Review – Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice

I’m really torn about this game.

On one hand you have a love letter to JRPGs of old. The development team designed characters and battle system that are inspired by Chrono Trigger series. The music is charming but none of the tunes stuck with me, these are not pieces you will be humming in the shower.

My biggest gripe with this game is the lack of polish. There are tons of game breaking bugs in the game. Put a monster to sleep to capture them. Game crashes. Try to record footage and exit the game. Game crashes. Fight a trivial monster after a boss fight in a specific location. Game crashes.

Then there are the minor bugs like walking through walls and getting stuck. Meeting goals for achievements that don’t actually unlock the achievement. Bugs happen but what’s frustrating is that the developers don’t care! Look at the discussion board on Steam, a few bugs are listed with no comments from Muteki! I emailed their support email with a link to a private video of the steps to take to break the game and they never looked at the video (the view count never went up).

There’s a bug where your cursor gets stuck in your menu and there’s no way to get out. There’s also a distinctive lack of polish in the menus. There’s no way to scroll down by page and instead you must go down item per item. This gets very tedious at the end of the game when you’ve accumulated a ton of items! It’s even worse when you go to equip something, why is it that when I go to equip a chest piece that it doesn’t put me in the chest piece items and instead in the “all” category?

Why can’t I reorganize my spells? The low level spells are useless at the end of the game so in each turn I have to scroll down passed all the useless spells to the bottom of my skill list (remember, no scroll by page only item per item). This makes each battle takes a lot longer than they should!

There’s also questionable design decisions like a heavy reliance on RNGesus. You miss ALL THE TIME. Most modern role playing games seem to be moving away from this gimmick but Muteki seems to stick to old design patterns.

I want Muteki to succeed and I want more indie JRPGs like Dragon Fantasy but I cannot recommend this game unless you’re starved for an old school RPG. I will play/buy the next chapter (as I said, I want more of these kinds of games) but I hope Muteki gets their act together.