You may have already heard some impressions about Fragile Dreams in our recent podcast, but there's still much to tell about Tri-Crescendo's upcoming post-apocalyptic adventure.
The game begins with the death of your surrogate grandfather, the only human being you've ever had contact with. The world is empty and decaying, seemingly uninhabited, but your guardian leaves a note telling you to explore the red tower to the East. Completely alone, Seto (your character) sets off to search for human life, but is soon met by a terrifying spirit who warns him against exploring the world. Overcoming the spirit, you escape the house and begin your journey.
Whereas most RPGs charge you with preventing the death of all humanity, Fragile Dreams skips all that and starts you off after the event. With just a stick for a weapon, Seto must protect himself against the dangerous spirits of the deceased that want him to join their ranks. Combat is a simple matter of pushing with good timing - quick taps will launch three light attacks, whereas small pauses increase the strength of your hits. It's a surprisingly delicate system that initially resembles button-bashing, but once mastered is varied enough to get you through almost any battle. The spirits themselves take on many forms, from harmless jellyfish to enormous dogs, but our favourites are the flaming, cackling legs that hide out in the underground areas.
Even better than the bizarre enemies are the sound effects that accompany them: for the most part the game is all-but silent, with just your footsteps and the distant crackle of a campfire for audio, but when enemies appear there's chunky piano chords, screaming and more, with some sounds even coming through the Wii Remote speaker. In fact, the Remote speaker gets quite a good workout, with digitised speech from your Personal Frame, a robotic assistant that guides you in the game's early stages.
One intriguing aspect about Fragile Dreams is its graphical style, with lanky, big-headed characters bearing a Kingdom Hearts-style look. The game's environments are also highly detailed, often bearing posters, slogans and graffiti that can be zoomed-in upon to reveal messages and more. Some of the shots dotted around this preview should show you how gorgeous the game can look, and although the lighting effect from the flashlight isn't always perfect, the overall design and construction is enough to elevate this above many Wii games.
The game is most accomplished, however, in its emotional scenes. Although Seto interacts with very few people indeed, certain enemies leave behind "Mystery Items" that can be taken to campfires and examined. Sometimes these are healing items or objects to sell, but every so often you'll receive an item containing the memories of its owner, be it a photograph, a book or a dog collar. Once examined you can listen to its stories, some of which are genuinely affecting, revealing otherwise hidden elements of the world and its long-dead citizens. They also tie into spirits you meet in the game - one item belongs to a young girl who wants to play "hide-and-go-seek", and soon you meet the girl and have to locate her using the Remote's speaker in a hot and cold-style. It's a clever way of giving the empty world some human interest without lengthy cutscenes and masses of reading. The voice acting is also of a commendable quality, although there are some artificially long pauses in sentences, though that's a minor complaint.
Fragile Dreams is certainly an interesting title: there's not much in the way of action for the first two hours as the game introduces you to the world and its odd inhabitants, but as you begin to explore it becomes more engaging. For those who enjoy the adventure and exploration side of RPGs over combat, Fragile Dreams is certainly worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.
oh snap, this sounds like my kind of game. i love exploring stuff in RPGs :3
This game just seems too sad for my tastes, but I do like adventure games, and this does look pretty good. I'll probably rent it someday, just to see what the gameplay is like.
yeah, i'm with my fellow dragon. i love to explore more than anything in my games... this is sounding good. i'm still a bit cautious, so i'll wait for the review, but i'm interested to say the least.
Nice that Chicken Brutus finally got his big debut.
I saw a video of this a while back and thought it looked interesting. Now, assuming the combat is good, I am definitely going to get it.
ZOMG IT'S SUPREME LORD CHICKEN BRUTUS! INSTA-BUY!!! X3
I've been following this one for a while. Glad that the first impressions are positive.
"The game begins with the death of your surrogate grandfather, the only human being you've ever had contact with."
I cannot wait for this game!! I've wanted it so bad ever since it was first announced! Hopefully I'll have some money by the time it comes out.
It's not my type of a game, and I don't like post-apocalyptic scenarios, either.
Total ripoff. Yes, that's sarcasm.
Thanks for the impressions Prosody. I already pre-ordererd my copy of the game. I've had my eye on this one for quite some time and I'm glad that it is almost here.
Is it anything like Eternal Sonata?
This is why I bought Crystal Bearers and this is why I'll be buying this game. I LOOOOVE exploration.
Ive played the japanese version and i must say this game is awsome
This looks like an awesome game.
getting up on it when it comes out
One of the many interesting Wii games coming out this year. I hope it lives up to its promise.
It looks graphically beautiful, and the story sounds like something I'd play I'll check it out.
It's interesting how many possibly great Wii games are coming out. It's not like on the other consoles where they are hyped up for 2 years. Looks like we will be getting a lot of quality titles yet most HD console owners will still say all we have are mini & kiddy games.
What is this, the year of the RPG?!
This looks amazing, and the impressions mentioned on the podcast have really got me wanting this.
I'll most likey picking this up as well as Rune Factory when it finally gets released over here.
The story and look make this quite compelling, definitely interested in pre-ordering it once it appears in GAME's order system -- will this get the "Muramasa treatment" from them as well?
This looks like fun I'll have to keep my eye on this one.
looks awesome, truly a masterpiece
I've wanted this for SO long. Beautiful, ICO-ish game.
I'm looking forward to this game, 2010 is definately going to be a great year for the wii
Sounds like kingdom hearts mixed with Silent Hill: Shattered memories.
this has been on my wishlist since the time they announced that it's coming to europe.
Wait, the developer also made Eternal Sonata? Now it's caught my interest, although I certainly hope the story is better paced than it was in ES.
I own the Japanese Version of this game and have been eagerly awaiting it's US Release ever since it was announced.
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