Dragon Fantasy Book II Preview

A game that puts the a “Rocky Marriage” into a whole new light.

Dragon Fantasy: Book II had me intrigued when I saw its isometric Final Fantasy VI character look and Chrono Trigger-style field battles against local enemies. It had me hooked the moment I approached one of its hopping rocks, the game’s stand-in for Dragon Quest slimes, and it and its wife attacked me.

Mr. Rock and Mrs. Rock fought me (or rather, Ogden, the main character), but it was clear that Ogden was just a target for their “fighting” each other over their failed traditional 1950’s marriage, with attacks like “Mrs. Rock cries into her Chardonnay.” and “Mr. Rock tries to explain the lipstick on his collar.” and “Mrs. Rock screams about the dishes.”

Later rock enemies in the area were Magicrock and Lycanthrock (who upon dying “turns into a cold, staring naked rock”). The highlight was when I found a small secret area with a optional mini-boss, Rockman, a rock with Mega Man headgear. The tongue couldn't be pressed into the cheek any harder.

Combat clearly used Chrono Trigger as an inspiration with battles taking place on the field screen. Outside of standard attacks, as he levels up, Ogden has different area-of-effect attacks that can be used for small amounts of MP. The flow of combat can change as enemies move to different positions on screen, allowing you to exploit their position with different kinds of attacks.

My time with the demo ended after I moved on to a new area where a mysterious voice told me that it wanted to give me important information, but my subconscious was going to make me fight something first. The enemy, a Dream Dragon, quickly killed me, as I used up my MP fighting Rockman. As I died, another text box told me that Ogden shouldn’t have come out of retirement.

With its classic 16-bit gameplay and visuals and ridiculous sense of humor, Dragon Fantasy: Book II is worth checking out for any retro-RPG fans out there or people who think the idea of a rocky marriage pun as an enemy archetype is the kind of writing they can get behind. The game releases on September 10th on the Playstation Vita and PS3.