Improving the Dynasty Warriors Formula With Dragon Quest Heroes - PreviewVGChartz Staff , posted on 12 October 2015 / 5,027 Views
I used to spend a lot of time playing the first couple of Dynasty Warriors games with a buddy of mine on the PS2, but as they transitioned over to the next generation I lost interest because of their repetitiveness. When I learned of Hyrule Warriors, I was intrigued as it could have been a nice blend of the two game types, but ultimately it felt too much like DW to me. I went into my demo with Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below expecting a similar experience, but I left pleasantly surprised.
The demo had two options available, one being running around in a field defeating monsters and fighting a mini boss, and the other being a boss battle against a Gigantes in a castle. I chose the latter, and was given a party of familiar faces from previous games as well as the main male protagonist to play as. The game plays largely like DW in you hack and slash your way through mounds of bodies, but it also has a lot of features from the Dragon Quest series. Players can switch between four characters, each of which has his or her own unique weapons and abilities attached to the shoulder buttons, allowing you to form more intricate combos by mixing in different abilities and spells with the hacking and slashing.
The Tension meter from the past two DQ games also returns, powering characters up when the meter is filled and allowing for a finisher before the time limit runs out. Spell launchers were also scattered around the castle, which were the main sources of damage for taking down the Gigantes, which was one long, challenging boss battle. It took me up until the last 10 seconds of the demo's time limit to take him down and it felt extremely rewarding to do so.
The combat system is an incredible amount of fun; having control over four party members that you can switch between on the fly keeps the battle exhilarating. While I always had a problem with DQ games and their repetitive nature, having access to four different types of warriors throughout the mission helps to eliminate this concern. Spellcasters prove a bit tiresome, however, as the map in the demo was relatively large and there is no sprinting option.
The trance system also adds another degree of strategy and enjoyment to the combat. You can build up your party members' meters and unload them on the Gigantes one after another, which proves very satisfying. I had a blast playing DQ Heroes, much more so than any Dynasty Warriors game in recent years, and it was definitely a better experience than Hyrule Warriors.
The game's visuals are impressive too. Keeping true to the Akira Toriyama art style, characters look like they've been taken straight out of an anime, moving with great fluidity and crispness. The backgrounds are just as eye-pleasing, and good use is made of the cel shading technique. I was also surprised to not see any slowdown and, although I was mostly fighting the boss, there were times when many different enemies came to attack and there was a never a hint of a drop in frames per second. It's a very beautiful game, and I can't wait to see the rest of it.
Coming away from the demo, I couldn't wait to get my hands on more of Dragon Quest Heroes. The combat provides varied attacks and abilities which greatly differentiates the game from Dynasty Warriors and keeps the game true to the Dragon Quest name. Dragon Quest Heroes releases tomorrow on PS4 in North America and on Friday in Europe.