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A Year of One Hit Wonders - October - Fragile Dreams

redwing42redwing42 Just MonikaFull Members
edited November 2014 in Role Playing Games
Being October, people often like to play some scary, or at least atmospheric, games. With that in mind, we will be taking a look at Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon on Wii this month. Published in North America by XSeed, the game was developed as a collaborative effort between several companies, most notably tri-Crescendo and Namco Bandai. I'm not going to get too far into the story of the game, as figuring that out is a significant part of the experience. It is mostly a third person adventure game with first person views available for puzzle solving. Combat is real time and weapons have a durability stat. Seto, the protagonist, is a boy in a mostly uninhabited world. He is searching for other survivors in the world, but there are ghosts which will attack him. Item management is also a significant part of the game, as active inventory space is limited to just a few items and you can only access your extended inventory at a bonfire.

Reviews have been mixed, but it is generally due to the actual gameplay falling short of the atmosphere and story presented. Enjoy!

Comments

  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    It's a short game, so I think I'll get started either tomorrow or later this week. It wasn't too long ago that I finished it, but I'm still looking forward to revisiting it.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited October 2014
    This game is amazing (mostly the story and atmosphere), I'm glad that more people are playing it. It's on my favorite game list.

    Yes, the gameplay certainly wasn't the best, though if you're coming from horror games you wouldn't find it all that bad (it's better than in Silent Hill imo).
  • CronoCrono Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    This is such an interesting game. I really, really loved it for the atmosphere and vignettes but the breakable weapons and clunky battle system are a huge turn off. This was the one game I was absolutely going to play since it's shorter and summer's over (eats all my free time) but I just got enrolled back in school so unless I crush this in the coming week it won't happen. At least I still have good memories of it though!
  • redwing42redwing42 Just Monika Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Started on this one tonight. I decided to go with Japanese language and English subs to add to the ambiance. It is a bit tricky to tell where enemies are in relation to your character as well as your actual attack/targeting area. Still, I'm interested in the world and exploring it thus far.
  • redwing42redwing42 Just Monika Full Members
    edited October 2014
    90 minutes in and this game already has all the feels.
  • CronoCrono Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Oh man, I just remembered how awesome the music in this game was at times. Makes me want to fire it up now.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    As (almost) always, I leave these Year of playthroughs for the last minutes, or at least the last week or so. Fortunately, this game is pretty short. Even my first playthrough was just a few minutes shy of 22 hours, and I have the tendency to really stretch games out.

    I'm only about an hour in, about to leave the subway. I love the music in this game, but I also like how it's presented. I'm used to RPGs with music just about everywhere except for maybe some cutscenes. Here, music is almost always only used for cutscenes and battles. That eerie quiet is quite fitting.

    For a game that's all about ambiance and melancholy, the enemies sure are unsettling and creepy. The jellyfish ghosts may be wimpy, but they look like they have gasping faces. Also, the hand ghosts coming out of the mirror in the bathroom are creepy.

    I noticed something about the chicken man merchant that I hadn't before:
    even this early on, you can see that there are two dimly glowing eyes within the mascot head beak. I wonder if I missed it, or if it was due to my old TV?
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • omegabyteomegabyte Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    This was one of those weird games where the awkward, simplistic gameplay actually enhanced the atmosphere. I really enjoyed it when I played it, even if it did have its problems. Really wish that so much of the text hadn't been built into the art assets, though. Really hurt the localization.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited October 2014
    There really need to be better tools to place text dynamically on a texture. But then again the exact positioning might actually matter to deliver the message/feeling.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    I made it to the underground shopping mall. The hide-and-seek game with the little ghost girl was considerably less annoying this time than in my last playthrough. I figured out that she could hide anywhere in the room, even if there wasn't an object there. I kept the Wii remote speaker to my ear, though it's not always easy to judge loudness.

    I am reminded of how much I like PF's characterization. She accompanies Seto for a short time compared to Sai, so it happens more quickly, but isn't forced.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    Made it the theme park and Crow stole Seto's grandfather's keepsake.
    PF's "death" earlier is still sad, though I also wonder if her battery can be replaced. I suppose any such batteries would drain after all this time, though. Same goes for Crow's "death" later on. It wold also go against the motif of Seto having to say good-bye to the friends he makes on this journey.

    I also got my favorite memory item up to this point, the cell phone. The girl who leaves the message wants to be remembered, but she never even gets the chance to say her name. I guess I could always call her "Laura Bailey." I'm fairly certain she's the one doing the VA for the girl. I am set on collecting all of the memory items again, even if I already did so in my first playthrough.

    I half-jokingly wonder if the developers really dislike dogs. They're clearly cat people, considering Seto being able to play with them, Rin really liking them, and such. Meanwhile, there are three types of vicious dog enemies, including what I assume are Barghests. There are, however, two collar memory items. One belonged to a dog who was still with his owner, and was sad that he can't make happy. The other was a dog apparently left alone and wished her(?) owners would come back.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    I just made it to the Hotel. I didn't go deeper than the first bonfire.

