7th Dragon III Code: VFD Preview

[Demo Now Available Updated on 6/28/16]:

Are you hungry for more Japanese RPG goodness on your 3DS? Well, you’re in luck! Sega has just posted the demo for its upcoming JRPG, 7th Dragon III: Code VFD to the eShop. This will give you a hands-on look at the full retail game, hitting stores on July 12 in North America. As an added bonus, your demo save will carry over to the final game and you’ll receive something special for doing so.

For more details on the game, including initial thoughts, screens, and videos, check out our preview. Let us know what you think of the demo!

Itching to take some revenge out on the dragons? Or have an overwhelming knack for saving humanity? Good news! SEGA is releasing a demo in the Americas today for 7th Dragon III Code: VFD on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS, and you can get some hands-on time for your dungeon crawler fix!

Best part? Demo saves transfer over to the main game, and are not only encouraged, but rewarded! The demo provides players with a streamlined pre-made group with a character cap of level 10, and once you transfer the save data to the full game, you can refund all the skill points and customize the group any way you want. Oh, and notice how in the first sentence of this paragraph I say “rewarded?” Well, you’re just gonna have to play the demo to find out what we mean.

7th Dragon III Code: VFD will arrive July 12 in retail stores and on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS in the Americas. The game will be available for $39.99/CA$54.99 and has been rated T by the ESRB. For more information please visit: http://7thdragon.sega.com

In case you missed the latest gameplay video, you can check out the Battle System trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7WXpc0p18I


[Hands-On Impressions Updated on 5/31/16]:

If you’re unfamiliar with the 7th Dragon franchise, you’d be forgiven. None of the previous entries have been localized for the North American audience. Sega has seen enough potential in this newest entry to release it in our market despite it being the fourth game in the series, and our first. From what I’ve played of it thus far, I’m happy they are.

7th Dragon III Code: VFD is a turn-based Japanese RPG that is set in a distant future, or if you’ve imported and played the previous games, about 80 years after the events in 2020. Tokyo has since recovered from the attacks of the True Dragons, with the epic battles fading into distant memory. Unfortunately, the dragons have cursed the land with a toxin, which has led to the Dragon Sickness. This disease is ravaging the peace-loving people with no cure in sight.

Now a gaming company in Tokyo, Nodens, has developed an interactive fighting simulation game called 7th Encount, based on the dragon invasions of the prior two games. Many gamers have flocked to the city to give it a try and to battle it out to see who is the best. Your character decides to try it out and performs at extraordinary levels, catching the attention of the dragon hunters, who are in desperate need of capable recruits because, as luck would have it, the dragons have returned to destroy civilization. It will be up to you, and your team, to hunt down the invading dragons in order to save the planet.

At the beginning of the game you will need to create your character. You will be able to pick its class, gender, and design. The same goes for your party members as well. The customization is fairly light, with only a couple of options for styles and appearance, and a handful of voice options. The most important choice you will make is what class you want your characters to be, as you’ll be locked into this decision until you progress past level 30. Your party group will consist of three total members, although that will increase later in your adventures.

The classes you select will determine everything about that character, from its offense and defense to its skills and attacks. At the start of the game you’ll have access to four different classes, and four more will open up as the game progresses. The initial choices are: Samurai, Agent, Duelist, and God Hand. Each has wildly different attacks and systems. For my party I went with a Samurai, an Agent, and a God Hand.

The Duelist looked fun, but seemed like it might be somewhat complex and a class I might visit later on in the game. He or she uses trading cards to attack, bringing monsters to life to fight for them. The Duelists will need to have specific cards in their hands to use corresponding skills. This sounds like a fun way to battle, but also a little daunting. I’m looking forward to experimenting with the class later on.

The Samurai is a starter character that is probably one of the most well balanced as he or she has good offensive and defensive attributes. Two weapon types can be used: swords and dual blades. When using a sword, fighting stances can be changed to utilize different skills in combat. Thanks to these options, you’ll have a variety of skills at your disposal to take on all sorts of enemy types. So far, I’m very happy with this choice.

The Agent sounds really cool because of his or her hacking abilities. If an enemy succumbs to the hack, on the next turn more skills can be unleashed to cause havoc, such as manipulating the hacked enemies to turn on one another and fight for you. In my early time with the game I found this ability to often miss, thus wasting a turn. Thankfully the access to guns as the primary weapon helps offset this shortcoming, but so far he’s the weakest member of my party.

The God Hand is a pretty cool class to mess around with. The skill attack power ramps up turn after turn as you pummel the enemy with an ever-growing set of attacks. For example, in order to use a mid-tier skill attack, you first have to land a low-level skill attack. You build up these attacks so that every turn you continue to deal more and more damage. This is great against difficult enemies and boss characters. If you happen to have more than one God Hand in your party, they can feed off one another’s successful attacks, so you can quickly ramp up the damage. So far I really enjoy having this class in my party.

Battles are very similar to those seen in traditional turn-based RPGs. You can take as much time as you like on your turn to decide what action each party member will take. In addition to the traditional fight, guard, and use an item options, you can also use skills that you’ve learned to unleash magical attacks. As the battles progress, your exhaust gage will fill up. Once full, you can select the Exhaust command on your turn to unleash a stronger action. There is also and Exhaust Skill that will only appear once the exhaust gauge has filled up, which will allow for massive attacks, or if you’re choosing a healing skill, it will offer up some much-needed aid. It’s also possible to gain an extra turn in battling by utilizing React abilities. The battle system really becomes deeper the more you play, with new strategies presenting themselves as new skills are learned.

