Review: Dragon Fantasy Book II
Title: Dragon Fantasy Book II
Platform: PSN, PS Vita
Developer: The Muteki Corporation
Publisher: The Muteki Corporation
Release Date: September 10th, 2013
Tagline: Old School SNES style RPG game with humor that keeps you playing
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Buy it Already
The early 90’s was a fun time where the two coasts did battle for rap superiority, Ah-nuld ruled the box office and tons of JRPG titles were coming to the Super Nintendo. These games offered hours of entertainment, were unforgiving with their difficulty and created vast new worlds for people to explore. When you ask a fan of that era about these JRPG titles, you can see their eyes light up with the memories that they have made playing these games. Now, fans can relive those memories with Dragon Fantasy Book 2, the latest creation from The Muteki Group, a team dedicated in helping fans relive those same memories, with a lot more humor sprinkled in for good measure.
Of course, after all that, I do have to admit that I never really had any of these memories due to the lack of really using the Super Nintendo I owned. For me it was more about fighting games, so I was curious as to how I would respond to a game of this ilk. I mean, I have played JRPG titles, but they were from this current generation, which most would say is far watered down from these classic titles that would bust your balls with their constant grind for experience and ongoing, crushing difficulty.
At first, this was a true statement, as I really did feel a bit out of my element. The interface and controls seemed liked they had been teleported from the Stone Age and the graphics were rather crude when compared to the stunning visuals I was accustomed to with my consoles or my PC. But Dragon Fantasy Book 2 started to grow on me, partially because of the story and combat, but more so due to the absolute funny nature of the dialog that is sprinkled throughout.
Everywhere you go in Dragon Book Fantasy 2, you are hit with quip after quip that is funny. Not to the point that it tires you, or makes you groan, because it always seems to come at you in different ways. Things like reading the text like, “Mr. Rockman attacks you with screams of anguish over the perishing of his beloved wife in combat to you”, is pretty damn funny. Or save points that have wizards that try to explain saving to you as if it is a mystical spell they are weaving to keep your progress.
Gameplay is mostly what I would assume most would remember. From my limited exposure to Final Fantasy games, it is a tier battle system where you select whether you want to attack, use a spell or an item and then wait in sequence based on your turn in battle. There are no real surprises here, and combat has a quick flow to it. I did think that the hit to miss ratio was a bit off, favoring the enemies rather than my group of adventurers, but overall, the flavor of that old school combat is here and done quite well.
Keeping up with the spirit of the era of the 16 bit console, the game is lovingly created using 16 bit graphics, with colorful sprites and maps found throughout. Played on a flat type, tiled surface you move throughout the world. Sure, people like me that salivate over the current generation might get a bit snobbish at the dated look, but Muteki was going for a specific period look and they have captured it nicely. It may not click for everyone, but again, fans will eat it up.
And while Muteki did go all out to make the game unapologetically hard, I did appreciate the one modern touch that they put in Dragon Fantasy Book 2, and that would be a quick save. If there is one thing that all old school remakes and HD reissues should have, it is the addition of the quick save. This feature alone makes the game leap above its predecessors, because it allows you to play in bite sized chunks if you need to. There are many times when you have to walk away from your game, and I do not want to have to keep my console on pause for eight hours until I can come back and find a save point. Props for adding it and it does make Dragon Fantasy Book 2 far more digestible when you can only get in 10-15 minutes of gameplay.
And here now, I stand as a convert on Dragon Fantasy Book 2, as I came into it jaded and a bit underwhelmed, but over time, its charm and humor slowly got the better of me. I found it to be a fantastic gem of a game that I feel most can sit down and enjoy, while finding a better appreciation of the JRPG titles that paved the way for what we play today. It may not look it, but Muteki has created a winner with this latest entry in the Dragon Fantasy series.
16 Bit Gem:
- Dialog is filled with lots of humor
- Keeps with most old school 16 bit JRPG traditions
- Oh thank you for the quick save feature
- Is very challenging for those new to the genre
- Might not impress those who adore top notch graphics
I would say that Dragon Fantasy Book 2 is easily recommended for all ages, although I will add a caveat to that statement. While it lacks any heavy use of blood, gore or sex, it is really hard and younger kids might get upset with the challenge found in the game. I would recommend parents stand by to assist with the harder spots, but again, all ages can apply.