Monday, July 5, 2010

RECOM: Fragile Dreams by TofuFury

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
by TofuFury (Contributing Author) | Edited by Mop_it_up (Site Editor)

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, developed by Tri-Crescendo and released by X-Seed, is a game that mixes a variety of different genres to tell a story about survival and hope. Seto, the main character, has just buried the only other person he’s ever known. Everyone else has apparently been wiped off the face of the earth by an unknown cause. Before the man died, he told Seto to head towards Tokyo Tower to find other survivors. Right away, he meets a silver-haired girl, who immediately runs away from him. Seto spends the rest of the game trying to find her again. Along the way, he will meet other “people” or ghosts to which he can interact with and bring peace.

Fragile Dreams has been described as an action RPG, but it’s more complicated than that. If someone bought this game expecting Kingdom Hearts, they would be very disappointed. While you can level up, the only stats in the game are for your HP and attack. There’s not much variety to your attacks, though it will change depending on the class of your weapon. It’s not the game’s greatest strength by any means, but it doesn’t get in the way of the game.

The game also borrows a lot from survival horror games, but with more of an emphasis on survival than horror. Now, most people probably won’t get frightened while playing, but there are a lot of tense moments. You’ll exit a room and see a very dark corridor up ahead and not want to travel in that direction. Unless it’s a cat, everything in this game wants you dead. Add the fact that Seto isn’t much of a fighter, and each encounter can keep you on your toes. Thankfully, you rarely have to backtrack through old areas to get where you need to go.

The controls work well with the Wii Remote. The main focus of the controls is Seto’s flashlight. You point at the screen to shine Seto’s flashlight to find objects, messages, and to find your way around the dark and foreboding surroundings. Seto turns in whichever direction you point the flashlight. It takes a moment to get used to, but once you get it, it’s not a problem.

The visuals can take your breath away. The developers at Tri-Crescendo obviously put a lot of love and care into their creation. The world in Fragile is in decay and ruin. Shopping malls and amusement parks waste away, slowly being reclaimed by the plants and earth. They give the world new life amidst the death. You can’t help but stop sometimes and admire how beautiful the world is.

Sound is also an important part of the experience. What’s interesting is that most of the game has no music whatsoever, just background sound. The ambiance drives in the point that you are alone in this world. The only times you hear music are for cut-scenes or fights. Another unique feature of the game is that it uses the speaker on the Wii Remote, usually to warn you of an upcoming enemy. The English voice acting does a good job at not detracting from the emotion in the game, though a few performances are a bit ridiculous. If you find it annoying, you can always switch to the original Japanese voice acting.

It’s rare to encounter a game that wants the player to think about the world around them. However, Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon does exactly that. The world is a very fragile place. People aren’t meant to live alone. Deep inside, we all need someone to share our lives with. Someone that we can laugh with, cry on, and talk with. Seto’s journey is grueling, but you can’t help but do everything you can to help him succeed. Fragile Dreams isn’t a perfect game, but there’s enough here to keep interested players busy for a while. Fragile Dreams is truly a special game, and one I won’t forget for a long time.


Maxi said...

Excellent Recom TofuFury!

You game me a sense of the game and it was written nicely.
This is one of the games on my backlog that I need to get.

Greg Meyer said...

Thanks Maxi! I hope you do get a chance to check out Fragile Dreams. I wish there were more games out there like it!

Benjamin Fennell said...

So far, game of 2010 for me. It's facing tough competition coming up yet, but Fragile Dreams is an absolutely beautiful game. Not to be missed. :)

M. Ferreira said...

Fragile is a truly amazing game, one I'd definitely list in the top 5 this generation. :) While it's not perfect, the game just does so much right, and so much well.

Rocket said...

Today was the first time I ever saw Fragile Dreams in a shop over here but it was supposed to be out for months. I thought of this recom and picked it up. You helped make a sale Tofu!

Greg Meyer said...

Rocket- I'm glad to hear the Recom encouraged you to check the game out! Let me know what you think about it as you play through it.

Glad to see others enjoying the game as much as I did.