Fragile Dreams ~Farewell Ruins of the Moon~
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Game Reviewed: Fragile Dreams ~Farewell Ruins of the Moon~
Publisher: Xseed Games
Category: Action RPG
ESRB Rating: T
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Fragile Dreams takes place in an apocalyptic future where almost everyone has passed away due to some mysterious catastrophe. The player takes the role of Seto, a young man who has just lost the only person who has ever cared for him. Now finding himself completely alone in the world, he follows the dying advice of his late guardian to track down anyone else who is still alive in the world. As he journeys into the world, he comes across a mysterious silver haired girl who becomes the obsession of his search.
The world of Fragile Dreams definitely does its best to live up to its name. The surroundings are in decay and can be depressing, but there is a certain dream-like quality to the environments in the game. No matter where you are, the game emphasizes that you are alone in the world, but at the same time shows just enough beauty to convince the player that everything will eventually be ok. Seto is joined by other characters throughout the game that provide this sense of calm needed in a post-apocalyptic world, but these characters never stay for long, which brings the depressing feeling of aloneness back again.
The game is played from a third-person perspective as Seto explores the empty world around him. Early on, Seto gains a flashlight which is controlled by the player using the Wiimote. To move, the player uses the Nuncheck, but to change direction, the player points the Wiimote around to cause Seto to turn. As he makes his way into the empty dismal world, he is greeted at times by ghostly enemies of various types that Seto must defeat using weapons he either finds in the world or purchases from the traveling merchant. These weapons range from wooden sticks to sling shots to even a butterfly net. Seto swings away and dispatches his enemies. As he defeats more enemies, Seto will level up, which increases his attack strength and health bar. To rest, Seto must find firepits throughout the world where he can stop, rest, and swap his equipment.
What Parents Need to Know
The only violence in the game comes in the form of Seto's attacks against ghosts and vice-versa. There is no blood to speak of, except for one scene in which there is some red plasma which might be confused for the appearance of blood. When a ghost is defeated, it will pass on in its own way, which ranges from simply popping and disappearing to giving out a shriek before fading away.
There is no bad language in this game.
There is no explicit sexual content in Fragile Dreams. However, I did find the character of Sai, a bodiless ghost who follows Seto later in the game, to be scantily clad. She is wearing a bra with a jacket, but it is difficult to discern whether there is a shirt on over the bra.
Also, there is a brief scene between Seto and a male character, Crow, who kisses Seto on the lips before they part ways. This scene is a bit confusing. Crow seems confident that this is the proper use for a kiss, but Seto is taken aback. From what I interpreted, Crow is simply living out the actions of a fairy tale book that he has read, but he does not understand the social implications of a man kissing another man on the lips. Seto, on the other hand, does seem to understand the oddity of the kiss, but is too shocked to react in any way. All things considered, I do not think Crow is revealing his sexual orientation with this kiss.
The main area of spiritual content that Fragile Dreams contains is through the enemies in the game. Every enemy is a ghostly representation of someone or something that was alive before the apocalypse. Though some of these ghosts are merely animals with a ghostly aura, some of the ghosts are far more haunting. Specific examples I found more haunting than the rest were:
Ghosts that consist of the bottom half of a child's body. These ghosts run around, disappearing and reappearing behind Seto in an attempt to kick him over.
Ghosts of an old crying woman. These ghosts float around in nightgown, but have feet that look like tree roots and have large nail-like spikes coming out of their backs. They float towards you, trying to ram Seto with their back spikes. To defeat them, Seto must wait until they crouch and expose a ghastly eye that opens in their back.
Spider-like ghosts that fire electrified projectiles that towards Seto.
The storyteller will sometimes make reference to alcohol and cigarettes.
Personally, I had much higher hopes for this game than what it actually delivered. The premise of a lonely, but beautiful, world was very enticing to me. The major disappointment in this game was its gameplay. The Wii-mote control scheme made battles very difficult and quite clunky. It was so frustrating for me, in fact, that I was barely able to enjoy the overall ambiance of the game. Also, due to the limited ability of Seto to carry items, the game moves VERY slowly. You need to find a bonfire every time you wish to swap items, which for the game means you have to find a bonfire every couple of minutes. Thirdly, the voice acting and story were VERY choppy in my opinion. At some parts of the game, you walk two steps for a short cut scene, then you walk another 5 steps, for another short cut scene. These breaks in the gameplay make the game move even more slowly. If the developers had fine-tuned these areas, I believe Fragile Dreams would have been a very beautiful, engrossing experience. But instead, I found it to be an endurance test for clunky gameplay.