September 14, 2013

Dragon Fantasy Book 2 Review

Is this nod to the past enough to get you to play it? Read the review inside, and see if you're lucky enough to win one of three US codes!

Dragon Fantasy Book 2 (DFB2) is a retro rpg for the PS3 and Vita with tons of hidden humor/references inside. A true fan of games like Chrono Trigger will totally appreciate everything about it, while a casual gamer might raise an eyebrow at it.

First off, I reviewed this game by the Muteki Corporation on the Vita. I also never played the first DF. That being said, after about an hour, I was caught up (although kind of confused at first) and into the pirate themed story line. 

Just know, you're not getting a glossy, richly animated and voice acted game. You are getting something you probably played back in the day, although colors are rich and vibrant, and there are some lighting effects and cool spell animations. Backgrounds are varied, as you cross deserts, traverse through mountains, and walk over islands. 
it says "fat."

In line with the theme the game takes, graphics aren't much to look at. But there is enough variety in what you see to keep you interested. The bosses are big and fun to battle. 

The menu system is easy to access, (ie simple) so don't expect anything too serious. You get an equip tab, spells.

The first thing that hit me when I started this game up was the music. I was expecting 8 bit graphics and pingy sound effects and music, but there is a nicely done soundtrack that feels epic... at first. After a couple of hours, the music gets redundant and sound effects also don't vary much. 

The touchscreen on the Vita is used at times (accessing spells, menus, etc) and it doesn't get in the way. I found that I would instinctively reach to tap the tabs on screen and be happy they worked that way. Nothing gimmicky. 

I had some issues with the stick controls: when sliding to another map screen and I was still pushing up, my character wouldn't move until I let go and re-did that same move and I'd get going. Not a big deal, but enough to be irritating at times. Another irritating thing was at some screens (particularly the ocean) I would notice some clipping of graphics. Why would this happen? 

Yes your game will go as follows: Get to a town. Talk to people. Get a quest. Get a side quest bounty. Walk to a dungeon/map. Get attacked. Level up. Repeat. When you come across really weak enemies after you've leveled up a bit, you automatically wipe them out. Nice touch. It saves a lot of time when you start feeling pressed by the same enemies quite often. 

A cool feature that will keep things fresh is the "Capture" system. After weakening an enemy, you can bring them onto your team with a net and then they level up and as you do. You can use their unique abilities, too, as well as equip them with better stuff. 

I found the story line pretty ok, nothing spectacular. Enough to get me to keep playing, but I lost interest in the side missions. Those were basically "go fight a (x) and come back." 

The humor is abundant throughout the game. You'll get references to Star Wars/Trek and other pop culture things, too. Each time you fight, you read a line of text about what the creature does. At first you laugh at the Mr and Mrs Rock jokes. Then when you see them again, and again, and again... you see what I mean. I found myself clicking through battles and skipping the text below. 

Replay value: 
You'll get about 20 hours of playtime in if you do the mission and scour the bounty quests. Pretty good for a little game like this. There will be a drop in drop out multiplayer patch coming soon. I don't know what that will look like. 

Trophies? If you like platinums, this one has one! So that could take some time, as well. 


You will like this game if: 
  • you are a fan of old school rpgs
  • you appreciate sci fi/fantasy humor references
  • you enjoy a game to track down creatures and add them to your party
You might not like: 
  • the simple graphics
  • the repetitive music
  • the redundant humor
  • the $15 price tag ($12 if you are PS+)
Final word: 
Dragon Fantasy Book 2 is a fun romp through RPG history... if you know what you're getting into. For $15 you'd think you'd be getting a lot more, though. 

Comment below if you've played the first game. Also, comment about something you're looking forward to in this game for a chance to win a US game code. Tag your comment with "US"  if you want to be considered. Winners will be contacted by Tuesday. 

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