Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is one of the action RPGs that I can consider unique in a weird way. Since it was announced back in 2008, it was one of my most anticipated titles to be released on the Wii. Its amazing visuals are one of the reasons why I find the game to be so amazing. As an RPG fan, I was excited and impressed by the gameplay that was presented in trailers before the game’s release. With the game finally in my hands and as I draw upon completion of the game, does Fragile Dreams live up to the hype?
There are some things in Fragile Dreams that I can consider very annoying and some things that can be enjoyable. Although the story unravels in a strange way, this might be the game RPG fans have been looking for on the Nintendo Wii. Let’s take a look in the HOTs and NOTs of the game:
Interesting Storytelling… in a weird way?
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon has great story-telling but it mixes with some pretty weird stuff as you play through the game. The story focuses on Seto, a 15-year old boy who was left behind by his deceased grandfather as a result of post-apocalyptic events. Everyone around Seto is gone and the only hope he has left is to find the survivors that his grandfather had told him about before he passed away. As Seto starts his adventure to find the survivors on the Red Tower, his life gets mixed up with weirdness when he meets a silver-haired girl.
On Seto’s journey to find the survivors, he will meet an eclectic cast of characters, including ghosts, vampires, and machines that will help him achieve his goal. Expect to have some bizarre moments as you watch the story unfold. Without really spoiling the plot of the game, the way Seto is very lonely in this game and desperately looking for a companion, you will see how loneliness can turn into affection and love.
Impressive Visuals and Presentation
As a Wii title, I find the visuals and presentations of Fragile Dreams to be very good. The environments are very colorful and detailed. Since Fragile Dreams is set in an apocalyptic world, you will not see a lot of characters in the game. However, the environment takes on a life of its own, as you explore ruined cities and underground malls or sewers. When it comes to how well the characters are drawn, it is very anime-like, similar to past Namco Bandai titles such as the Tales series. Since Fragile Dreams is developed by the creators of Eternal Sonata, a RPG that was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360, expect some familiarity of Seto’s appearance to a certain character in Eternal Sonata.
The voiceovers are done rather well. However, if you are one of those avid Japanese voiceovers fans, you have an option to change the dialogue to either English or Japanese. It sure is pretty common for XSEED to include both audio tracks in their past RPG titles and I give them kudos for that since it allows players who find voiceovers annoying to avoid them. You will find voices in Fragile Dreams to be very familiar with past XSEED games title; they’ve done a good job in portraying the drama and emotion in the game.
Aside from Seto finding survivors in the ruined world of Fragile Dreams, there is something to look forward to when it comes to the story. Fragments of memories are scattered throughout the world and as Seto interprets those memories, we learn more about what life was like before the world was turned into ruins and we delve into the personal lives of several interesting people. Personally, I find this to be the strongest point in the game. In each memory that Seto finds, there is always a story behind it that will relate to the place where Seto is currently at. As you progress through the game, you will get to learn more about the remnants of the world and what led to the catastrophe.
Gives you a slight Horror feel
Another interesting feature of Fragile Dreams is the mixture of action-RPG and survival horror genre. Since Seto will have a friendly ghost companion, expect enemies to be somewhat ghoulish as well, although most of them will be rather cheesy. The soundtrack of Fragile Dreams tends to build that horror emotion we’re looking for, although the appropriateness of the soundtrack can be a little inconsistent.
Weak Battle System
One drawback that RPG fans will find disappointing in Fragile Dreams is the battle system. There is no depth at all to the way Seto fights the monsters and creatures he meets. With the weapons he finds along his adventures—sticks, an iron pole, a bow, and a slingshot—you won’t find any customization feature available. Oh, and these weapons tend to break after a couple of uses. Seto levels up as he fights monsters, but there is no way to have Seto wear some kind of protection when you’re out there exploring the ruined world of Fragile Dreams. I found the leveling system to be linear and very disappointing. It is annoying and not takes away from the challenge of the game to know that, during a fight with a monster, all you have to do is button-mash in order to defeat your foe.
In times where Seto’s weapon breaks (which happens quite frequently) you will have to go the Camp Fire and wait for the Chicken merchant to appear. Thanks to the loot that you get, it turns into money that you can use to purchase another weapon (which will break easily yet again). One piece of advice: stock a lot of weapons!
Lots of Backtracking
I hate it when a game does a lot of pointless backtracking. In Fragile Dreams, expect to do a lot of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at how gorgeous the environments are but the repetitiveness of going back and forth can get very tiring. Most of the time, it will take 15 to 30 minutes just to go to one place and 15 to 30 minutes again going back, which is both time consuming and annoying.
Fragile Dreams is one of those games that has a very slow pace, which at times gets very boring and makes you want to turn off the game. Instead of just going through with his mission, Seto tends to get sidetracked with useless people that he meets. I think of this game as having a lot of fillers similar to an anime but, with the fragments of memories that Seto gets, it makes it a worthwhile experience in the end.
Bad Camera Controls
When using the Wii Remote as Seto’s flashlight in the game, there are times that the camera gets a little shaky. It is very hard to win a boss fight especially when the Wii Remote loses its synchronization with the Sensor Bar and the camera just suddenly goes behind. If you don’t want to get annoyed with the camera, then I would suggest not moving too much.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is a hit or miss title. The flaws that I found in the game will make it very troublesome to the majority of gamers who will play this. The only good thing that I found very unique in this game is the storytelling, but ultimately the plot will be forgotten when the flaws of the game start popping out. If you are desperately looking for a Wii RPG game to play, then Fragile Dreams will sate your RPG hunger if you give it the chance. I loved and hated it at the same time and, given the balance between pros and cons of the game, I suspect that many other players will have a similar reaction.Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon Review,