This 16-bit RPG, known as Dragon Fantasy Book II, takes you back to an era of simple gaming. Dragon Fantasy Book II does a lot of things right, but there are some issues that take away from the enjoyment of the game…
I’m going to start out first by telling you a little about the Dragon Fantasy Book series. The first game of the series, respectively known as Dragon Fantasy Book I, was released a couple years back. It was then released on the PlayStation Store back in April of this year. I have yet to play the first game of the series, but Dragon Fantasy Book II does provide some classic RPG gaming for both the PS3 and PS Vita. At the same time, Is it really a game worth owning with all the other RPG games on the market?
Dragon Fantasy Book II tells the story of a fearless knight, Ogden,who makes a truce with a group of pirates in hopes of saving the world. Along your journey you will deal with plot twists and even unforeseen betrayals. Dragon Fantasy Book II guides you along the way with cut-scenes and all of the conversations are displayed nicely on the screen. I don’t want to spoil too much of the story for you, but it kept me entertained enough to not give up on the game.
I don’t really need to speak too much on the game graphically, but it uses very vivid colors that make it pop. I was very pleased visually when playing Dragon Fantasy Book II, I also enjoyed the audio side of things. The music choice fits well with the story and your surroundings. It’s enough to make those nostalgic moments swarm your memory.
One of my favorite things about this game is the cunning sense of humor that they throw into conversations and even some of the characters. You will run into all sorts of fanciful enemies including one that is rightfully called, “Land Shark.” The Land Shark is literally a guy wearing a shark costume. I always knew they existed! Apart from some of the whimsical characters, you will also run into many other varieties of enemies and even a few bosses. If killing enemies isn’t your thing, you could always just capture them using a trusty net or even using some of your magic. Capturing enemies allows you to use them as an ally which can be very useful.
So since we are on the subject of enemies, how does the fighting system work in Dragon Fantasy Book II? The simple minded fighting system works very fluently and it does so without being annoying. You choose your attack through a system of menus like many other RPG games. There isn’t anything fancy here, but it works well and that’s all that matters. While fighting, enemies can move around so strategy is involved in choosing who you need to attack first.
Many times people play a RPG game and get annoyed at the fact that they can’t walk 2 steps without getting randomly attacked, well not to worry because there are no random battles of any kind here. All of the enemies can be clearly seen walking around, so if you are too chicken (Bwuakk! Bwuakk!) you can choose to avoid certain enemies. Of course you can’t just go around avoiding every single enemy, but it puts the mind at ease not having to worry about randoms all the time.
Apart from the main story, there is also a small variety of side quests and a couple of extra dungeons to explore. These side missions seemed to lack a lot of content to them sadly. Most of them involve you doing small pesky jobs like killing one small enemy or perhaps finding someones lost item. You do get rewarded though for your troubles and it is better than not having any side quests at all.
Most towns you visit have a couple of shops from which you can buy all the items you may need for your journey. There are shops for weapons and of course armor. Some of these shops have crafting tables that can be used to craft several types of weapons and items that may be useful. I found the crafting system a great addition, it gave me a reason to preserve certain materials.
Despite the fact that the Dragon Fantasy Book II does a lot of things well, it has a couple problems that take away from the enjoyment. When things got a little hectic on the screen, I would experience frame-rate issues. Now you would think that since this is just a 16-bit game you wouldn’t have any issues, but sadly it isn’t the case. Most of the time it runs smoothly, but then there were times where it was having trouble keeping up which shocked me to say the least. I actually had the game crash on me 3 times and that was just during one section of the game.
Dragon Fantasy Book II has all the basic fundamentals that make it an enjoyable RPG: dungeons to explore, side quests, combat variations, strategy, a variety of weapons, and a story that keeps you entertained. Yet, it left me frustrated with the crashing issues. Now it’s hard to ask for more from a game when it has a $15 price tag, but fixing the frame issues is probably the single handed thing that stops this game from being a gem to add to your collection. Despite the issues I still thoroughly enjoyed playing through Dragon Fantasy Book II. It will give you a good 10-15 hours of entertainment, and it is worth picking up if you are a classic RPG lover.
A big thanks to Muteki Corp for providing us with a review code!
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