• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
AppSpy 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
PlayStation Vita  header logo

Dragon Fantasy Book I

For: PS Vita   Also on: iPhone, iPad, 3DS

Old habits

Product: Dragon Fantasy Book I | Developer: The Muteki Corporation | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Adventure, Retro, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: US
Dragon Fantasy Book I PS Vita, thumbnail 1
Without wishing to be too reductive, Dragon Fantasy Book I is Dragon Quest in all but name.

Thankfully, this is exactly what Muteki Corporation was aiming for: a loving homage to the 8-bit adventures of old, with some modern references thrown in for good measure.

This affectionate retro effort captures the look and feel of the Dragon Quest era, but it also suffers from many of the problems that the RPG genre has since weeded out.

In other words, Dragon Fantasy Book I is an accurate replica of Dragon Quest, for better and for worse.


After five minutes of play, the game's heritage is clear. You womble slowly about in a large monster-filled overworld, visiting dungeons and getting into random battles with a variety of enemies. The iconic Slimes are replaced by small rocks with eyes on them, but they're all analogous with the monsters in the Toriyama classics.

Except, of course, that they're nowhere near as well-designed. There's an attempt at injecting personality into them, with combat screens informing you that Mr Lizard has "lost one too many limbs" (and has therefore died), but it doesn't compensate for the sheer aesthetic brilliance of a Dungeon Quest game.

The presentation is high class, though, and you can switch between a truly 8-bit style and an Enhanced mode which sports a few more colours and a multi-instrumental soundtrack.

Fighting is fast, and that's a godsend as there's a lot of it. You're attacked every ten seconds or so when you're in a dangerous area, and while you can force your way through areas with levelling and better equipment you'll also need to think about how to use your skills.

You can fight monsters with weapons, use magic, run away from battles you can't possibly win, and so on. Keeping track of your party's health and getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of the world's inhabitants is a must.

Nostalgia stands in your way

In the more compact towns you're given time and space to breathe, since you're safe from attack. Here you stock up on potions and other supplies, rest at inns to replenish HP and MP, and you save your progress at churches. It's all very reminiscent of, yes, Dragon Quest.

There are other games/geek culture references during the fantasy story, though the more modern day ones about Reddit feel at odds within its ancient pixel confines. There's an entire chapter of the game dedicated to Minecraft, too, but the humour lacks subtlety. For the most part, this is for fans of the early Dungeon Quest entries, and not really anyone else.

The game's main problems stem from its overzealous commitment to its own shtick. There's no journal reminding you where you should be off to next, and little direction as to your target location or character.

Combined with the significant number of random battles - often with enemies of much higher power, should you wander into the wrong area - this makes exploration a tedious, dangerous, and laborious process.

It's also comparatively basic in its approach to narrative: the epic here just isn't that grand, even if it is lengthy. The cheery but silly humour can fall flat, and the rest of the dialogue isn't engaging.

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but if you enjoyed Dragon Quest back on the early home consoles then you'll like Dragon Fantasy Book I, as it's a sterling recreation of what made those games great. If you've tired of traipsing around simple worlds with simpler stories, or you simply don't like Enix's flagship RPG, then this won't change your mind.
Dragon Fantasy Book I
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 29 April 2013
Dragon Fantasy Book I sticks incredibly close to its early Dragon Quest source material, warts and all
Have Your Say