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There is fan service in there, and some people will look at that and the anime trappings and not be able to move past it, but underneath this exterior lies a heart that is in many ways the precise opposite of what you might be expecting. It's almost - dare I say it - feminist in the critique it provides over the way that women are treated in this fairy tale world.
Overall I had a lot of fun with Varnir. Yeah, the plot is a little trope filled and cliché to an extent, but the battle system was really fun, and I felt like I was playing a sort of pokemon-esque devouring game. While that sentence may need some work, the “collectible upgrading system” was pretty fun, and I’d always try to eat as many enemies as I could. Is Varnir perect? Maybe not, But 8 out of 10 witches would probably promote it.
It's anime based characters appearance, and the game's overall look, are par for the course when it comes to games by Compile Heart and Idea Factory. Scratch the surface, however, and you'll find a gem of a game that's both enjoyable in terms of story and gameplay.
Dragon Star Varnir is a JRPG through and through, with all the JRPG tropes you can shake a stick at. Being a Compile Heart game, it has the fan service to boot. Along with the fan service, there is a relationship building a decent story and feeding young kids raw meat (don’t try that at home).
While it still maintains some of the annoying quirks of past Compile Heart titles, Dragon Star Varnir is worth playing for its fantastic battle system and likeable characters.
Dragon Star Varnir isn’t perfect. The narrative starts out pretty rough and the environs can also look dated at times. Despite those shortcomings, the storytelling also has powerful moments and forces you to mull over some tough choices. The witch designs are also neat and its dragon-devouring mechanic also has a bit of a Pokemon vibe to it that will make you want to catch ‘em all. Dragon Star Varnir may not provide the best of first impressions. Give it some time, however, and you might find a game that pleasantly surprises you in the end.
Dragon Star Varnir is a dark tragic fated RPG that covers the struggle of the Witches of Varneria as they search for a way to break their fate. The character designs are alluring along with their fitting outfits. Players can easily find one or more that resonates with them. If you're in the mood for a dark game with enthralling girls, you might like this title.
If you want an enjoyable RPG to add to your collection or are a fan of Idea Factory/Compile Heart or dragons and buxom magic users, by all means, add this one to your collection and devour all the fun and engagement it offers.
Dragon Star Varnir shows that Compile Heart/Idea Factory have developers with great ideas, but lack the resources to fully elaborate them. It's a good game, but it gives the impression that it could have been much more if it reached its full potential.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
So performance issues aside, Dragon Star Varnir was definitely a breath of fresh air from Compile Heart and Idea Factory. Settling in with a darker storyline and one hell of a combat system, the characters are all well written and the voice acting was damned near flawless with generally secondary voice actors taking the main stage. I would definitely like to see more experiences like this down the line that rely less on super comedic shenanigans and instead something much more serious.
Dragon Star Varnir is another step in the right direction by the people at Compile Heart, with a mature storyline and a solid combat system. To achieve higher goals, better graphics and smoother gameplay are needed, but JRPG fans will undoubtedly enjoy it.
Review in Italian | Read full review
While I could see this review of Dragon Star Varnir coming off as overly critical, I'd say it's more safe than anything else. There is nothing wrong with following a commonly used story, sticking to what you've done in the past and trying your best to make each experience a little different. I don't know if I'd say Dragon Star Varnir will stand out besides the lovely character designs, but it's a game that, if nothing else, fans of their previous work will likely enjoy.
Compile Heart has become increasingly proficient at producing titles with dark premises and Dragon Star Varnir is proof of that. And fortunately, unlike other Galapagos RPG titles, the focus on narrative doesn't leave the actual gameplay hanging by the wayside.
Dragon Star Varnir knows its limitations and only tries to hide them in the first hours. The combat system is the only positive thing to defend in this video game. The rest, however, seems a little bit disappointing beyond the design of main characters.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
If you love these small, niche JRPGs and can snag a copy of Dragon Star Varnir at a discount, I'd say pick it up. The $60 price point for recycled assets and a game that has more reading than voice over just seems a little too steep for me. But hey, that's just one girl's opinion.
Dragon Star Varnir's dark world of witches and warfare is unlike anything else Compile Heart and Idea Factory have put out. Unfortunately, the experience is brought down by less than stellar visuals and doesn't make the most of its main gameplay innovations.. There's an interesting story to unfold here, but actually playing the game to get to it might be a challenge best left unmet.