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Dragon Fantasy Book II Review

Dragon Fantasy Book II Featured

Dragon Fantasy Book II Boxart

Developer: Muteki Corporation
Publisher: Muteki Corporation
Platform: PS3, Vita (Reviewed)
Review code provided

Many genres fall in and out of favor over the years but one that has stood proudly throughout time is the RPG. Popular in various flavors across the world, the genre has produced some of the best known series’ in all of gaming history. Every once in a while you have one which attempts to poke fun at itself, but they’re not as common as you might think. Dragon Fantasy Book II attempts to inject a RPG with some much-needed humor.

This is evidenced from the very start when you are introduced to the hero Ogden. Instead of being a spry young male, he is instead a bald, bearded man. Although I did not play the original game, it doesn’t seem you need to. Players are easily ushered into the world and get going on their quest. However, players do begin with characters already leveled up somewhat to compensate for the first chapter.

The first thing that players notice (and what may attract them to the game to begin with) is the graphics. Dragon Fantasy Book II is made to look like a 16-Bit RPG that would be right at home on Genesis or SNES. However, the enemies seem more like Earthbound creatures sometimes with a man in a shark suit and rocks with pirate hats in just the first area.

Dragon Fantasy Book II Screenshot

One interesting feature of the game is that the battles are not random. Instead, enemies can be seen on the field at all times, meaning you can sometimes avoid them. This is mostly just a technical truth though because most of the time pathways are so small you won’t be able to avoid an enemy. Other times, they will jump out of the bushes and initiate a fight themselves. There’s a dash of Pokemon in the gameplay too as you can catch weakened enemies and add them to your party.

Unfortunately, there is one gameplay based problem that is continuous. After walking into a new screen (area, building, etc), if you continue to press in a certain direction that direction will not function upon entering the new area. If you let go and then press the direction again it will work, but there’s something odd going on to keep it from being mapped initially. The issue is not game breaking of course but is annoying when all you want to do is hammer up to hurriedly run through an area. In an area that is sure to annoy writers, a fair amount of the text also features typos.

Dragon Fantasy Book II Featured

I played the game on Vita because that’s where it seems the best fit. It is suited easily toward quick bursts of play since you can just fight through a few crowds of enemies before pausing. The game also happens to be fully playable with both controller buttons and touch screen. Using the touch screen actually is my preferred way of navigating the big button menus. You can move Ogden around the screen with it too, but my thumbs aren’t keen on hovering over the screen continuously, considering the size and heft of the Vita.

Dragon Fantasy Book II is a cute little RPG that packs a lot of gameplay value into the experience. It isn’t a very in-depth game or up to par with the best SNES visuals, but it’s likely it still will exceed expectations. If you like classic RPGs then give it a look. Just be aware that it is rough around the edges. Still, it’s hard to go wrong with a game that oozes an obvious love for RPGs of yore.


Score: 3
3 out of 5 alpacas


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Sweet Fuse: At Your Side Review

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Developer: Idea Factory
Publisher: Aksys Games
Platform: PSP

Sweet Fuse is an otome visual novel that has an incredibly weird premise.  Your uncle, Keiji Inafune (yes, THAT Keiji Inafune), has built a video game-themed amusement park and you’re invited to its grand opening.  Everything is going swell until the evil Count Hogstein takes over the park and all its staff hostage. It’s up to you and six handsome men to brave Hogstein’s seven deadly games, lest he kills all the hostages and blows up your uncle’s beloved park.

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There’s still time for love, though! All six guys are romanceable at the very start of the game and have their own routes. There’s also a seventh guy whose route is unlocked when you finish Sweet Fuse at least once. To my surprise, I grew to love every guy over the course of my playthroughs (well, except Meoshi). I say it’s definitely worth it to go through every single route that Sweet Fuse has to offer! Even if the romance aspect in Sweet Fuse is minimal, there’s still enough of it to satisfy anyone that is in search of that ooey-gooey stuff.

Sweet Fuse‘s story is surprisingly serious and deep. As you go through each route, you figure out that Hogstein isn’t the nonsensical villain that he’s first introduced as. There’s actually a reason that he’s decided to have all of you participate in his games! All the guys also have some rather interesting backstories that eventually intertwine. I can’t say too much without spoiling the whole plot, though.

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Some of you folks may be concerned that Sweet Fuse is too “girly.” Like I mentioned previously, the romance is kept to a minimum and the game instead relies more on action and drama. It actually feels a lot like Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, if that happens to be a visual novel that you like. Sweet Fuse is an otome game that everyone can enjoy.

I think the only aspects of Sweet Fuse that disappointed me were the rather large amount of typos and the “puzzles.” Before I began the game, I was under the impression that the puzzles advertised would actually be solved by you. Instead, the characters in the game usually come to conclusions for the puzzles themselves (oftentimes bumbling). Sometimes, you’ll get the opportunity to push your group into the right direction by selecting the correct keyword during the “Explosive Insight” phase, but it’s not very exciting. 

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That stuff is easily pushed aside when compared to everything I love about Sweet Fuse, though. What I believed was going to be a silly little visual novel actually turned out to be a very emotional and entertaining experience. If you own a PSP/Vita and like visual novels, then definitely get your hands on Sweet Fuse. 


Pink Score: 5

5 out of 5 alpacas


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