By Steve Baltimore / June 19th, 2017
|Title||Dragon Quest Heroes 2|
|Release Date||April 25th|
|Genre||Beat-em-up / Musou|
I never got around to playing the first Dragon Quest Heroes when it released back in 2015. I heard it had a lot of tower defense levels and those aren’t exactly my thing. When I started looking into Dragon Quest Heroes 2 however, it seemed there was a lot less of those and many other improvements to the game. I thought I would give this one a go and see if I could muster up some Dragon Quest nostalgia and play a great Musou game while I was at it.
The story takes place in the Seven Kingdoms that have enjoyed many years of peace. One day, as if some spell had awakened the ancient prophecy, the world was suddenly thrown into war. The heroes from all across the Seven Kingdoms have gathered to fight in order to restore the peace once and for all.
There isn’t a lot of plot to speak of here. The game gives you a basic introduction to all of the heroes, most of whom you will know if you played the other entries in the Dragon Quest series, and not a lot of anything else. I’m not saying this is a terrible story by any means, just don’t expect anything too deep or terribly moving.
Whatever it lacked in story it certainly made up for in visuals. This is one of the best looking games I’ve seen in a long time. It has that classic Toriyama style that made the series famous, and it looks fantastic. All of the monster models and heroes are very well detailed and the all the environments look amazing as well. When I was playing Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) on my NES as kid, this is the world I was seeing my head and its simply amazing to me that this game represents that so well.
The sound department is a bit of a mixed bag. The music mostly consists of classic orchestral themes that fans of the series know and love. This was an excellent choice since it added even more nostalgia to the game. I thought it was a nice touch to use some of the classic series sound effects as well. Some of these are even 8-bit sounds which really just brought a smile to my face. The English voice acting, however, is pretty rough at times. I like that they went with a British cast since this series always reminds me of a good old tale of kings and knights, but some of the lines just come off as not serious enough. Granted this series’ tone should sound kinda Saturday Morning Cartoonish, but I think that was taken to an extreme here in some cases. The Japanese audio is also accessible, so this isn’t a huge deal.
The gameplay here is actually unique for a game of this type. It has some open world sections as well as your standard Musou battle sections. In the open world areas you can explore for rare monsters, do side quests, and maybe even find some neat Easter Eggs. The Musou battles vary as well. Some have your standard go here and defeat this boss, there are some tower defense type levels, and even a sneaking section. I felt the battle objectives fit the story well and this title probably has the most variety of any Musou game I’ve ever played.
Accordia, the game’s only town, serves as your world hub. From here you can use Zoom to go to any other area of the game you have activated a Zoom Stone at, take on side quests, buy armor and weapons, and enhance your accessories. You will use items you find in the field to not only upgrade their effects, but sometimes give them entirely new benefits. Sometimes you will have to find certain NPCs in town before some you can take on some sidequests. They will have an exclamation point above their head so they are not too hard to spot. These quests are usually important since they give you access to better weapons in the shop or upgrade your healing items.
When it’s time to hit the open world or take on a Musou Battle you will have to form a party. You can choose four from any of the heroes you’ve unlocked in the game. Players can switch between these heroes at any time on the battlefield by tapping a shoulder button. Combat works like a typical Musou game, hit square and triangle to make combos and slay foes. Holding down R1 and pressing a face button will activate unique skills that every hero has, but be warned this will consume some MP. You will also notice a tension meter just under your health meter on the bottom right of the screen. When this fills, pressing circle will activate tension mode. Your are invincible for a short time and you have unlimited MP at your disposal. Pressing circle again in this mode will unleash a devastating tension move, which are room clearing special moves that look awesome.
On occasion you will notice a defeated monster will drop a coin. These monster coins will allow you to either summon, or in some cases transform, into said monster and wreak some havoc on your enemies. There is nothing more satisfying than turning into a large Golem and laying waste to tons of foes. These can really sway the tide of battle if you’re in a pinch, so careful planning in using them goes a long way.
Heroes will level up just like in any other Dragon Quest game. You will be awarded Skill Points with each level to spend however you wish. You can obtain basic stat upgrades or learn new skills with your heroes. Most of the heroes only have one vocation or job that they use, but the two main characters can actually change to different vocations. This of course will start them back off at level one, but this allows you to customize them to your taste. You will also gain new skills as you become more proficient with your equipped weapon, giving you access to bigger combos.
The last thing I would like to talk about is the mulitplayer. In town you can access a multiplayer hub via the inn. Here you will find special challenge maps for you and friends to lay waste to all the monsters in your path. Players can also ask for help via the internet for story missions. If you can find folks playing, this is actually pretty fun and does add to the overall experience of the game. If you’re a loner weeb you can do all of the challenge maps in single player as well.
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy my time with Dragon Quest Heroes 2. The open world, amazing graphics, fantastic soundtrack and the fact this is a straight nostalgia trip is sure to please most series fans. The main issues I had with this title are that the English voice acting is a little too over the top for my tastes and I felt the difficulty ramped up a bit too much in late game missions. The reason I say this is even though I had done all the side quests I was not properly leveled to handle some of those missions and that just shouldn’t be the case in a game like this. If you are a series fan you should buy this game without question, you’re gonna have a blast with it. If you aren’t a series fan or not a big fan of Musou Style games, you should probably look elsewhere for monsters to slay.
Review copy was provided by Play-Asia, please use our link below if you would like a copy for yourself.
Dragon QuestDragon Quest Heroes 2MusouOmgea ForceSquare Enix