Gears of Dragoon: Fragments of a New Era is an old-school dungeon crawler JRPG by the Japanese studio Ninetail, the same studio that brought you the VenusBlood games, now fully uncensored and localized into English by JAST.
The original Japanese title is actually the second game in a series. However, each game is a standalone adventure so there’s no impact on the game’s playability.
My favorite thing about this title is its worldbuilding, which is complex and fascinating. The character customization is extensive, too — you can choose each piece of gear your party wears, what skills they learn as they advance up skill trees, and what upgrades they want from available guilds.
The variety of characters you can add to your party makes the experience personalized, as well. Because Gears of Dragoon: Fragments of a New Era is an eroge, the majority of potential allies are sexy women, who come in a range of character types and all have charming designs. I personally really love Ashley, a half-dragon who wants to be a singer and who is endearingly tsundere.
The extensive story offers a variety of locations. There are also side-story quests you can choose to complete, which embellish the dynamics between Rustar, the protagonist, and the other characters in the party. Watching these small interactions play out and develop the relationships between everyone felt rewarding.
Gears of Dragoon: Fragments of a New Era will test your dungeon-crawling experience. But, if you’re here for the adventure, you can select an easier difficult setting. However, if you love the genre, you have a wild ride waiting for you!
I’d compare this game to Etrian Odyssey, Phantasy Star 1, and Shin Megami Tensei. Gears of Dragoon: Fragments of a New Era continues in the spirit of these games, but updates dungeon exploration with a Diablo-like isometric presentation and deepens the story with complex characters and charged erotic content.
I sank countless hours into this game and have many fond memories of it. I’m sure this will be the case for many other players — there’s so much to discover and explore. Preorder Gears of Dragoon: Fragments of a New Era from JAST USA.