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Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past Review

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past

Release: 16/09/2016
Publisher: Square Enix - Nintendo
Developer: ArtePiazza
Genre: Adventure, Genres, Nintendo 3DS Reviews, Role-playing
PEGI: 10+
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OUR SCORE

Excellent About Rating
          
 
9.0 - Gameplay
          
 
9.0 - Video
          
 
9.5 - Audio
           
 

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I love role playing games. I was a huge fan of the Final Fantasy games until they turned into action games. And I really love Dragon Quest 9 from Square Enix too. So when Square finally announced that Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past was coming to the North American 3DS, I was excited. I couldn’t wait to play the game! And now I’ve played the game, I’ve finished it, and I finally have a review for you. Did Dragon Quest VII live up to my expectations after all this time? Read on to find out!

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Fragments of the Forgotten Past has a very good story. The story itself is told “episodes” of a sort and that lends itself perfectly to a portable system. Some of the episodes presented in this game are really fantastic! I won’t ruin the surprise by telling you which episodes to look out for. There are a couple of episodes that feel repetitive, but overall, the story in this game is so good.

It should also be noted that the characters in this game are very unique and the dialogue between them is excellent. You should talk to every non-playable character (NPC) character you see too! The writing in this game is just great.

Fragments of the Forgotten Past is one of the best rpg stories we’ve seen in years. Of course, none of that matters if the gameplay is bad! So does Dragon Quest VII have good gameplay?

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If you are not an rpg fan and/or a Dragon Quest fan, then Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is probably not for you. Dragon Quest VII can be a very difficult game, especially the dungeons and some of the later bosses. The dungeons especially are an issue because of how incredibly maze-like they are! As much as I love this game, I wish that the dungeons had been a little bit more straight forward. I also don’t like how you have to repeat some of the dungeons over and over again.

That said, fans of rpgs and the series will really love this game. The turn-based battle system in Dragon Quest VII is one of the best and exploring the overworld and various towns is a lot of fun. This game also has an excellent job system. Keep an eye out for monster hearts especially! The monster jobs are just a blast. There’s just so much to see and do in Fragments of the Forgotten Past!

Nintendo said that the story would take players around 80 hours to complete. It took me a little bit over a 100 hours! And even though I’ve finished the game, there’s still more to do, such as the random dungeons that you get with the help of monsters or just collecting more monsters for your Haven and Monster Meadows. Overall, you could easily play Fragments of the Forgotten Past for hundreds and hundreds of hours.

The replay value with this game is massive. And thankfully there are three save spots available if you just feel like starting the game all over again without deleting your finished save! Dragon Quest VII is a very good game, however there a couple more issues with the game that might even bother rpg players.

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I wish I could say that everything about Dragon Quest VII was perfect. I already mentioned the maze-like, frustrating dungeons. But there are couple of other issues with Dragon Quest VII’s gameplay. There are, for the most part, no random battles in this game (the sea and one of the dungeons are exceptions), but there might as well be random battles. You will find it very hard to avoid enemy battles in this game. The enemies is in this game will run after you if they see you and worst of all, they can pop out of nowhere and block doorways/entrances which will force you to fight them! And the enemy encounter rate is ridiculous in this game: you’ll get done fighting one enemy and another will pop up to fight you again. This can sometimes make progress in the maze dungeons very slow. While this won’t bother most old school rpg fans, it will annoy some people.

Another annoyance is the game’s in-game camera. You use the left and right button on the top of the 3DS to turn the camera. This really isn’t the best way to control an in-game camera. In most of the dungeons, the camera will be fixed and unchangeable (thank goodness) but when running around in the overworld, things get a bit annoying. The camera will sometimes get in the way and you’ll find yourself overlooking some key place you need to go. Also when you come down a stairs sometimes, you’ll find yourself going back up because you had no idea where you were.

The same can be said for entering a new area and the camera being faced toward the way you just came in! The in-game camera doesn’t break Dragon Quest VII but it can be a real annoyance sometimes. Its too bad that the game doesn’t use the New 3DS analog nub for the camera on that system. Thankfully, the rest of the game’s controls are pretty good!

The controls on Dragon Quest VII are very good. The analog stick works perfectly for walking around, though you can use the D-Pad if you want and that works well. All of the buttons work good too, with the A button being to check for things and talk to people and the B button for talking to your group. The Y button is used to check item shops in the area (very handy) or toggle the world map when in the overworld. Meanwhile, the X button is used for the menu (you‘ll use that a lot). As for the 3DS specific features, the bottom 3DS screen displays a map always and has a handy fragment detector that you’ll use a lot. The map is great for the over world and towns, though it can be hit or miss for the maze-like dungeons. Though not much will help you there expect trial and error. There is no touch screen interaction in this game but thats fine since most of your attention will be on the top screen.

Despite any of its flaws, Dragon Quest VII is a great rpg, with a lot of replay value and it has pretty good graphics too.

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Dragon Quest VII has really good graphics. This game is, without a doubt, one of the best looking rpgs on the 3DS. The 3D dimensional figures and environments look out of this world. And the game looks amazing in 3D. Even so, there are some things about the graphics that could have been better.

Some of the graphical problems with Dragon Quest VII include occasional tree pop-ins in the overworld, characters that stand through objects, and walls that disappear thanks to the awful in-game camera. None of these are big issues, but its still worth noting that these things will (dis)appear in the game. However, there is one part of the graphical variety of the game that I do see as a big issue.

Besides your main people and a few special characters, there are a lot of repeated character types in this game. Its gets a bit old seeing the same face over and over again in each town you visit. I’m sure it was easier for Square Enix to create the NPCs this way, but it seems a bit lazy when you take in consideration how great the towns, dungeons, and other parts of the game look. The repeated NPCs don’t break the game’s graphics, but it does feel like a big misstep in an otherwise good looking game.

Meanwhile, Dragon Quest VII’s soundtrack is really excellent! The music in this rpg is wonderful and you’ll never get tired of listening to it. The game’s sound effects are really good too. I do have one complaint about the music and sound though. The music in Dragon Quest VII can be very loud and you’ll find yourself turning the sound down a bit. This is strange because there so many games and videos on the 3DS that have very low sound and Dragon Quest VII is the complete opposite. Of course, this is a small nitpick but its not fun having your ears blasted! You what is fun though? Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is fun.

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Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is one of the best rpgs on the 3DS. The game’s story, characters, dialogue, turn-based battle system, graphics, sound, and massive replay value make it a great game for rpg fans. If you are an newbie though, this is not the game to start with. Dragon Quest VII’s maze-like dungeons will frustrate new players (and some old players too) and the game doesn’t hold back on the amount of enemy encounters or difficult boss battles. RPG fans should be fine with most of that though. They may not like the game’s in-game camera or repetitive use of NPC skins, but neither of these issues break the game.

I highly recommend Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past to rpg and especially Dragon Quest fans. You will love this game. I loved this game a lot. I can’t wait to play Dragon Quest VIII next year!

Positives

  • Really Good Story
  • Excellent Gameplay
  • Great controls
  • Very good Visuals
  • Wonderful Soundtrack

Negatives

  • Frustrating Dungeons
  • Repetitive NPCs
  • Terrible In-Game Camera
 

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Daniel Fugate has wanted to be a writer since he was seven years old. He has a bachelor's degree in English and he's a huge Animal Crossing fan. The Wii U and 3DS are currently his favorite video game systems!

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Twitter: @df2506   

 

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