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About the product
- Players enjoy a mix of exploration-adventure gameplay, with light RPG elements such as inventory management, character leveling and varied attacks, added into the mix.
- The game’s focus is on human drama as a boy wanders a lonely post-apocalyptic world in search of answers and companionship.
- High production values bring the desolate but eerily beautiful world to life as lighting reflects realistically off environments to show all the minor details of a previously inhabited land.
- A haunting and inspired soundtrack help convey the full range of emotions of utter despair to finding small victories even when it appears all is lost.
- The Wii Remote is used as a flashlight and also as a proximity sensor to track invisible ghosts, while Seto's movements are controlled using the attached nunchuk's analog stick.
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Seto is a young boy that is extremely special; he may be the last human being alive on the planet. In a post-apocalyptic world that’s covered in fog and lost its light, he searches abandoned cities tirelessly with a flashlight in hopes of finding other humans, any human. As Seto searches through these eerily calm and beautiful ruins of a civilization lost, he comes across a mysterious girl named Ren, who quickly scurries away from him despite possibly being the only other living human in the world. As he struggles to be reunited with Ren and search for other survivors, he must fight off the ghosts and demons that haunt this forsaken land while also piecing together the mystery of what brought about the disappearance of all mankind. Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is the latest creation from tri-Crescendo, the acclaimed development team behind Eternal Sonata. It is an emotional tale about a boy alone in a post-apocalyptic world, and the high production values behind the gorgeous graphics and moody soundtrack really draw the player into the story of possibly being the only human being left on a deserted world. The game focuses on exploration and adventure, with light RPG elements.
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The story revolves around Seto, a lonely boy who embarks on a journey after an old man, the only other human he has ever known, dies. The world he ventures into is a post-apocalyptic Japan riddled with old spirits of a civilization lost around 15 years ago. Seto is alone for the entire game, technically, for he meets various other characters, only one of which is human. The rest are spirits, robots and even a talking electronic device. Spirits of the dead haunt every corner and appear to Seto through bitter envy of him still living, and try to take his life away. Seto's goal is to find the silver-haired girl, who is the first person he meets other than the old man. Throughout the game, you are joining him on his journey, a journey that becomes much more complicated than just that.
All of this is the game's strongest point: its presentation. This is a story that will grip you by the heart and force you to see it through to the end. And trust me, it's worth every second. Xseed released a lot of very impressive games this generation, and this is no exception. Throughout the game, you will find many objects that people have left behind before they all died. These objects contain memories which Seto can listen to whenever he brings them back to a save point (more on this later). These memories give the world its depth. Much of them contain heartwarming memories of people when they were alive. Some are funny. Others are sad. Many emotions surround every corner of this game and you will feel it. You will also learn about plot-relevant past events via these memories, so finding these items is critical in order to fully enjoy the game.
The graphics and detail are also very well-done, especially for the Wii. It's no Xenoblade, but this game focuses more on intimate locations: inside old buildings, an amusement park, hallways, etc. You may find yourself looking around every room before moving on just to take in all of the details. Things people have left behind, nature's toll on structures over time. It feels very real, like you're part of the game. Cutscenes are executed very well too. The game's soundtrack is phenomenal. Every piece of music in the game is beautiful, and sets the tone of your situation perfectly. Even if you think this this game is not for you, the music is worth listening to on its own.
There are two main gripes I had with the game: its bare-bones gameplay, and Seto's voice. Yes, the second sounds like a ridiculous complaint, but once you start playing, it will probably grate on you after a while like it did to me. His voice is very nasally and whiny, and he never shuts up. It could have been done a little better. Most of the other voices I thought were fine. Some were actually quite good.
The gameplay was created in the spirit of survival horror games like the older Resident Evil games. Yes, Fragile Dreams can be pretty chilling at times, but it's usually due to the memories and setting rather than what's happening around you. I always felt like something really bad was going to happen to Seto or the girl or the few friends he meets, but only because of the plot. On the other hand, some of the enemies look and act rather silly. Enemies are also not very threatening either, for the game is quite easy overall. However, when first playing, combat is a bit of a struggle because Seto has very few attacks. At first, I had trouble just getting him to hit things, most notably the flying birds, but once I got the hang of it, it got boring. It's as simple as "press A to attack and win" for most enemies you find. No combat strategy is involved at all. You can even run from just about any enemy because none of them can catch up to you. So, that makes the whole "survival horror spirit" pretty moot. Plus, most bosses are either easy or just annoying.
Also, similar to Resident Evil, you have an inventory based on a grid which can only hold so many things at a time until you get to a save point. This is mostly just tedious. Nothing else. Items are everywhere, and you may find yourself going back and forth, to and from save points repeatedly. To make it worse, your weapons will break RANDOMLY, meaning it's best to keep more than one on-hand, which reduces your inventory space even further.
To top it off, the game is pretty short, with not much replay value. If you get really involved in the story like I did, it will last you around 15 hours or so, collecting and searching out every item possible. Otherwise, the game could be beaten in about 5 hours if one wanted to.
If you can get Fragile Dreams for cheap, then I highly recommend it to any fans of RPG's or even anyone wanting to see what survival horror genre is like... sort of. This is something very different and very enjoyable for anyone who likes a sense of meaning and depth behind the stories they like to immerse themselves in. The game will make you laugh, cry, smile, give you the warm fuzzies, or just make you irritated trying to replace your broken weapons after hitting a jellyfish-like ghost that doesn't even fight back.
...How do weapons break after hitting nothing but ghosts anyway?
I've played RPGs with way more in depth battles than this, but this game isn't about that. Anyone who loves reading books, novels, poetry, anime, fantasy, or isn't shallow when it comes to gaming, would love this game. This isn't for everyone, but the audience it was made for will simply love this game. This game is gorgeous & will even SURELY make some of you cry. The music is to die for. Some of the best I've heard since Final Fantasy & Zelda, & the story itself is epic. Here are my thoughts on this game:
Voice Acting: A
Battle/Weapons/Leveling Up System: B-
Overall Rating: A
Near the end (no spoilers) the explore and fight gameplay is suddenly changed by some weird controller-inhibited challenges. One requires holding the Wii remote and nunchuck completely still. While others could get through it somehow, my friend and I both tried at least 50 times, even setting the controller down and not touching it or pointing it at the screen. We still failed. The game is too sensitive, and the challenge was annoyingly different than any other part of the game and provided no way to circumvent. So, we never got to see the conclusion. It's such a shame, because I was really drawn in by the emotions, the characters, and the story. I would still recommend it and hope future buyers can get through that inherently flawed challenge. Many do, but we couldn't. The game was good enough that we kept trying.
It gets kind of hard in some parts to see when you're in the underground mall near the beginning because the screen gets literally pitch black... and playing hide and seek with that ghost...(TOOK ME 3 HOURS TO DO IT). But I did and it's so worth it ^-^
If you're still iffy on playing it, watch a playthrough. This is deserving of far more fanart.