Fragile Dreams: Fare well ruins of the moon (XSEED Games)
System: Nintendo Wii Release date: March 6th, 2010 (US)
ESRB rating: T for Teen
Welcome back Kupo! The First adventure we will embark on together is the Dark Post apocalyptic Action adventure game, Fragile Dreams: Farewell ruins of the moon by XSEED Games.
Let me start by saying be prepared to be drawn into the world and story of Fragile Dreams like few other games can truly imitate. From the first line of dialogue to the short opening cinematic you will be wrapped in a cocoon of loneliness and wonder that seethes from every dark shadowy corner of this game.
The story follows a boy named Seto, as he ventures out into a dying world after the death of the old man who had watched over him for fifteen years. The sense of being all alone is really well done as you search through the game’s first (and shortest) local, ‘the observatory’ no sounds can be heard but your footsteps as you search the sparse two story building. It is here that you find a flashlight (May the darkness be dispelled! well only a little heh) and with it in hand begin your journey to find a mysterious red tower and possibly another human being.
Gameplay in fragile dreams is a mix of traditional survival horror aspects like dim lighting, ghosts, and light (so punny!) combat with a touch of RPG elements like stats, breakable weapons, and a tetris-esk inventory. Most of your time will be spent wandering dark halls with only a flashlight and some flimsy weapon you managed to pull out of a pile of scrap. Enemies rang from feral dogs, to a slew of Japanese horror themed ghosts. What Fragile dreams does well in the gameplay department is immersion. Your Wii-mote is turned into a flashlight and your nun-chuck serves as your traditional joystick. While you explore the many locals in the game (around six or so) your Wii-mote will whisper out noises when enemies are near, or in some sections you can put it to your ear to hear tips from companion characters. And let me tell you, I’ve been caught more than once just listening to hear another voice in the game I’ve felt so alone, kupo~
I truly can’t stress how much loneliness plays a part in the storytelling. There is a point when you meet a girl and the feeling of relief and hope is almost palpable. Seto’s reaction to this character (and most others he meets along the way) is almost always desperate and emotionally clingy as he tries to hold onto whatever contact he can with those he meets. Not unlike many in today’s society who feel alienated from the masses. The game has a strong message that will appeal to anyone who has ever felt the need to be close to another person even if only for a moment.
The one downside to Fragile Dreams is that at times it is a little tedious. You’ll do a lot of running around in the dark, and with combat not being the focus anyone who is here for the action might lose interest before to long. With this being the biggest smear on the gameplay (a long backtrack section later in the game) I’d simply warn you that you may want to overlook a few long hallways and just enjoy the storyline as that is the true shining jewel of this title.
Wither your into the game for the horror (it can be rather unsettling at times) or you simply want an emotional journey through a young boy’s life as he tries to reconnect with humanity. One thing is for certain, Fragile Dreams will stay with you long after you put down your flash light….
A great storyline with highly detailed environments just falls short of perfection because of a few unnecessarily long hallways and backtracking.
I rate Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon 4/5 Kupo!