Dragon Fantasy Book I on PS3 & PS Vita Tomorrow

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Dragon Fantasy Book I on PS3 & PS Vita Tomorrow

In August, we announced on PlayStation.Blog that we would be releasing Dragon Fantasy Book II for PS Vita and PS3 early next year.

With the awesome response and large demand for the first game on those systems, we knew we had to make it happen. We didn’t want to just push a port of what we already had, though – this was our chance to really make this game shine.

Plus, we get to take part in Sony’s awesome Spring Fever promotion! Not only are we releasing the game to JRPG-loving fans out there, Sony is helping to ensure people actually find out about it! What does that mean to you? If you’re a PlayStation Plus member, it means you get 20% off the game during launch week!

Don’t know much about Dragon Fantasy Book I? Start by watching our brief trailer.

So where to begin… Oh, I don’t know, how about redrawing almost every single piece of art in the game! Crazy? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!

We decided to approach this in the style of a SNES special edition of a previously released NES game. We wanted to take the art we had, and just bring it forward a generation – after reaching what we feel was the best of what “8-bit” could be, we decided to bring this to what we’re calling “8-bit as we remember it” instead of “8-bit as it was” – read on for some side-by-sides of the before and after.

First, we updated the overworld map. The map (and all of the maps) are unchanged –
just better defined, cleaner tiles everywhere.

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSNDragon Fantasy Book I on PSN

The interface’s look has been upgraded as well, with clean gradients, while the monsters have more shading and detail.

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSNDragon Fantasy Book I on PSN

We added shadowing and detail throughout the maps (see the ambient shading on the floors where they meet the walls) – who says AAA FPS games are the only ones that should feature ambient occlusion!

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSNDragon Fantasy Book I on PSN

Finally, so many poor vendors were stuck in their little shops with tiny walls and no roofs, beaten down upon by the hot sun! Well after negotiations with the NPC Vendors’ Union we’ve given them some much-needed shade. Just walk into the shops as always and the walls or roofs fade away.

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSNDragon Fantasy Book I on PSN

Once happier with the visuals (in terms of an 8-bit style RPG at least), it was time to revisit other parts of the game and see where else we could make improvements. What was — in our opinion — the most frustrating part of the first game? The inventory UI. No longer do you have to scroll through a page of herbs to find that one lone antidote to cure your poisoned allies. We took the whole main interface we had been working on for Book II and brought it home to the original!

First, let’s look at what we had:

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSN

The main interface filled the entire screen, keeping you from seeing much of anything. Four massive buttons filled the view keeping any useful information at least a page away. And you had to move to a separate page of four massive buttons to see the rest of the options.

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSN

Items were even worse. Each item in your inventory took up a separate line, and there was no support for stacking items to save space. Trying to find a single item buried in between pages of herbs and antidotes was a pain!

So what do all of these look like now?

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSN
Your party is visible at a glance immediately when pulling the screen up. The navigation is now handled with the tabs across the top instead of four huge buttons filling the screen.

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSN
The inventory now supports stacking, making it a lot easier to find the item you’re looking for.

Let’s not forget trophies! First, the basics: yes, we’ll have trophies; no, there won’t be a Platinum. What will we have? About a dozen Trophies covering a range of feats, from completing each of the game’s chapters, to finding that one hidden scene in Chapter 2 that we’re pretty sure no one outside our office has ever seen. Ever. Seriously.

Dragon Fantasy Book I on PSN

We really hope these will give people a reason to enjoy another trip through the game’s chapters, and hint at things people might not have been aware of. More than anything though, we’re listening for what people want most and trying to make this the best version of Dragon Fantasy it can be.

Improving what we have is important, but so is giving players something new! Chapter 2 has always been the chapter we’ve felt needed the most help. To help smooth out the leveling and better guide players, we’ve added a new dungeon to Chapter 2: The Tower of Trials. Inside this five-story tower is a wealth of treasure and gear for Anders and his recruitable allies Punchibald “Punchy” Hammerstone and Casterella “Casty” Von Magicpants.

So this pretty well covers Dragon Fantasy Book I, coming to PlayStation 3 and PS Vita tomorrow. We have an almost completely re-done 8-bit RPG, with all new recordings. We have new content and trophies. And most importantly, we support Cross-Buy (so you buy it once, and get it for both systems) and Cross-Save (so you can share a save game between to two).

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22 Author Replies

  • Not available for me, yet. :( LOL. I stopped refreshing and started watching The Office on Hulu. :P *twiddle*

  • Are there any GLBT characters in the game? or the upcoming sequel?