    The segment where you have to catch Crow by first crouching into a teacup, then running up to his back and pressing A took longer than I remember. I gotta love that the most menacing enemies in the amusement park has to be the pigeons, mostly due to having to climb up on the roller coaster.

    Surely I'm not the only one who thought
    "and the Yaoi fangirls go wild!"
    during the scene when Seto and Crow part ways. :P It's one of the rare times where I can't blame them, and it's only encouraged by Seto saying
    "that was my first kiss ever!"

    Aesthetically speaking, I like the fun park in general. The dilapidated rides and other objects are strange and kind of creepy, but the night sky is lovely, and you can even see the occasional meteor streak by. I also like how by reaching the hotel, daylight finally breaks. Too bad you can't go back to the park to see what it's like during the day.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Theme parks are the best location for horror games. There should be more horror games that play in theme parks.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    Over the past two days, I finished up the Hotel and started on the Sewer and Water Works. To touch on the hotel more, the backtracking to the mall and the park didn't take too long, at least. The tree boss gave me a little trouble in my first playthrough but as I thought, using a projectile weapon like a bow really cheeses the fight.

    Something about Chiyo's monologue after she lets you into room 201 really touched me this time. It's fairly simple, about how her journey is over, but Seto's still has a long way to go. Maybe it just really hit me this time that
    for a very brief moment, Seto was with another living person other than Ren, one who died shortly after finding out she wasn't actually yet dead.

    On a more lighthearted note, Sai is suppose to give advice and provide hints when you hold up the Wii Remote, but it seems that everything she says is just a random thought. She wonders how crow tastes, tells Seto not to eat random mushroom, complains that her bandages are itchy (you're a ghost, how does that even...?), and accuses Seto of being a pervert. :P Surprisingly, I haven't heard a number of these statements during my first playthrough.

    I understand that the awkward gameplay enhances the atmosphere, but did that one tunnel and the really long ladder have to be as long as they are? :P And those freakish human spider monsters holding signs are still, well, freaky.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    I was hoping to go farther than I did last night, but I only made it part way through the dam. The mole boss somehow gave me more trouble than run than in my previous one. This area also contains the Seven Colored Bells memory items, a lot of people's favorites (me included). I wondered before why they are included, as they don't seem to be about the apocalypse. Heck, they seems to be books, or perhaps chapters out of a book. It's not the only memory item/set that isn't about someone oncoming death. There's also the Torn Picture set. The bells tell a very touching story and well-written story, regardless, even if the subject matter is a bit grim.

    I managed to clock in a little more than 17 hours and judging by how much more I have to go, I may spend longer on this playthrough than my first. I blame falling asleep while playing late at night. The music in this game is rather soothing.

    Let's see how much I can finish after work. There's still tomorrow, even if October will be over.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • redwing42redwing42 Just Monika Full Members
    edited November 2014
    I haven't been keeping up with this like I wanted to (what else is new?), But I did manage to play some more yesterday and last night. I'm working my way through the Amusement Park and chasing Crow around. The teacups were a bit frustrating, but otherwise I think this is a sad, lonely, beautiful game so far. I haven't had too much trouble yet with the item management or weapon durability, but there has also been pretty steady access to bonfires to this point. Not sure if that changes later on. I'm going to keep working on this and hopefully finish it up in the next week or so.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited November 2014
    I finished the game last night. I thoroughly enjoyed this replay. There may not be any incentive to play through again, but it's like watching a favorite movie or TV show again. You just want to enjoy that story, and perhaps see something that you missed before. For instance, I didn't realize that
    both Sai and Shin are AI copies of once-living people. Those strange mask creatures are AIs as well. Looks like there may have been an AI copy of Ren, but since Glass Cage was stopped, it never came to be.

    I've see this game called a great experience, and I agree. I go further, though and would say it's a beautiful game. Flawed for sure, but most of that is on purpose. The atmosphere the game creates is fantastic, and the emotional impact and human drama is excellent as well. It's odd; I think it hit me a little harder in this playthrough because I didn't play it with my sister. Normally, I find that playing with her enhances a game since I have someone right there in real time to talk about the story, game world, characters, and the like, and don't have to worry about spoilers. By playing by myself, though, the themes of isolation and loneliness resonated with me more.

    There is a manga that follows after the ending of the game. It's only five chapters long. I kind of hope it is non-canon, considering what it implies. The game's ending
    is a bit ambiguous, but Seto says that after countless summers, he is alone again. This implies that Ren dies at some point in the future. The manga implies that she would die much sooner than that.

    Also, if anyone who has finished the game is curious, here is a translation of a magazine interview with the game's director, producer, writer and designer Kawashima Kentarou. It clears a few things about the story up and is an interesting read. Obviously, it contains massive spoilers: http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/944059-fragile-dreams-farewell-ruins-of-the-moon/61880751

    On final note, I've come to really love the music theme "Something Called Trust." Just listening to it makes me feel like I want cry.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

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