|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: tri-Crescendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Xseed||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The game takes a few cues from the Resident Evil series with its inventory design, and though there can be some tedium and busy work involved in the process of moving items around, it's still a very finely tuned interface I enjoyed quite a bit. Weapons break and new ones must be found or purchased (from a wandering vendor in a chicken suit), and with limited space in your on-hand inventory, you'll occasionally be faced with having to forfeit items in favor of new discoveries.
Visually, Fragile Dreams puts pretty much all of its eggs in the right basket. The character models and overall pervading mood of the game have been given plenty of loving attention, though technical details in the environment aren't terribly impressive. The character expressions are thoroughly moving, but getting caught in tight quarters can yield some unsightly results - jittering animations and such. Additionally, there were occasional bouts of slowdown, both in battle and out.
Little touches, however, such as how maps are made to look as though they were hand drawn by Seto, go a long way toward drawing you into the story. As a counterpart to what the game is trying to say as a form of expression, Fragile Dreams hits one out of the park on Wii.
Without a doubt, one of the strongest elements of the game's production is its sound design. The music is always fitting and masterfully mixed. More importantly, the developers make incredible use of sound as a gameplay mechanic, with the speaker on the Wii Remote cuing you to enemy locations, as well as clues about your current objective. Rather than incorporating use of the Wii Remote's microphone as a novelty, the sound design delivers a three-dimensional experience that feels relevant.
The music is no slouch, either, though themes don't always segue smoothly when entering or exiting battle. There are some hauntingly beautiful song performances, however, and if you're taken with the game, you'll likely want to consider picking up the optional soundtrack as well.
The English voice acting is decent, though I personally recommend players choose the Japanese vocal option before setting out on the adventure. Fragile Dreams is built around Japanese culture and norms, and the elegance of the performances by the Japanese voice actors picks up the slack where words fail.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is a title I wholeheartedly recommend to every Wii owner. It's also a game that is, unfortunately, held back from true greatness by its own gameplay. The combat is sure to frustrate even the most forgiving of gamers, as you'll be doing more fighting with the controls than the actual enemies in the game. That being said, Fragile Dreams is worth fighting for. Push past its flaws, and you'll be rewarded with a beauty that is priceless. I won't dare claim the game to be a masterpiece, but it is still very much a work of art.
CCC Freelance Writer