  • More importantly: Is there character customization in this game? Screenshots don’t show anything in terms of customization… Old graphics, modern gameplay?

  • TJF588: “I think the appeal is more in a lack of definition.”

    Why would that be appealing? I promise you, it has nothing to do with that. The interest isn’t there due to some stubborn unwillingness to evolve, clinging to the past for a fleeting taste of nostalgia… no, there is a tangible, measurable advantage to a less dramatic presentation. It leaves more of the experience up to the consumers’ personal interpretation of what actually exists and takes place in that virtual environment, were it to be real.

    This is what triggered so much fascination with these types of games to begin with, back when they were new. Especially since we were children at the time, and the imagination is so much more active and creative during that phase, although it would also benefit an adult in the same manner. Super-realistic graphics leave nothing to the imagination. It’s just… here it is. This is it. You either like it or you don’t. It’s not up for personal interpretation. Your imagination really has no incentive to activate and create it’s own understanding, generating fascination in the player, and creating that personal, intimate connection between the game and the gamer, and thus, the artwork and it’s viewer.

  • To: PrimeroIncognito

    That is an extremely interesting point I have never thought about it like that ,but I still prefer to video games to be more of an an artform like it is now of days because while might have been art back then they were far less “artsy” even if they did let you spark up your imagination more.

  • 4/16 @ 10:38pm EST and no PSN update? wtf?

    BTW, how close is this game to what EVOLAND has?

  • @ L1V32W1N

    Well, I should also mention that it’s not just the extremely realisitic graphics by themselves… I mean, who isn’t impressed by all this high-tech imagery? Of course I am, and I love my PS3 to death, for sure. Especially since older gamers such as myself have been witness to the evolution of technology in the video game industry, step by step, over so many generations now. It’s been quite amazing to see how we’ve gone from little square-shaped EVERYTHING in the Atari games I adored so much as a kid, to these characters and environments nowadays that look damn near like the real deal!

    However, a problem arises when TOO MUCH FOCUS is put on the outer appearance, and the meat and bones of the product is neglected as a result. Also, when games look so realistic, developers tend to also want to make the story behind them as serious as reality as well, which kinda interferes with the whole reason we always played video games in the first place. It was the place we went to put reality aside for a little bit, and just focus on having fun.

  • Getting late here in Colorado and after getting home from work i cant buy Dragon Fantasy or download the Soul Sacrifice demo :( sad night in the mile high city…

  • Of course there are exceptions to this apparent new rule of the industry, and one example that immediately came to mind was Driver: San Francisco. A brilliant game that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end, fully satisfied by every single aspect of every feature the game implemented, with the main focus of the game clearly on having fun, and fully enjoying your time in a virtual environment… all while having some of the most beautiful graphics I have seen this generation.

    But at the same time, even though the graphics are really pretty, and it appears that realism is a prime goal that the developers had in mind, you can clearly see that there is actually a light-hearted, comedic influence to be found at every turn in the game. It never takes anything within itself too seriously, and due to the “fantasy” nature of many of the game’s features, the player’s imagination in this case actually can be triggered. Due to the outlandish nature of these features, you have no choice but to be creative while wondering what these people were actually thinking (in a good way) when they made the game.

    And that helps lead to a deeper personal connection with the game… it’s all psychology… :)

  • Is something up with the Store? I went to check this morning if I could download DF1 and it doesn’t look like it updated. When I check the Spring Fever section of the store, it still says DF1 is listed under “Coming Next Week…”

  • Why isn’t this available yet?!? WHY WON’T YOU TAKE MY MONEY!!! I passed on this for android and iOS so that I could get the “HD” special edition with physical controls, and I am so tired of waiting for it!

  • So frustrating!!! I waited all day to play this game yesterday! Good ol Sony dropping the ball again. It’s not like this is the first time something like this has happened on psn. It’s noon now on the following day and it’ still not up and we still havn’t even been told what the hold up is. I dont favor my xbox by any means but I don’t recall having any issues like this on xbl. Just sayin …

  • After 1pm here in Philly, and no Dragon Fantasy to be found on PSN… What gives, Sony?

  • @63: Check Sony’s Twitter. They say that the Store Maintenance will be delayed at least until the afternoon.

    Since the game is delayed… Any chance for an answer regarding whether this game (Dragon Fantasy) has character customization?

    I looked at the screenshots of the character menus and things and didn’t see any character customization (skill trees, etc.). Hoping I am just overlooking them.

