Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon

So I’ve taken a break from Xenoblade and decided to give Fragile Dreams a go since it has really interested me for a long time.  And while not without its flaws, I found Fragile Dreams to be a worthwhile and quite moving experience.

Fragile Dreams takes place in a post apocalyptic Japan. You play as a young boy named Seto who has lived in an abandoned observatory with an old man who has cared for him. It’s all he has ever known.  However when the old man dies Seto sets off into the world to try and find any survivors, the only clue he has is a note the old man left mentioning a red tower in the distance where survivors might be.

Fragile Dreams is a game about loneliness and how we all need and strive for human contact. The game absolutely nails this. The run down and empty environments you explore with only a flashlight to light the way are beautiful in their own decayed and lonely way. From abandoned subways to rundown fairgrounds, they all feel lived in and it’s unsettling now that they are all empty.  These areas are adorned with graffiti, each a unique piece of art and I found myself stopping to take in these remnants of people long dead. All that is left are the ghosts and memories of the people that once lived here and these provide some of the games strongest narrative. You will pick up items along the way that held significance to someone long departed and when you rest at a fire you can hear the story of these people, mostly about how they spent their final hours knowing that an event was coming that would wipe out the human population. It’s similar to how the short stories in Lost Odyssey are told and although not as well written they are still very moving. It’s quite a depressing game but Seto’s hope and optimism keep the game from becoming too bleak.

Sai is a ghost you meet later on and is definitely the standout. I really love her art design.
As an experience Fragile Dreams excels but as a game it falls short. In ways I feel that just like with Rule of Rose, Fragile Dreams would have been a better game if it dropped the combat. The enemies, or malicious spirits, aren’t that troublesome to fight but neither does the combat offer anything interesting. It gets a bit repetitive and downright frustrating against some flying enemies. The game also features weapon degradation so after a fight your weapon can randomly break, leaving you vulnerable until you get to the next bonfire. You would think that you could carry multiple weapons to counter this but inventory space is so limited that you can usually only afford to carry a single weapon. Remember, a lack of inventory space may lead to having to leave behind an item that gives you one of the games short stories, something you really don’t want to miss out on.  These don’t kill the game but are minor annoyances.

 If you think you can look past this games minor flaws then I highly recommend anyone with a Wii to experience this game, there really is nothing else like it. The art design throughout is fantastic, you can really get lost in the world the game creates and the attention to detail the artists have paid it. I never even mentioned the soundtrack which is outstanding throughout. It's one of the few games that really plays to the Wii's strengths with some well thought out use of the Wiimote speaker and a lack of waggle controls. You might be disappointed with the slightly cliché motivations of an antagonist introduced later on but I’m sure that equally you’ll still fell on the whole that the game was a more than worthy experience. Here's a trailer with some of the games beautiful soundtrack to lead out on:


  1. My other-half thanks you for adding to my already bloated 'to-play' list.

    1. If you don't have a bloated to play list then you're not doing it right :) My backloggery is embarassing at the moment!