Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Dragon Fantasy Book I

Review: Dragon Fantasy Book I

2:00 PM on 05.28.2013 // Steven Hansen

Not a send-up but a celebration

Have you played Dragon Quest? Did you like Dragon Quest? Yes? Then boy, do I have a game for you.

Dragon Fantasy Book 1 is a celebration of the NES RPGs many of us grew up with. This is, for my money, an equal parts great and terrible thing. The game sticks so closely to the script that it carries with it some of the less desirable aspects of the genre (rote grinding, difficulty spikes, etc.) coupled with a throwaway script, yet it managed to slowly grow on me in its latter half thanks to some lovely pixel art, good music, and amusing characters.

Dragon Fantasy Book 1 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita [reviewed])
Developer: Muteki Corporation
Publisher: Muteki Corporation
Released: April 16, 2013
MSRP: $9.99

The game is split into three chapters and one intermission segment. The first chapter is the tale of retired knight Ogden, who is thrust back into hero duty after the kingdom is attacked by a dark entity and everyone is left ill. It's the most content-heavy chapter and unfortunately the one I had the most problems with.

As Ogden, you're tasked with collecting several pieces of magical armor from several perilous places before you can take on the Dark Lord. The biggest problem is that Ogden's journey is a solo one, which makes the rate at which random battles activate (every few seconds) and the difficulty (enemies will regularly hit for one-fourth your health) a bit aggravating. The game is proper retro -- it's even visually restricted to NES levels rather than employing a faux retro look, though there is an "enhanced" mode with instrumental music and a bit more graphical oomph. I preferred the classic look.

Ultimately, I developed a system: Battle enemy. I'm probably dead, so let me go all the way into the inventory menu to use a herb or two or three (always keep like 70 on you). Take a few steps. Battle enemy. Near death again. Back to the menu for herbs. This goes on until you've grinded enough to raise some stats and purchase all the best equipment, at which point you can carry on at a decent clip until you reach the next echelon of enemies that are better than you and the cycle repeats.

It's so much of a slog that the comedic tone, nostalgia, and love for the genre just can't overcome its shortcomings. The EarthBound-esque enemy names and in-battle text ("Laidback lizard lost too many limbs to continue"), while appreciated, become something to button through as quickly as possible. Yes, the wolf enemy's name is Blitzer, and it's funny that he splits after battle because his ratings plummeted, but I'm less amused after killing the 30th one -- especially because it's a re-skinned version of previous wolf enemies.

The game may be a bit goofy, it tends to play itself straight. The result then isn't a failed parody, just a trope-laden tale with a lot of familiarity that laughs at itself and invites you to laugh along, though a lot of the contemporary humor (Reddit and PETA references, et al.) feels discordant. The subsequent chapters, though shorter, did start to win my favor back just by virtue of having multiple party members, making battling less of a slog and offering some new looks to the dungeons. They each feature different characters from the tale and fill in aspects of the plot during and after Ogden's quest.

Most interesting is the Minecraft-themed intermission that looks to bridge Book 1 and the eventual SNES-styled Book 2. In it, a rudimentary monster-capturing party system is employed, and you even mine blocks to craft gear instead of grinding for cash. There is also a host of new enemy designs in the section, which was much appreciated.

In staying true to its roots, Dragon Fantasy Book 1 is a bit of a drag. I like the main characters well enough, but I'm not particularly interested in the glibly presented story or world, and some of the retro JRPG systems are super aggravating or simply mind-numbing. That being said, the game did grow on me in the last three sections, and I think the bridging of storylines -- and mechanics -- in Book 2 could prove a bit more fruitful.



Dragon Fantasy Book I - Reviewed by Steven Hansen
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Dragon Fantasy Book I

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Parismio avatarParismio
Whelp since i got my ass kicked at snowboarding ive been issued a muscle relaxer today and slept the entire day. Time went by so fast. Is- is this what the phantom cigar is like?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What the hell is a Shantae?
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you Monday morning motherfuckers, 3 favourite fictional universes you'd like to exist in (The initial iteration of the universe had to be in videogame form) Go.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just ran into my first 'suicide mole rat' in Fallout 4. I'm beginning to think this may not be a 100% accurate, meticulously researched recreation of life after the apocalypse.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well I just played Undertale. It's a really unique game, but the difficulty in the beginning is a tad intense. Got clobbered once they started throwing three monsters at me at a time and lost a lot of progress... where's Toriel when I need her?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What should I do guys?
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
[img][/img] The Freedom Planet Indie Box, for those that were interested. And it looks like a "wild cat" is there too!
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just 1200 words left to go on my essays. Do I deserve a day off to play Just Cause 3 once I'm done? Yes.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Elite: Dangerous has some glaring issues, and can occasionally feel kinda bare bones, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of my favorite games in recent memory. Ships are fun to fly, trading is rewarding, and the sound design is absolutely brilliant.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Well, Destructoid. I did it. I jumped ahead.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Flawed but fun favorite game sorter. Post top 30 in the comments. [url][\url]
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I am tired of random players. I need to enlist some help with Triforce Heroes challenges. Would anyone like to pair up with me?
El Dango avatarEl Dango
[img][/img] fun...
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night I had to clean projectile liqiud dogshit off of the sides of my puppies kennel. Pity me. Read my blog.
techsupport avatartechsupport
Taking a break from Fallout 4 to try out Twitch Creative. Catch me painting Chun-Li while listening to an eclectic mix of Alex G, DJ Shadow, and Modest Mouse. [img][/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So far from first impressions of my Freedom Planet indie box its 100% more worth it than lootcrate. Whereas lootcrate you get a bunch of stuff you may or may not like, indie box gives you indie games, and stuff related to that game, such as the soundtrack
maycausecancer avatarmaycausecancer
When one game is rated 7.4 and another 7.6, Are you telling me one game is 0.2 worse than the other. WHAT!?!
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I think Microsoft takes the cake for worst console updates. The XBone UI is worse and the fucking controller had an update. What the hell has gaming become?
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Well, that's a wrap for the Bloodborne DLC. I liked it. More thoughts and maybe spoilers in the comment section.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
a rainy afternoon, and too sleepy for games. Time to go to the animal shelter and try not to fall asleep, surrounded by kittens.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -