Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Tested on: Nintendo 3DS
7th Dragon III Code: VFD – Review
A lot of people like dragons and secretly hope that they were real. Imagine some majestic creatures roaming freely and giving the possibility to get another type of transportation. Some of this species aren’t that friendly and this is something they surely recognise in 7th Dragon III Code: VFD, where Earth is being haunted by these beings, driving our race closer to extinction. You’ll be a crucial part whether mankind will survive or perish.
7th Dragon III Code: VFD is situated in a world where dragons are probably the most deadly creatures. The problems began in the year 2020, when the True Dragons picked out this planet to land upon and wreak havoc. One of the extra difficulties is that these beasts bring something called ‘Dragonsbane’, making people incurably sick. If it was not for Unit 13, the world would have ended there and then. These heroic fighters repelled the attack and everyone could breathe again.
Almost 80 years later, the Nodens Enterprise is a video game company that has created a game that gives you the possibility to relive the events that happened all those years ago. You can also take a shot in this trial and by wonder, you’re qualified to be called a dragon hunter. This is the start of quite an adventure, as it seems as yet another apocalypse is getting near. With no real guardians to protect Earth, they searched for a way to halt the 7 True Dragons. Nodens have found a way to stop even the most powerful one of them all, VFD, by travelling through time to get samples of the other specimen. This seems a noble cause, but there is also the ISDF or International Self-Defense Force that was established to protect everyone from a new attack and they’re not too keen on this operation. In the end, it will be a fierce battle to find all what’s needed to stop the destruction of Earth and to win the trust of your superiors of both organizations.
As this is an RPG, it is natural that there is an extensive storyline. Albeit the subject ‘Dragons’ is commonly used, the narrative has enough new elements to keep you interested. For instance, the combination with the time-travelling part surely is a fun factor, while the possibilities to expand the building and even date are some nice bonuses as well.
This game is available for the Nintendo 3DS so you can expect not the cleanest quality but a lot of color and details. Depending on your location, your surroundings are filled with plants, Dragonsbane, rubbish or just furniture and decorations. All of these segregated environments make it so much more fun to go to a new site as it feels like opening a present. The color schemes seems like they’re fit together nicely and emphasizes the all the different hues.
The same can be said about the characters. There are several designs you can choose between, all with an alternative version and each of them have three different color schemes. Although that’s the only possibilities you have to design a character, next to the voice and class, it is enough to get at least a differentiated team with some characters to your liking. In-game, the sprites of the characters are more pixelated, but you can still recognise the different settings you’ve picked.
Something that might seem a bit off in comparison with other RPGs is that the music is rather up-tempo and tends to lean on or got some influences from the more ‘harder’ music styles. If you’re a fan of beats, you’ll surely like what you hear but don’t expect a full song. On the other hand, if you’re not too keen of those up-tempo thumps, the combination with other musical instruments gives it a really nice touch and makes it fun to listen to and gives you that extra determination to kick some dragon butt. This type of music isn’t played all the time, as there are some more ‘relaxing’ tracks as well, but nothing really classical as seen in similar games.
Voice acting wise, you can choose the voices of your characters on creation but you’ll be hearing short catchphrases rather than full conversations. This isn’t really a bad thing, although it would have been nice if there was more to it. Sound effects on the other hand are quite present as well, from swinging your weapon and hitting foes to the poisonous cloud of spores that give you some nasty ailments. The combination of the effects and soundtrack make it quite an experience to play and make it so much more fun to bash some skulls.
7th Dragon III Code: VFD is an RPG where you are in charge of saving the world by getting samples of True Dragons. Of course, you don’t have to tackle these creatures alone, as this would lead to a certain suicide. Before you jump into battle, you can create your own team by registering new members. You can choose the appearance and class of each of them, giving you a lot of freedom when strategizing. At the beginning, only a selection of the possibilities are available as the rest needs to be unlocked while playing the game.
Each team consists out of three members and there can be up to three parties, giving you the possibility to have 9 different classes with you at all times. It is a good idea to think thoroughly on how to split each group as there are quite some different actions you can take during battle. Of course, the leading party is the one that is standing on the front-line, taking blows and dealing damage. Next to them, the two back-lines are also useful in battle as support, being a buddy or doing a unison attack.
Teaming up with a back team as support means that all three members must at least have obtained two bars in order to be able to use their support skill to help the first team. When not all members of the other teams have filled in at least two bars, you can also choose to perform a buddy attack, specifically for one member. This means that the rear support loses his saved bars but performs a secondary attack that can activate a ‘Break’, shattering an enemies defences. If you’ve waited long enough, all three teams can perform one devastating attack which can surely change the flow of the battle. Before all of these possibilities become available, the rear members need to fill some bars, which is done by waiting turns. Depending on the class, they need more turns than other people so it might be a good idea to make one team with low turn costs, while the other one has a higher waiting time. Otherwise, it will be hard to get a support or unison attack.
If you have your team(s) selected, it is also important to get your gear in check. Even the slightest improvement of armor or weaponry can lead to an immense difference. Next to one piece of armor, you can also wear up to two accessories, giving you the opportunity to gain the upper hand in battle. The shop in the Nodens base has these items for hand but you need to upgrade and expand the building before you can get access to new items. For instance, the item development has it influence. Regarding this matter, there are also rooms or facilities that don’t really have a value for the battling aspect but has other purposes. The Skylounge is one of the key elements for your dating life. You can befriend and get intimate with all of the characters (even ones you’ve created yourself), which gives quite a colorful aspect to the game. Before you can actually build new facilities, you’ll need Dz which is obtained from killing dragons. There are dozens of them available while venturing to find True Dragons, giving you the opportunity to gain better items or the love of your life.
Next to battling these nasty creatures you can also accept quests to bonuses and other goodies. This doesn’t mean that you always need to kill enemies, it sometimes also require you to fetch certain items or talk to certain key characters. It certainly adds some extra possibilities to the game. The only downside is that the battling system might get a bit tedious after a while. When you encounter enemies, you get a first-person view and you can choose everyone’s attacks or you can opt to go for a full auto battle. Depending on the enemies, the latter is a good idea when you know you can win by just using normal attacks. If you need some skills, it might be a good idea to choose your actions yourself. When everything is set, the turn starts and you can see how your actions unfold. Skills can be learned by spending skill points, which can be obtained by using certain special items or by killing enemies. Each class has their own particular abilities, both active as passive, and after learning them it is also possible to improve them. Depending on your playstyle you should pick for other skills of course.
If you’re looking for an all-round game that provides more than some questing, you’ll surely like 7th Dragon III Code: VFD. Next to the quite unique combination of dragons and time travelling, you’re also treated with a colorful world and some great tracks. Although the combat might get a bit tedious after a while, you’re still in for a lot of fun.