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This review was submitted by Alastair Christie. If you’ve played Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, or just want to ask Alastair more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon (Wii)
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is an action/adventure title with light horror and RPG elements, for Wii. After his grandfather and sole companion dies, Seto, a teenage boy, sets out on a journey, armed only with his torch, to discover the truth of the post-apocalyptic world.
Mood: I love exploring streets, shopping centres and even bushland at night. These places drip with atmosphere when at their emptiest and quietest. Exploring Fragile’s prettily rendered station, mall, theme park, hotel and dam, as they were slowly reclaimed by the world, evoked the same feeling, aided by a courageous decision to eliminate sound out of battle. When used, sound is effective, particularly the cries of unseen monster through the low quality Wii-mote speaker as you approach them.
Haunting: Partly because you fight mostly ghosts, but mainly because the story has a real emotional pull. The story, while drip fed until near the end, is well written and conveys the power of hope and love as Seto desperately seeks companionship in whatever he finds. Mystery items found in world that trigger the last memories of people who knew their end was nigh can also be located. hese advance the story and/or often successfully provoke an emotional reaction.
Combat: Not the focus of the game, but it shouldn’t be such a negative. The controls are much like RE4, but IR controls the camera and torch, used to reveal or weaken enemies. The camera is too slow for evasion and accuracy, and too far behind Seto to judge depth, while enemies’ tendency to phase in and out of view slows combat down further. Most battles can at least be avoided at the risk of not levelling enough. Yet the controls are quite functional when projectile weapons are suitable.
Inventories: One is Resident Evil sized and accessible at all times. The other is unlimited, but only accessible at bonfires, Fragile's save points. Yet one is carried on Seto’s front and the other on his back! Saving every few minutes in order to swap items between inventories (it's apparently too dark to identify ANY item you pick up, including health and weapons) slows the game down.
Light: Content is low, to be honest. Clearly the whole game could not be simply spent exploring empty spaces. However, lame combat greatly exposes the weak filler such as repeat fetch quests, backtracking and hide and seek games.
Quite a few Wii titles feature stunning art design, but too many flaws gameplay wise to unreservedly recommend. Same for Fragile, which divided me like nothing else. Gaming’s equivalent of The Road, clever Wii functionality and Japanese audio is sadly offset by archaic design choices pulling one right back out of it. I want Rising Star and X-seed to survive and carry on localising interesting and unique titles, but still I can only conditionally recommend Fragile. Buyer beware.
Reviewed by: Alastair Christie
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.