Welcome to my blog series! This is 30 Years, 30 Days, 30 Hidden Gems. In honor of my 30th birthday, I'm posting about a different lesser-known video game every day in November. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it. If you want to start at the beginning, check it out here.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
Release Date: 2009
System: Nintendo Wii
Fragile Dreams is far from perfect. The gameplay is stiff, combat is clunky, there is some truly egregious padding, and a lot of gameplay decisions that boggle the mind. There are stealth sections that require inhuman reflexes. There is a fetch quest that requires you to revisit the entire game. There are endless gray hallways with nothing in them and no variation. There is a ladder that requires you to climb down manually for almost two full minutes.
It's also one of the best games I've ever played.
Fragile Dreams caught my eye when GameTrailers did a video preview after its Japanese release. It was a low budget artsy niche game, heavy on anime styles and sappy emotions. The type of thing that you would never expect to see in the states. It still looked like something I would enjoy, and I held out hope that it would hit the US someday. Against all odds, it was picked up by XSeed and quickly become one of my favorite titles on one of my favorite systems.
Seto, a young tween, is the last living person on the planet. He sets off on a journey to find companionship and stumbles upon an eccentric girl who playfully leads him on a wild goose chase that gets the two entangled in the mysteries of the past and the survival of the future. I can't deny that the journey is a little flawed. I also can't deny that the story, characters, and atmosphere make it more than worth it.
Most post-apocalyptic games go for a scary feel. While structured like a survival horror game, Fragile Dreams substitutes spine tingles with loneliness. It takes an emotional approach, and succeeds in capturing it in every conceivable way. Few other works of fiction of the type manage to capture the sensation of isolation that one would expect from the genre. Fragile Dreams pulls the player into the world and makes us live it. I laughed, I cried, I got goosebumps. Fragile Dreams made me feel.
Thanks for reading! My plan is to make this a series, one entry every day this month. I hope you'll stop by tomorrow for the next entry.
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