Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria (Wii U) Review

By Ian Soltes 02.09.2015

Review for Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria on Wii U

Developed by Muteki and published by Choice Provisions, Dragon Fantasy is an attempt to create a humorous throwback to the games of yore, back when heroes were real heroes, dragons were real dragons, and tedious grinds were real tedious grinds! That is on top of a humorous slant designed not to mock said games, but to honour them instead. The only problem is that Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria more than plays itself to death and is far too shallow on the whole. Following Cubed3's PC version review, read on for another take on Wii U.

When creating humour in games it is important to remember that games are a medium unlike others in that they are easily repeated. A joke that may have been funny in a book, movie, or even a table-top RPG where the GM can intervene if things get too out of hand, simply does not work in a video game. A funny nod, such as creating a monster called 'Obligatory Ork,' may have been funny for a one-off monster, or even a monster that can be elected to fight (such as in an arena match), but once they are run into as a random encounter - a random encounter that may very well occur twenty more times - it stops being funny. Instead, it becomes frustrating, annoying, and on par with a parent using the same pun they've used for ten years.

Why bring this up now? Humour is the main selling-point that Dragon Fantasy tries to push. It attempts to be a nice old throwback to the older RPGs, and is chock-full of nods and references (such as Biggs and Wedge, who may now be known better for their Final Fantasy appearances than their Star Wars showings), which is fine, but its pacing is awkward and tries too hard to cram far too many jokes down players' throats.

Screenshot for Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria on Wii U

What is Dragon Fantasy, anyway? The game follows the stories of several characters - primarily a retired adventurer known by the name of 'Ogden' - in their various assorted quests, be it to stop an evil wizard, find a valuable artefact, purchase passports for their niece to escape to a better life, or find a Swedish hat. Yes. That is real. This happens over a series of three (technically four, if the 'Intermission' chapter counts) chapters, with each character receiving one. Odgen's comes up first and is the main meat of the game.

However, Dragon Fantasy itself ends up unfolding pretty basic, with little challenge or depth, but plenty of "repeatedly select Attack again and again," with only the third chapter, Jerald's story, holding any semblance of things being different. In fact, as far as gameplay is concerned, there is nothing to actually talk about beyond how grindy it can get at points when trying to update gear. There is only one unique aspect in that monsters are capable of being caught to aid in battle, but it's so easy to miss that it may as well not be there at all. In Ogden's story, the only way to know it is possible is to talk to one guy in one town who sells nets. Miss him and there is almost no way to know this is even a feature of the game.

Screenshot for Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria on Wii U

Even if it is is noticed, monster capturing comes up short. In Pokémon titles, any Pokémon is allowed to be caught and levelled up. The first Ratatta that can be captured on Route 101 can be kept with for the entirety of the game, and the player is with them as they grow and change. By the end of the game it's not just a Ratatta, but Whiskers is one of the more reliable damage-dealers, aside from the legendaries in the party. In Dragon Fantasy, the Rock Monster caught at the beginning of the game is fodder that annoyingly keeps dying anytime they are hit because they do not level-up or change. Their level and stats are fixed, and are better off discarded, as they cannot even equip gear to fight.

That aside, Dragon Fantasy is lacking in sustenance on the whole. It is quick and fairly easy to beat in about 10-12 hours. Combined with the ease of completing it and the large amounts of grinding, it simply isn't that fun, and comes off as more of a chore than engagement. The only part with some depth is, ironically, the one portion that is (hopefully) not canon and a straight-up tribute to Minecraft. As in 'it is Minecraft, sort of'. In this section, instead of gold, resources for crafting need to be found from caves. One of the characters can capture monsters outright, and the captured monsters can at least equip gear to help with their potentially low stats. As such, it's the best and most interesting part of the game, despite also being the most likely to elicit a lawsuit over.

On another note, the walking needs to be fixed. It's very frustrating to be walking along, only to suddenly come to a halt. There is no reason, and it is clearly a bug that needs correcting.

Screenshot for Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria on Wii U

Is there anything actually good about Dragon Fantasy, then? Well… Yes. A noticeable bit, actually. It's just so obscured by the many other flaws that it's easy to forget. For starters, the game does function and is fairly fluid on the whole. While it isn't challenging, it's also not sadistic, and does have a good difficulty curve even if it never gets that high. Nothing actually feels cheap (beyond the Creeper in the Minecraft level), and the quests are well-paced with nothing becoming frustratingly long. The jokes, when they aren't beaten into the ground, are actually funny. There is solid potential here. It's just mired by some poor design choices that don't really accentuate what the game does right.

There is one final note worth mentioning. Dragon Fantasy is made with remembrance to two people of importance to the team, and, while the Minecraft level is a jarring disconnect from the otherwise-consistent lore and setting of the game, that the developers put in time and effort simply to tribute someone that they felt was that deserving of respect is, in and of itself, commendable. It is very nice to see such respect paid.

Screenshot for Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


The real shame about Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria is that it actually has some good ideas and is decently and competently made; it's just not the best written. The mistakes it makes are amateurish, but, at the same time, they can be easily fixed with a bit more experience. The jokes overstay their welcome, but that can be corrected by simply toning them down. The real problem is that this game is not Dragon Fantasy, but Dragon Quest mixed with Final Fantasy. With a few changes, the sequel could become a good title in its own right.


The Muteki Corporation


Choice Provisions


Turn Based RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   


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