  • Super wish i could be playing this in between classes on campus right now!!!

  • Thought I’d be playing this game through most of last night and during this afternoon since I’m off today. PSN has really dropped the ball. Thankfully my PS3 plays Blu-ray Discs. Watched Django Unchained to pass the time. Awesome flick. Anybody here seen it? Say, how much will this game be? I may have missed that information.

  • ^ ^ It’s for sale! The store is working. I am buying the game now… 2:24 PM PST. $9.99.

  • First impression: Loving these graphics. Even more beautiful/colorful than any game I remember seeing on the SNES.

    Second impression: The visuals seem to be slightly cutting off on the TOP and BOTTOM of my TV screen, but mostly on the TOP. Can you guys add some way for us to “reduce the screen size pixel by pixel?” Don’t think I’m missing much, but I can tell I’m missing maybe 5 pixels or so from the top of my screen.

    *goes back to playing* :) *chuckles* Now I know why the main hero is bald!

    • Thanks for the love!

      We don’t have any sort of “overscan” adjustment in the game, because as soon as you start scaling pixel-art it can start looking blurry fast! Plus, the 8-bit RPGs of yore had this happening too – it’s authentic :)

      As for needing the PSN Avatars – we’re working on it!

  • Dude… There need to be Mr. and Mrs. Rock PSN avatars. xD LOL. Diggin’ the humor, for sure!

  • I will never forget the joy I felt the first time I saw that Leather Armor came with a ball gag “for some reason.”

    The moment I saw that (I happened to be playing the game upon the porcelain throne, I giggled with glee and posted a screenshot of that text on Facebook.

    Good times.

  • In reference to the reply to #38, having it as a shared list is the way to go. That is what tipped me over the edge to buying it. Definite preference to having one list, like Sly Cooper; rather than having separate lists like PSASBR.

  • Anybody else had this game crash on them? Twice now in the middle of combat the game just rest on me and went back to the title screen. After the second time, when i reloaded my save, there was no game music..just sound fx. I even tried reinstalling the game and I am still not getting any music. I am pretty POed right now! I was already a couple hours in a really enjoying the game up to that point. Between the delay on psn and now this, this could be a game killer for me. I’m running pretty low on patience atm.

    • So sorry to hear you’re having issues!

      Please email support@mutekicorp.com so we can figure out what’s going on – we want to make sure whatever bugs people run into get fixed ASAP!

      As for the music, if you load into the game and go to settings, is the music volume set to 0? It’s possible when the game crashed your preferences somehow got messed up (which would persist even after reinstalling the game because it’s in the save data). Give it a shot!

  • Fixed my no music problem by deleting my “autosave” and “games settings” in the storage utility. Restarted the game and everything was back to normal. Odd! Hope this helps if anyone else runs into this problem.

    • Just “game settings” should fix the settings – “autosave” is the quicksave data it prompts you to load and resume from when starting the game.

  • Byran, didn’t see you’re message before. I should’ve checked the game settings prior to just deleting everything, but good chance you’re right on that one. If it happens again, i’ll let you know the circumstances.

  • Great game besides the couple hiccups! It’s been a nostalgic flashback to my childhood to say the least. Really enjoying this one! Highly recommend this game to anyone whos played the old school rpgs of the 8/16-bit era.

  • Level up they say… You must get stronger to survive they say…after 30 minutes of battle after battle, on the world map, saving money for armor… the game freezes… had to force start the system, luckily, it quick saves itself… but where is the xp and money for those 30 minutes… sigh, first let down, if it happens again, going back to Terra, FF VI.

  • Such a great game so far. I really love it to death. Brings me back to my childhood days. The one-liner from the woodsman…. That was priceless. But there is a really annoying glitch that has been happening to me. When exiting out of the menu, the game doesn’t allow you to move at all until you press circle again after the menu has already closed. Anyway, keep the awesomeness coming with book 2, I’m really looking forward to it!

  • Also. I’ve been experiencing game-breaking freezes in the Northern Ruins on the PS3 version. It actually makes it inpossible to access the XMB when this happens, you have to hard reset the console. Vita doesn’t seem to have these glitches in this particular dungeon.

  • I’m not enjoying this game as much as i thought i would. i love the story and graphics, but the grinding required to progress to a new area and survive is ridiculous. Enemies give so little Experience and given less money. I also don’t see a map, so its hard to remember where to go after resuming the game after a break.

    I thought this game would be a modern take on old rpg game but it feels more like an overly difficult Nes rpg that managed to just be released now, without acknowledging any progress made in rpgs in the last decade.

    Glad it only cost me $8.

    • This is the first report we’ve seen of it being overly difficult, though it is an old-school RPG and you’ll have to make sure you upgrade your armor and weapon (and equip them!) whenever you get to a new town to be successful.

      Keeping your gear up-to-date makes a HUGE difference.

  • I’m experiencing quite a few glitches today. Besides the game crashing I mentioned yesterday, its also freezing quite a bit and often requires me to actually reset my ps3 from the console. Also have had the autosave glitch on me 3 times. Not happening in a particular place, seems random. The “autosave’ icon will appear in the lower rgt corner but never dissapears, just keeps blinking. This prevents me from saving or even using the autosave when I restart the game. I have to keep going back to the most recent manual save. I’m losing quite a bit of grinding time having to restart so often. Really enjoying the game but the glitches are actually taking away from the game at this point and keeping me from playing it like I want to. Hope this feedback helps and I hope you guys can flesh out the problems with a patch in the near future.

    • We’re testing a patch now which we’ll be submitting to Sony as soon as we’re confident it fixes these issues!

  • Well it also doesn’t help that you programmed the game to give the main character a crappy hit rate. I’ve literally gone several battles where 2 or 3 consecutive hits against the enemy flat out miss. That makes no sense to add that extra level of frustration to the game.

    Its already a pain to be required to grind with the little exp and money enemies give us, but to also have to deal with missing attacks with no way of improving our accuracy is just plain crazy. I don’t remember any snes rpgs giving players this much unneeded crap to deal with.

    • The patch (mentioned just above) also addresses the hit rate issue, based on comments we’ve received (including yours!).

  • Hahaha! A friend of mine, Ryumoau got a response. Very neat. I only came to say that the game is great! Extremely fun, but I have ONE issue. The freezing, constant disabling of movement throughout parts of the game. And it is EXTREMELY ANGERING when you’re out grinding. Unbelievably so because you don’t have auto-save out there. Maybe an auto-save feature that implements itself every 15-20 minutes? On top of that finding the issue that repeatedly makes this game freeze up. My PS3 is fine, I’ll add that, but I do not get any of the problems I get on my PSVITA that I do on my PS3. Thank you for your time.

  • To iterate, I receive NO problems on the Vita version, all the way up to the same point in my game as the console version.

  • Ryumoau always thinks every game is “overly difficult”. He wants to have his hand held through everything. So, please don’t take that comment of his seriously. Real gamers appreciate the challenge.

  • Just following up to say a patch has been submitted to Sony. While we can’t guarantee it fixes 100% of the bugs people have been running into, it definitely clears up the majority of them!

    We were able to play through the entirety of the game in a single setting with no freezes / crashes!

  • Booted the game up for a few minutes (going through the living room’s games for alphabetical order & updates), and right away I’d like to request a bit:
    1) Screen scaling option. That TV cuts off the bottom border of text boxes and the tops of high letters.
    2) Allow for the de-equipping of stuff (unless I just could figure how). Wanted to read the first item’s flavor text, but I’d tapped X before I could realize.

    There may be more little niggles down the line, but given the updates on iOS (saw you posting at Touch Arcade), I’m sure you’ll make good.

  • Pfffft, well there’s making a malboro of myself posting without checking the comments again (but, then, iOS is clunky for full sites). But, then, seems mostly about glitches. I don’t offhand remember if any pixel-art games of mine have screen adjustments, but the way it looks to a witless end user here, it may not be all too problematic to implement, though that’d need some dev-based say-so. I jut hope everything settles ironed out in the end.

    Now, back to systematically booting games and notching away at houseworks!

  • @Primero – That is close to my point. When I say “definition”, I mean a positive interpretation of “ill-defined”. I think that’s part of what makes Corpse Party unsettling, despite the sprites being as clear as possible. I just differ in the exact nature of the appeal: You say it allows for a gamer’s imagination, and I say it allows for a flexible interpretations (even in the same sitting). Same general gist, but I’m one for semantics.

    And a final chirp about the scaling: I’m thinking the worry is in trying to allow separate vertical and horizontal squishes. I’d be fine with a locked aspect ratio; I’ve seen many games stick to that, even if it means a bit (or byte) of black bars.

