Review by Evil_MetaliKaT

"Welcome to the Dragon Quest experience :3"

A new Dragon Quest game has been released, and while many old school gamers rejoice, some others less fortunate young fellows wonder about the past seven prequels, some even say you can rest assure by one fact: A game with so many installments must be fun~! Well... I hear all those people say this game is made for old school, and while they may be right there is only one thing that is certain: It sure is on top of it's game.

Now for the analysis of this game...

NOTE: Scores go from 1 up to 10 and they are interpreted as: (1) being non-impressive, (3) Average, (5) Neat, (8) Impressive, (10) ALL MY WOOTZ R BELONG TO THIS D:, if you can understand this you'll have a better understanding of this review (A (5) doesn't mean a bad grade for example)

Graphics [9]
This is one of those rare games where the developers spent many extra hours polishing every detail and corner of every field, city, dungeon and so on. Day turns to night and then to day as time passes. This game makes a subtle good use of cel-shading, main characters, NPCs and enemies are all well designed and fit the game's mood perfectly, you'll quickly recognize the Akira Toriyama kind of character design. Cut scenes are entertaining and all the elements from the past DQ games have been brought to 3D successfully. All in all, the good graphics you would expect from SquareEnix which tie all the game experience together.

Sound [7]
The music is almost all orchestrated and it gives that feeling of 'grand adventuring', it's not the kind of soundtrack you'd want to buy online immediately, but it is enjoyable, old gamers will immediately recognize some classic songs from old DQ games. Game sounds are intended to feel like you're playing one of the first DQ games and they do bring the nostalgic gamer some memories, although new gamers might find them somewhat out of place. Voice acting is good, with an english accent, which may be enjoyable or annoying, depending on the gamer, but in the cut scenes they work just fine, but as this is one of those games where the main character doesn't talk, you might find it kind of awkward how nobody ever speaks the character name, given the fact that you may name that character as you please.

Gameplay [5]
The old school feeling of this game is a divided opinion, the sad truth is that this game lacks any new additions to RPG gameplay, all the battle elements that are present here are basic at most. Battles are turn-based and easy to pick up for the casual gamer, hardcore gamers will find this aspect to be lacking, although, the game's difficulty is higher than average. Later in the game you will be able to use an 'Alchemy Pot' to mix certain items and create better and rarer items, such as weapons, defensive equipment, healing items and tools, if you like this kind of thing you'll find it extremely entertaining to be looking for recipes to create better and better equipment. I for one enjoyed this puzzling feature, it is made much more simple and intuitive than in other games. Character advancement is rather limited, stats automatically increase as you level up, the only choice you have is to spend skill points that are gained when reaching a higher level to improve your proficiency with a certain weapon and/or gain special abilities.

Story [8]
I consider an RPG's most important aspect to be it's story and how well it manages to tell it, and boy am I glad to tell you this has one of the most envolving plots I've seen lately. I asure you, don't be discouraged by the beginning, it gets much better as you keep getting further. As I stated before, voice acting is superb, and it does a great job in the telling of this story. I won't spoil anything, that's for you to enjoy :3

Final Words
This game is an excellent homage to the roots of Dragon Quest. And it is enjoyable by both old and new gamers. If this game is not your cup of tea, worry not, Grandia III is just around the corner. Whichever you choose there's nothing but good times ahead for you :3

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/03/06

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