Dragon Quest is a popular franchise that has spawned numerous titles and inspired countless others. It features artwork from Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. The franchise has finally made its way to Steam in the form of Dragon Quest Heroes. So now everyone can play and enjoy.
Now being honest with you all, I started playing Final Fantasy first and didn’t learn or realize that Dragon Quest was the initial starting point that helped inspire Final Fantasy. The first time I ever even learned about it in the sense of the series was from “The Hero Yoshihiko and the Demon King’s Castle”; a live-action parody of the Dragon Quest series, not pointing the figure exclusively at Dragon Quest Heroes. Now I recommend that if you are new to the Dragon Quest franchise, do not start with the parody! It made playing the game incredibly difficult because I couldn’t stop laughing at all the references or take the game seriously much of the time.
That said, I did really enjoy the title. Its mechanics and combat are solid, in comparison to the classic turn-based battle systems I grew up with…although this title is meant to be played like a lot of hack-and-slashes. See the enemies, go up to the enemies and kill the enemies until the map is cleared. This is a system that has seen a lot of play in One Piece Pirate Warriors and also in the Dynasty Warriors franchise.
The only real issue I encountered in the game was its DLC since this is the “Slime Edition.” You start the game with some stronger weapons named after “Slimes”, the Dragon Quest series’ token mascot. However, the DLC also promises two extra maps to play on. This is where I draw on the problem. When a company says it will give you two extra maps, you expect two completely “from the ground up” maps that have their own unique look and style. However what Square Enix has gone and done is simply take a map, place a whole bunch of Slimes on it and say it’s a new map. If you can categorize the definition of a map by what exists in a certain area then you most certainly can provide a reasonable excuse that this DLC is perfectly fine and that the fanbase should not be disappointed. Now apart from that one issue I have experienced in this game, I want to jump right back into the overall title itself.
The controls for the game are pretty straightforward: press X or Y for attacks and link them together to perform stronger moves. Y is the heavy attack and X is the faster but lighter attack. Holding either RB or RT will enable you to use spells and abilities that are dependent on the current character you are playing. At the start of the game, you have the option to play as either a male or female hero. But regardless of whom you pick they are identical in every way, except the male character has a penchant for fire-based moves whereas the female prefers ice-based moves.
Their overall personalities clash as well in terms of being complete opposites. The male is a critical thinker and the female rushes head-first into things, which can often lead to problems. Other characters you encounter along the way add a wide variety of combat support, from ranged attackers to powerful fighters. Theirs is a vast variety waiting to be used to create your optimum party.
The musical score in the game is top notch and I do get a good chuckle out of it after seeing Yoshihiko, knowing they reuse a lot of the tracks in every game they make…just revamping the overall quality and tune. But what I most loved about the game is the cut-scenes; simple and flawless with a huge amount of effort put into each and every one. As a bonus you can re-watch them anytime you want from your giant castle airship.
In conclusion, the game is made really well from cut scenes, musical scores, and flawless controls. It is easy for new players to get into this hack-and-slash genre, as well as the Dragon Quest storyline. The only area where the game fails is when they say they are offering us unique DLC and they blatantly lie about it. If they put as much effort into creating extra maps as they did with their cutscenes, then the game would truly stand out even more.
But it feels like near the end they just stopped caring and hoped no one would notice.
Do I recommend Dragon Quest Heroes though? Actually yea I totally do. The story, characters, and musical score are all simply amazing. The game is still really fun to play, despite its one sin. So if you get the chance, I recommend you pick it up!
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