  • Quad-post! (Too lazy to use other channels, ATM). Another niggle finally came to my ears’ attention, though it’s certainly authentic, as many times as it’s buggered me (even FFIV committed this crime): Please, unless it’s a stylistic choice, allow the background music to continue from where it stopped after exiting a battle. It’s a right shame to miss out on the latter parts of dungeon music because the random battles keep resetting the first few notes before running into another one.

    (“…you wouldn’t know how to get Castle Wester from here…”)

  • I couldn’t find instructions. Luckily, this is very much like the original genre and easy to figure out. However, this really needs an overall view screen showing: How much money are you carrying, level, xp to next level, equipment that is equipped.

    I’m on the PS3 and cannot find a screen as described above. After mashing several buttons, I managed to crash the PS3. I see sort of a screen as described above. Is that Vita only? Where is it on PS3?

    also the 1/2 gold death penalty really has to go. I don’t remember a death penalty on these kinds of games. I could be wrong but I don’t remember them.

  • found it: PS3 in the field w/o a fight going, hit triangle. most of that info is there but it’s still missing current level and TNL.

  • triple post (sorry I can’t find the edit) Looks like I found teh xp, level, and tnl. In the newly found triangle button menu, you can highlight Ogden’s name in the H/M area and hit x. Sorta a hidden menu there… With no instructions, this was a bit of a bear to locate. Spread the word to others who can’t find it.

    I’m a 40yr. old who grew up on these games, I still game today, and still had trouble finding this. Other than that, I have to say it’s a very fun game and worth the money.

  • A bit of a late response to this post (being a week old now) but wanted to let everyone here know that the patch for the PS3 version of the game should be deployed in the next hour or so!

  • I appreciated the patch because it got me through to the point I am now without crashing, freezing, or breaking.. To the point I am at now. As Jerald w/ Ramona, the portion of the game where you attempt to get a pass for 20k GP from the corrupt guard my game freezes indefinitely upon the little scene ensuing that the party must rest up at the inn before deliberating a plan in the morning. Upon that darkening of the screen my game stays black.

    On top of that, I’ve noticed in the bandit’s den/maze you can access some ladders twice to send you to a new location. You would enter the ladder going downward then go back up and down again and instead of moving left, right, or down to navigate away from it you can press up and it teleports you to another ladder within the map..

  • I’v encountered a few more but trying to explain the ladder situation confused me haha, nonetheless. As much trouble as I am having it will not stop me from purchasing Book II so long as I can finish Jerald’s story of course.

    Oh! I realized another, the Special Edition/8-bit mode can sometimes make you force save when attempting to exit the Tower of Trials on Anders’ story, sometime not allowing you to exit it at all, the fix is to simply switch back to the 16-bit mode then leave then revert back to or stay on your preferred mode.

  • Sorry, but yep. Loaded my quick save, cross-saved my data to attempt it on my Vita, same issue. Black screen, no progress. Real bummer man.

  • Not to be nuisance, but… 8-bit mode is preferred when encountering these problems. Was able to load an old save and still had the same problem, put it in 8-bit mode and on my Vita, that was MY only way out and at the end of it all too, oh my gawsh.

  • re bugs:

    Pre patch: only one crash for me and it was from mashing several buttons at once
    Post patch: crashed during save at the church. luckily the save worked.

    no further crashes.

    I’m posting a new possible bug. I can’t see how this was intended and I don’t know where else to post the bug. I see someone from the dev team posts here…

    The cave north of Cresent Cove: There is sort of a broken bridge in there. You can walk onto the black background that has blue ore veins in it. The random monster attacks still occur. They just have a rocky cave background in the fight window. You can walk all over the black background and certain ‘fencing’ blocks can be traversed so you can get back onto the map proper.

    I don’t suppose that was intended and I had my trusty Exitus ready in case.

  • Game froze again at the very end of the game after the final boss and I didn’t get mt Intermission M trophy (silver) nor had the gold trophy for completing chapters 1,2,3 popped.

  • My gold trophy for completing chapters 1-3 did not pop, it is the only trophy that did not chime in. What the F… Not getting Book II. NEVER touching this crap again. The game was unbelievably fun for a PSN title, but as I’ve already stated on the playstation blog (US) I had encountered an almost unbearable number of glitches and other issues. Not that this was this one thing to send me over the edge, it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. That’s it.

    I have saves at the very end of each playthrough and replaying them each on my Vita or PS3 (obviously) yields no positive results. Tried them both in 8-bit mode and regular 16-bit. Nothing doing. So pissed off.

    EDIT: If ANYONE has any solutions I am obviously open to them.

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