It’s not even been three months since their last release, but Wales Interactive and Good Gate Media are back again with a new FMV for us to lap up.
Mia and the Dragon Princess is quite a departure from the grounded tale of speed dating that we enjoyed in February’s Ten Dates. It might, in fact, be the most adventurous tale that Good Gate Media has tackled to date. Dealing with ancient pirate legends, a mysterious woman seemingly from the past, and thugs desperate to get their hands on long-lost treasure, it’s action-packed from start to finish. Or, well, it can be, depending on which choices you make.
Of course, like all of Wales Interactive’s published FMV games, Mia and the Dragon Princess has a branching narrative, and how the story unfolds will depend on what choices you make as you play. It focuses on the titular Mia, a barmaid working in a pirate-themed pub in London. A normal shift gets turned on its head when she meets Marshanda, a mysterious woman who can’t speak English – but seemingly needs Mia’s help.
Over the course of the next hour or so, you’ll accompany the pair on a romp that sees them engage in over-the-top combat, fighting off thugs, firing cannons and, hopefully, unravelling Marshanda’s past and figuring out why she’s here.
We’ve played through Mia and the Dragon Princess twice, in the process uncovering around two-thirds of all possible scenes. Both playthroughs were wildly different, however. In our first, we were finished in not much more than half an hour, with its story feeling rushed and incomplete. We had no choice but to jump back in to try and work out what was going on. Thankfully, our second playthrough was much more fleshed-out, allowing us to fully understand the game’s story.
We’d recommend multiple playthroughs, then, but it should be a game that tells a fully-formed tale regardless of the choices you make. That wasn’t the case for our first playthrough: our path was erratic and it was hard to grasp any kind of narrative. Had our second playthrough – with different choices leading to a different path through the game – been our first, we’d have walked away much more satisfied, with a more complete picture of Mia and the Dragon Princess‘s story.
As you’d expect, from a full-motion video game that deals in pirates, ancient treasures and combat against goons, it’s very over-the-top, with plenty of cheese. But if you’ve ever played a game from Wales Interactive before, you’ll know that it’s part and parcel of the experience, and part of the reason why these games are beloved. Their production values aren’t exactly Hollywood standard, but it doesn’t matter when the overall tale is so entertaining.
In the case of Mia and the Dragon Princess, it helps massively that the acting from the two leading ladies is so excellently done. Dita Tantang shines as the mysterious Marshanda, offering plenty of comical moments alongside her ass-kicking action scenes. And Noa Bleeker shines as Mia, who keeps the story grounded and relatable despite its far-fetched premise.
Is Mia and the Dragon Princess our favourite FMV game from Wales Interactive and Good Gate Media? Perhaps not, but that’s not to say we didn’t enjoy our time with it. Its story might be ridiculous, but with plenty of action – and a surprising amount of cheesy gore – it kept us highly entertained from start to finish. It’s just a shame that the choices you make can leave you with a half-baked experience that doesn’t truly represent what this story should be.