Dragon Quest is a big name in the world of RPGs, considering it carries a slew of high quality games that bolster great RPG elements and solid stories that constantly leave players wanting more.Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below isn’t your typical Dragon Quest game, but if you love the franchise or if you want a somewhat light introduction to the series’ characters and world, Dragon Quest Heroes will take you on an adventure you’ll be delighted to be a part of.

It’s somewhat awkward to play a Dragon Quest game that doesn’t include a good story. I’m not saying that the story in this game is bad per se, just rather generic. From the get go, you’ll be thrown into a beautiful cinematic showing a world where humans and monsters live in harmony, something the series has never shown before. True to the derivative nature of the story, an evil force turns these monsters against mankind and its up to you to stop whoever is behind the chaos.

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You’ll be choosing from one of the male or female protagonists when you start your adventure, without the ability to switch between them later on. This give the game a slight replay value if you choose to go along for the ride a second time as a member of the opposite sex. Throughout your adventure, you’ll encounter iconic Dragon Quest characters from different games of the franchise. Dragon Quest fans will find it very humbling as these characters boast a unique look and role in the story. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, the story doesn’t have much to offer in terms of big twists or awe inspiring moments, so don’t expect to be blown away. However, the lighthearted storytelling of the franchise can still be found here. Though the tale of Dragon Quest Heroes is a dark one, it maintains that charm, and you’ll be smile at the end of almost every cutscene.

Dragon Quest Heroes isn’t your typical Dragon Quest game. We’ve already established that when it comes to story, but that also true for the gameplay. Unlike previous games in the series, Heroes is a Mosou game, which means that it follows the mechanics of games such as Dynasty Warriors. Instead of completing objectives like conquering or recovering lost areas, Dragon Quest Heroes is about clearing areas on a map one at a time. Though the enemies are varied and numerous, the issue remains that AI isn’t really the best overall and each battle can be easily won. Of course, the challenge ramps up when giant creatures start to storm the battlefield creating these epic moments of struggle to take them out.

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A new feature that’s unique to Dragon Quest Heroes is the use of monster tokens. During your battles, monster tokens may drop, which you can then use on the battlefield. These monster tokens are one-use only and they stay where you deploy them. I found enjoying a tower-defense like gameplay as I deployed monsters to guard areas while I explored the map. It was very refreshing to see those monsters hold their own as we went about, or when we fought side by side to protect the area they were assigned to.

Your party will consist of four members, each with upgradable skill and weapons. It’s not a deep skill tree and weapons upgrade system, but it adds to the fun factor of the game. Since your party of four is always with you, I was kind of disappointed by the lack of multiplayer. The battlefield was obviously meant for multiple members of the party, and co-op really felt absent. This decision baffled me since other Mosou games implemented some sort of multilayer with their games.

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There’s no denying it, Dragon Quest Heroes one good looking game. The characters all look unique and fit right in with amazingly inventive monster design. It’s surprising to see just how much action there can b on one screen as you send dozens of monsters flying, or execute one of your visually impressive special moves. The voice acting may be cheesy and over the top, but it’s always been a part of Dragon Quest’s charm. As I played, I couldn’t help but think about the future of Dragon Quest since Dragon Quest Heroes seems to be hinting of how beautiful future games in the series can get.

Dragon Quest Heroes is an enjoyable experience, complete with adorable characters that you can’t help but smile when you look at them. Though the story lacks depth and the absence of Multiplayer maybe bothersome, the intense gameplay and outstanding visual presentation is a marvel to experience. If you’re a Dragon Quest fan or a Mousou fan, this game is a certain mush have.


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