The first appointment I took at this year's E3 was with Muteki Corp to see what was next for the indie studio. Adam Rippon, Muteki Corp's Creative Director, showed us the sequel to Dragon Fantasy. This game found a lot of love from old-school RPG fans looking for a good 8-bit RPG on the iOS platform. The sequel, tentatively titled Dragon Fantasy: Book Two, picks up right where the last game left off with the adventures of Ogden and his crew. The biggest and most obvious change from the previous Dragon Fantasy is that Book Two is making the leap from an 8-bit RPG to the next gen with a full on SNES style 16-bit RPG. The 16-bit graphical stylings mean that the world, characters, and enemies are more detailed and vibrant than its predecessor. There are now a lot of nice graphical flourishes like weather effects, character reflections in water, and better magic effects in battle. The music in Book Two is also getting the full 16-bit treatment. Their music director Morgan Tucker, also known as Crashfaster, is a fixture in the Bay Area chiptune scene.
Another big change in Book Two is the battle system. In Book Two, battles take place on the world map. As you traverse the world map with your party, all of the enemies are visible on screen and you can choose to avoid them. When you do get into a fight, the battles are turn-based and people attack based on who is the fastest. Visually, the battles look like they were taken out of Chrono Trigger. Adam even joked that they sometimes referred to the game as Dragon Trigger. Because battles take place on the world map, other monsters in the area may wander into the battle and join the fight against you. This is a nice feature that isn't very common in old 16-bit RPGs.
Suffice to say, if you liked the humor and writing in the first Dragon Fantasy, you'll be getting plenty of that in Book Two. In fact, rather then breaking up the story into various chapters, Book Two will be one large, cohesive tale that takes you to new locations all over the world. Even more exciting was the idea that over the course of the story, you’ll be able to get into a few ship-to-ship battles akin to the battles in the Dreamcast classic Skies of Arcadia. Hopefully, these ship-to-ship battles won't only be relegated to a few big story moments.
The last big addition to Dragon Fantasy: Book Two is the inclusion of multiplayer into the game. Usually, when you are traversing the world, you will be traveling in a party of two or three important characters. You can then recruit various characters in the world to fill in the gaps. The idea is that you’ll be able to replace those recruits with your friends. There will be more details about the multiplayer mode closer to release.
Overall, Dragon Fantasy: Book Two looks like a really fun 16-bit throwback, especially if Muteki Corp can sneak in a bit of Skies of Arcadia into Book Two like Adam hinted at. The release date and the platforms for Book Two are still TBA, so keep reading RPGamer for more updates in the future.