I had the chance at E3 to try out Dragon Fantasy Book II on Vita and finally got to experience the ship-to-ship combat. When I talked to the guys at Muteki Corporation last year, the ship battles were a far-off idea of something they'd like to implement some time in the future, so it's nice to see them working in the game and even nicer to be able to report that they are fun. When engaged in a ship-to-ship battle you see the health of both your ship and the enemy ship. Below the health bars is a timer indicating when the enemy's next volley will be launched at your ship. It's your job to grab cannonballs off the ship, load them into the cannons, and get as many strikes in as you can.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, the catch is that there are only a handful of cannonballs readily available on deck. Once these run out you need to run into the hull of your ship and subdue some appropriately cannonball-sized monsters in combat so that you can grab them and load them into the ship's cannons on the deck. That's where that timer I mentioned earlier comes into play. If you dawdle or take too long subduing monsters, you will find your ship's health contuining to drop as the enemy keeps firing. The ship battles have a good sense of urgency and nicely mange to incorporate the main combat mechanics into these sections. Overall, it's pretty enjoyable and I managed to win my particular battle. The ship battle sequence seems very reminiscent of Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, a fun but overlooked gem from the DS era. Overall, the game plays well on the Vita and the combat, which takes place on dungeon maps and has a very similar look to Chrono Trigger, is as fun as ever. It seems like Muteki is hitting all the right notes with its indie 16-bit JRPG throwback.
In addition to demoing the ship-to-ship combat on the show floor, Muteki has also released a new trailer that showcases the game's battle system and which can be viewed below.