to wear off, and I became frustrated and annoyed at their complacency. Three hours later, I had the first of too many endgame crashes.

After about 10 hours, I encountered a persistent crash that kept me from making full progress, even after reloading saves and trying to swap gear and party members. Dragon Fantasy has done me the favor of getting out of its misery.

During its functional moments, Book II has some interesting conceptual mechanics to use in its designs of meandering maze levels, but none of them harness their potential. Capturing weakened monsters in battle adds them to your party, but kidnapped crabs don’t feel particularly different from infamous robots, rocky monsters, or many other enemies, as they all share the same (or very similar) skills. Plus, a lot of Dragon Fantasy sends you on your way with a superior cast of wizards, assassins, and pirates with a lot more abilities and buffs. Why should I go into a dungeon or boss battle with a lower enemy turned ally instead?

Likewise, pseudo-real-time / turn-based combat could have been smarter and more strategic than it is. Initially, enemy placement and character skills were important to every fight. Enemies were moving through spaces while I was hanging out through menus, meaning my radial spin attack can only hit one enemy instead of three. Eventually, however, the enemies seemed to regroup or line up, waiting for an area of ​​effect spell to take them out.

Some marriage counseling required.

Almost every fight starts with the look you’ll need to think about your next move. You don’t. I would regularly respond to emails while pressing the X button to get through a battle, forgoing stun spells or mid-battle healing items in favor of insane and inconsequential brute force.

I will give a lot to Dragon Fantasy: Book II: there are moments of delicious humor. But a town full of penguins making Doctor Who jokes, another ham-obsessed, and a third subject to Star Wars references can only get things done so far. Breaking the fourth wall shouldn’t be something a game does to escape its own banality.

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