What is Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past?
Dragon Quest VII is a Japanese style, character driven role-playing game in which players travel through time to help restore the continents that once surrounded their home island of Estard. As you work to restore the world to its former glory, you'll spend your time exploring dungeons, battling bad guys and piecing together the lost continents, hopefully defeating the tyrannical Demon Lord in the process.
A remake of the original Dragon Quest VII, which released on the PlayStation 1 way back in 2000, this 3DS edition features the same story and gameplay, only with much better graphics, and a few tweaks to help bring it up to date.
How do you play Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past?
A traditional role playing game through and through, in Dragon Quest VII, you'll explore the game's many forests, dungeons and towns with your party in tow, talking to important characters to progress the story, while battling various monsters and tough bosses along the way. Bumping into the enemies you see wandering across the game's landscape will trigger a battle, where you and your party members take it in turns with the monsters to attack, defend and sling spells.
Generally a heavily story driven game, in order to progress through Dragon Quest VII, you'll need to work on raising new continents. As you explore the game's maze-like dungeons, you'll come across pieces of stone tablets of various colours. Collect an entire set, and you'll be whisked away to a new area in the past, each of which is being terrorised by the denizens of the Demon Lord - and only by ridding the continent of the menace can you restore the continent in the present day. For example, in the first place you visit, all the women and children have been kidnapped, and are being held prisoner in a distant tower. Urged on by the distraught menfolk, you head off to rescue them, in an attempt to prevent the destruction that would have befallen the land.
How easy is Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past to pick up and play?
If you've played any role playing games before, you should be in familiar territory with Dragon Quest VII. However, as the game's aimed squarely at those who've already played similar titles, there's little in the way of tutorials or guidance in game for beginners, leaving you to largely figure out how things work for yourself. From the intricacies of the battle system, to how to kit out your party members with new weapons, or even how to rotate the camera (it's on the L and R buttons), much of this isn't too tricky to figure out for yourself, but if this is your first role playing game, be prepared for the learning curve.
Requiring a bit of perseverance to beat, Dragon Quest VII does require you to 'grind' a little in order to take on tougher enemies, repeatedly battling with weaker foes in order to earn experience and strengthen your party before venturing further. Making sure your party has the best set of equipment you can afford is often nigh on essential to your progress, too - when heading to new, unexplored areas, enemies tend to be a little on the tough side, and you can use all the help you can get! In terms of generally finding your way around, there's not usually a lot of signposting telling you where to head next, either; with no obvious map markers or trail leading you to your next destination, expect to spend plenty of time wandering round and exploring. Should you find yourself completely lost at sea, you do have a few options - perhaps the easiest is to garner a few hints by having a word with every last person in your last visited town, which you should be able to fast-travel to from the game's menu. For a more general overview, the Info option in the game's menu will give you an overview of the 'Recent Developments' in the story, while 'Next Tablet Fragment' may give you another nudge towards where you need to be heading.
Finally, we should note that Dragon Quest VII is a notoriously text heavy game. With nothing in the way of voice overs, it really does require a confident reader to play - not only would a non-reader be missing out on vital plot points, they'd also have none of the hints for where to head next. Often, lines are written with particular accents in place too, further complicating the reading requirement.
- "Alright? You one o' Piers's little mates or summink? Well, if you want 'im, 'e's upstairs."
- "What's that? Ye're askin' me what I'm doin'? D'ye not have eyes in yer head? I'm smashin' up me own home!"
- "No one knowth my thilly brother better than you. I'm sure my father jutht wanted to athk you what he'th been up to rethently."
In terms of mature content, Dragon Quest VII is a fairly tame adventure, with little in the way of violence, bad language or sex scenes. Battles are turn-based, and party members take it in turns to slash enemies with swords or pelt them with spells, with impacts shown by flashes of light, sounds and numerical damage values. No blood or guts are shown at all, with defeated enemies simply fading away into nothingness, although one enemy, a 'bloody hand', is a hand that's seemingly meant to be covered in blood, but actually just looks like it's made of red goo.
Bad language is limited to the infrequent utterances of damn or hell, while the occasional innuendo doesn't go much beyond "Gah, when I heard it was mixed bathing, I had all kinds of wild ideas, but this is… well, a bit dull...". An in-game casino that lets players gamble their in-game money on slot machines and poker hands is found in one town.