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Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon (Wii) Review

Review for Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

tri-Crescendo, whilst not being a name that easily rolls off the tongue, should be a very well known name to role-playing enthusiasts. Throughout the last two generations of consoles the developer has had a hand in creating some of the most notable RPG experiences seen, from the card-carrying fantasy world of Baten Kaitos, to the beauty and resonance of Eternal Sonata. Specialising in visual and sound immersion, tri-Crescendo's games have left an impression upon both the gaming media and gamers alike. Working with long-time publishing partner Namco Bandai, an ambitious game called Fragile was born, and subsequently became of the Wii's most striking and unique projects; so much so that many months after homeland release and zero word of an overseas one, gamers kept asking for a US and EU publisher to step up to the plate. For Europe, Rising Star have answered the call, renaming it to Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon in the process. Was it worth the sleepy wait, or should these dreams have been left to shatter?

Players will be left in no doubt as to where the main focus of development has been; from the get-go you'll be taken into a startling world left to decay from the mysterious disappearance of nearly all of humanity. Taking control of one of the last remaining humans, Seto, you'll be tasked with searching for other survivors, all the while battling vengeful spirits and ghosts left from the purge of mankind. You'll see remnants of a once-great society: televisions, buildings, computers, theme park attractions, all ravaged by the effects of time. Seeing this world, along with the resulting sense of isolation and tension of what is around the next corner, gives Fragile Dreams a feeling all of its own, and one that is difficult to find elsewhere.

The sound and visuals, as per the developer's pedigree, aid this atmosphere to no end. The serene and calming, yet alert and wondering music gives off a derelict scent, and while gamers might not expect absolutely amazing visuals, what is here has to be complimented; light and shadows act as you'd expect, what variation there is in enemy design is very distinct, and there is a considerable range of differently themed environments to explore. The main character himself, whilst having the unfortunate Japanese design affliction of being easily mistaken for a girl, is well represented here in regards to personality and voice acting; a particular highlight, as both the Japanese and English dubs are of surprising quality. The quality is particularly evident when placed alongside the characters that accompany Seto at various points throughout.

This theme of an abandoned Earth plays into nearly all aspects of the game. One particular point is in weapon obtaining and management. To defend himself, Seto has to find and equip everyday items like sticks and iron bars, usable with a tap of the A button and not a swing of the remote as you might expect. Over repeat use, these tools break, so taking care of your equipment in the limited carrying space you have (rather like Resident Evil 4, and not the earlier games in that series) is key. When broken, these tools can be thrown away to save space, and following on yet more inspiration from Leon Kennedy's rescue mission, you can buy more from a travelling merchant.

Screenshot for Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

This merchant, complete with a gigantic chicken head on his noggin, wheels around a trolley of souvenirs he has for sale, and by finding gems in the field (usually from beating enemies), you can trade with him. This seller isn't at pre-determined points; he'll show up randomly at the campfire save points, but since they are so frequent, that isn't a problem. The constant fear of breaking a weapon may sound like an unnecessary pain, but here it gives a tense boost to what would be an otherwise lacklustre battle mechanic; mash A to bash foes, and that'll get you through pretty much any battle. The control in general works fine, though does not take full advantage of the Wii Remote. Aside from the flashlight pointer controls (which are fairly jittery anyway), and the sound clues that emanate from the Remote speaker (that admittedly boost the immersion factor), there is little here that suggests use of a regular controller wouldn't have been possible.

The familiar RPG staple of experience points also comes into play here, with minimalistic implementation. EXP is gained from beating enemies, and the resulting level up upon gaining enough increases health meter Hit Points (HP) and Attack Power (AP). Standard fare really; hardly an essential focus of gameplay, yet you can tell it was never meant to be as such.

What you have here is a lengthy, tense and imaginative single player endeavour that doesn't break down any innovation barriers, yet accomplishes its mission in delivering one of the most striking and thought-provoking worlds seen yet in a videogame. Pacing could do with a kick up the behind, as you'll regularly find yourself repeating tasks and undergoing fetch quests, but they are worth undergoing to open up more to explore, and to find out just why a whole species just up-and-went all of a sudden. Fragile Dreams adds another string to Wii's already-diverse bow, and whilst the game isn't without issues, it is worth deliberation to those looking for something just that bit different.

Screenshot for Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Exploration is the name of the game here; everything else is second fiddle, and that certainly holds true for combat and role-playing situations.

Graphics

tri-Crescendo have crafted a world unlike any other, and given it a shot of graphical and design ability rarely seen on Nintendo's humble white box.

Sound

A key component of the game's setting, and thankfully no sacrifices were made in this department. Voicework is excellent, and the mix of eerie, calming, and pleasant music carries events along nicely.

Value

Fragile Dreams' events, though padded out with somewhat annoying backtracking, maxes out into double digit hours, so it's definitely worth the money. Lack of anything extra outside of the main story negates score points.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Certainly one of the Wii's most abstract and unusual offerings, marred by minor control issues, and a considerable amount of general repetition in tasks and exploration. Fragile Dreams brings to gamers a world eager to be explored and marvelled at, and despite the aforementioned issues, the result is a worthy addition to your Wii's library.

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10.04.2010

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Developer

Project Fragile

Publisher

Rising Star

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (11 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I bought this game like three hours ago for 34€, i'll go play it very soon Smilie.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's definitely more of a 8/8.5 for me. Looks absolutely fantastic on my HDTV, the soundtrack is one of the best on Wii and the clunky fighting mechanic can easily be forgiven because the main focus is on the adventure side, lapping up the amazing atmosphere. This doesn't need pointless side quest, IMO.

Kafei, don't go into this thinking it's a typical RPG, because it's not. It's more an Exploration Adventure Smilie Enjoy!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Sounds just my cup of tea.

Please give our little random review show a try;
http://randomreviewshow.com/index.html
We have special effects and umm...stuff...

I'll be getting this despite it's flaws.

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744

Hopefully I can track down a copy of the game AND of the soundtrack as well.

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