Dragon Fantasy The Black Tome of Ice Review
Sequels are sometimes better than the first game, but more often than not, sequels are worse. Dragon Fantasy The Black Tome of Ice is the second Dragon Fantasy game for the 3DS (its also available on Wii U but I didn’t review the Wii U version), with a third one already planned. Is The Black Tome of Ice better than the first game, as good as the first game, or did the developers drop the ball?
Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice has a confusing story, especially in the beginning. The game tries to recap the first game for people who didn’t play it, but it doesn’t work too well. I played the first game and even I was confused by the Black Tome of Ice’s story recap.
The little character recaps do give you a good idea of who the key players in the game are though. I also did like all of the characters and thought they had good, sometimes funny, dialogue. The game’s humor is definitely the element that will keep you interested in seeing what happens next because Black Tome’s story is one of the weakest parts of the game! And the story made worst by the fact that the game doesn’t have an ending. Black Tome of Ice feels incomplete as a story. Its gameplay, however, is really good, despite some technical issues.
I love Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice’s battle system. It is a lot of fun and reminds me of Chrono Trigger a bit. It is a very fast battle system. Some of the battles in this game will go really quick, especially the encounters with enemies. You’ll notice that I didn’t say “random” encounters with enemies. There are no random battles in this game. Instead, you’ll run into the enemy on the map and can sometimes avoid them. I like random battles, but I also like seeing games like this too.
That said, you will still have to fight many enemies in order to level up so you can take on this game’s boss battles. The boss battles can be pretty hard. You can lower the difficulty in this game if you’re having too much difficulty, but you’ll still have to make sure to level up. This second Dragon Fantasy also features some cool extra features, like being able to sail the seas and have ship to ship battles! Overall, Black Tome of Ice’s gameplay is pretty fun. However, the game does suffer from a couple of glitches.
I ran into a couple of big glitches with Black Tome of Ice. There may be more glitches than this, but these are the issues I ran into and I hope they’ll be corrected via an update. The first glitch happened when I went into a house in South Cape. The house is behind Milly’s house in the town. Don’t go into this house! If you do, you’ll see nothing but blackness at first and then you’re character can run around in the house with their colors streaming behind them in a trail. If you press home and go out of the game, do not press continue when you go back. You’re continue data will be corrupted! This isn’t not the only time I ran into this corrupted data glitch.
The second glitch I ran into was one time when I was going back and forth between a screen for enemy encounters. The glitch happened between screens! The game froze and then went out of the game completely! My system had to restart itself. When I went back to press continue, my continue data was corrupted. Thankfully my entire data wasn’t corrupted and I was able to go back to my regular save and continue on with the game. Though I did run into that second glitch multiple times and finally had to give up on building my characters up in that area. Its too bad the game has these glitches, but they do not completely ruin the game. Black Tome of Ice has a lot going for it, including very good controls and making good use of the 3DS.
Dragon Fantasy 2 can be controlled with either the analog stick/d-pad and buttons or the touch screen. I think that the analog stick/d-pad and buttons worked the best, but the touch screen control is well done too. I also like how the game uses the 3DS’s two screens for its battles, letting the battles be on the top screen and the menus be on the bottom. It was great having a map on the bottom screen while walking around too. Although, most of your attention will be placed on the top 3DS screen because of Dragon Fantasy’s excellent graphics!
Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice has great graphics. The graphics on the first game were a bit more NES, which was nice, and this game’s graphics are more SNES-like, which is even better. Black Tome of Ice is very colorful and there is a lot of variety in towns, dungeons, and enemies. I’m very happy with the graphics.
I think the game’s soundtrack is pretty good too. Though, the game does have some issues with the audio quality dipping at times. As for the game’s sound effects, they are not bad but could be better. I think that Dragon Fantasy is a very good game overall, but it is held back a little by some of its parts.
Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice is a very good game. I think it could have been a great game if the story had been better (and had an ending) and if the game didn’t have some major glitches. That said, the gameplay is fun, the game has excellent graphics, the characters and the game’s humor will keep you interested in the game, and Dragon Fantasy makes good use of the 3DS. It just too bad that you’ll have to buy three games (at least) to get Dragon Fantasy’s full story! That said, if you are a big rpg fan, you can’t go wrong with the first game nor the second game in this franchise. I would say that Black Tome of Ice is on par with the first game and that’s a pretty good thing. Hopefully the third game will be just as good or better then these two games. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Thanks to the publisher, Totally Choice, for providing a review copy of Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice. The game is now available on the Wii U and 3DS eshops.
- Very good battle system
- No random battles
- Excellent graphics
- Good use of the 3DS
- Some glitches
- Audio Quality Issues
- Poor story