Dragons and fantasies have a very synergistic relationship

Released last August, the original Dragon Fantasy for iOS was met with a lot of positive reviews. Its quirky sense of humor and 8-bit appearance left many feeling nostalgic for a simpler time, back when you rarely (if ever) heard the word “polygonal”. With Dragon Fantasy II, the upcoming sequel, developer Muteki Corporation is hoping to shift gears to the 16-bit era of gaming. So what’s changed?

Most immediately, the appearance. Where the original featured graphics that wouldn’t feel out of place on the NES, Dragon Fantasy II‘s style is a little more reminiscent of the SNES. For the most part, anyhow — the game will also feature a 3D overworld map not unlike what you’d see in a PS1 RPG. 

Dragon Fantasy II

The combat will also see a change, shifting from the first-person view of the original over to a combination of real time and turn-based this time around. As you make your way through the game, you’ll encounter enemies roaming the land in real time. If you choose to go up against them, you’ll enter a turn-based battle scenario not unlike what you encounter in most RPGs. Furthermore, nearby enemies will have the ability to jump in on the action, potentially leaving you outnumbered and forced to flee. All in all, it sounds like a clever way to inspire players to really think through how they want to act in battle.

On the bright side of things, your friends will be able to assist you in battle via the game’s cooperative multiplayer. Players can join your party and roam the world independently, but they can also jump into a battle if you find yourself overwhelmed. It’s a strikingly modern feature for a game this steeped in retro sensibilities, but not the only one.

Dragon Fantasy II When you encounter enemies on the map that are far below your current level, your characters will destroy them then and there and not bother to place you into a pointless battle. Words cannot convey how badly I wish other RPGs would provide the same thing. Except maybe Pokemon, because fighting pidgeys and rattatas ad nauseam is a dyed in the wool tradition at this point.

The lack of a release date is disheartening, but good RPGs tend to take a long time to make. Besides, it gives everyone time to ruminate on the fact that a retro-inspired game features elements that even most modern RPGs have yet to attempt. That, I feel, sums up what makes the indie and mobile scenes so fantastic.