The story in the game so far is pretty good and the dialog is fun to read. I like the futuristic setting, although you will be traveling through time so that does change things up. The graphics are pretty average for a 3DS game, and I’m not happy that there isn’t any 3D at all in the game. I really like to play with the 3D effects turned up in my games, so it was disappointing to see it completely omitted. On the brighter side, the soundtrack is pretty amazing so far. I’m really digging the music in the game, and it gave me a little bit of a Phantasy Star Online vibe. The masterful Yuzo Koshiro (Streets of Rage, Actraiser, and many more) composed the soundtrack, so if you’re a fan of his work (like I am), you’re in for a treat.

I’m still fairly early on in the game (about ten hours), but I plan on playing all through June to be done in time for a full review when the game launches on July 12. My early impressions are pretty positive, as the game is unique enough to set itself apart from many other JRPGs out there. If you have any questions about the game, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll answer them.


[Samples From Art Book Updated on 4/12/16]:


[Character Creation Trailer Updated on 4/5/16]:

Official release date announced as July 12, 2016 in the U.S.


[Art Book Included With Preorders Announced on 2/23/16]:



[Added Trailer #2 To Preview on 2/16/16]:


[Original Preview]:

It looks like the year of the Japanese role-playing games on 3DS is going to continue with a new entry just announced from Sega! 7th Dragon III Code: VFD (don’t look at me, I don’t come up with these names) was just announced for a U.S. release this summer. Of course you may ask yourself, where are 7th Dragon parts I & II? Well, apparently those came out over the past few years, with the first one hitting the original Nintendo DS in Japan back in 2009. So, the chance of us getting either of those games is pretty slim. I suppose they kept the III in the name to avoid confusion, but of course it also adds a bit of confusion in the process.

So, the game is set in the year 2100 and dragons have invaded the Earth, dining on mankind, as dragons often do. Of course the natural thing to do is to team up with a video game company to become a dragon hunter and save the planet. This company has figured out the intricacies of time travel, allowing you to explore three different locations: the fabled city of Atlantis, the futuristic capital of the land of Eden, and present-day Tokyo. All of this leads up to the final fight with the 7th Dragon: VFD.

According to Sega, this dungeon-crawling game has a deep party system with plenty of character customization options. You can have two members in the field and up to nine in the party. There are eight different classes, 40 voice options, and 96 appearance choices. Between taking on challenges and battling monsters, you will also be creating your base of operations. Here you will develop new skills, take on new side quests, and develop social skills via dating.

If you’re into crazy plots and love a good Japanese RPG, this game could be one to watch out for. It’s nice to see Sega jumping back into the fray with some of their Japanese stable of games. Check out the official site at 7thdragon.sega.com.

The full press release is below:

The age of dragons is nigh, as SEGA of America, Inc., will localize and release 7th Dragon III Code: VFD in the Americas. The turn-based, dungeon crawling RPG for the Nintendo 3DS™ system pits players to save the world with a group of highly customizable characters with diverse party roles, such as Rune Knight, God Hand and more. In between dungeon crawling sorties, there’s also base building, dating, and a cat café (really). While this is the first of the 7th Dragon series to be released outside of Japan, the story is comprehensive, so no prior knowledge of the series is necessary. When it arrives this summer in retail stores and on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS, 7th Dragon III: Code VFD will be available for $39.99/CA$54.99.

In 7th Dragon III Code: VFD, the world is engulfed in a time of darkness and great peril. In the year 2100, dragons have descended upon Earth and humanity is at the mercy of these terrifying beasts. However, not all is lost. As the protagonist, the player will team up with Nodens Enterprises — a video game company dedicated to stopping the dragon menace — to become a dragon hunter and eventual savior of the universe. Although times are bleak, Nodens Enterprises has found a way to tip the scales in favor of mankind: By traveling through time to three different eras, the protagonist can upset the balance of the dragons’ power. This will give them the edge to defeat the True Dragons, and stand a chance against the most powerful one of them all… the 7th Dragon: VFD.

In a quest for the ages, players will explore numerous dungeons in the mythical kingdom of Atlantis, futuristic capital of the land of Eden, and present-day Tokyo. Fighting enemies and dragons can’t be done by just one person, so thankfully the protagonist won’t be doing it alone. The main character can be joined by two squad members in the field, and have up to nine characters in their party. With eight distinct classes, 40 voice options, and 96 appearance variations, gamers can create and customize the perfect dragon hunting team to their heart’s content. Each dragon takes immense skill and cunning strategy to defeat, so choosing the right squad — and right look — is paramount.

Besides traveling through time and desperately trying to save the Earth , the team can unwind at Nodens Enterprises HQ where they can develop character skills, participate in numerous side quests, and even go on dates. Moreover, new floors can be added to the building with essential support areas such as a library, skylounge, cat café, and evacuation wards. Wait, cat café? That’s right — stray cats can be rescued during dungeon crawls and brought back HQ to lounge at the cat café. And yes, while people can be rescued as well, cats are clearly the priority.

7th Dragon III Code: VFD will be available this summer exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS systems in the Americas. The game is rated T by the ESRB. For more information, please visit 7thdragon.sega.com


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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